A star of a famous sitcom from the ’90s took the stage at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t the club’s proprietor.
Jerry Seinfeld stopped in for an unannounced set. He was introduced somewhat off-handedly by the night’s host, Rell Battle, as, “A surprise guest, Jerry Seinfeld.” The capacity audience paused, as if in disbelief, then stood and cheered as Seinfeld arrived through the club’s burgundy curtains.
“We are all here. We all made it out, to the same place at the same time tonight, and that is an achievement,” Seinfeld said. “I feel like you know me. You know that I can be anywhere else in the world tonight! But I’m here, because I had nothing better to do. Tonight is all just a lot of people who have gone to great efforts so we can all kill some time.”
Seinfeld added that he has another show here, “But I can’t talk about it,” but did not specify what is likely a private gig. Seinfeld is back at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where he is an ongoing resident headliner, on Sept. 27-28.
Seinfeld, a good friend of Garrett’s, also performed at the club in March 2017. He performed for about 30 minutes, ahead of featured comic Omid Singh and headliner Sam Fedele. He talked of being on vacation and taking a zip line.
“This is risking decapitation so you can feel like dry cleaning.”
Later, during a quick Q&A with the crowd, an audience member shouted a request for him to do his dry-cleaning bit. Seinfeld answered, “You missed that — it was during the zip line thing, remember?” But this call-out was actually from a routine from ages ago. “Oh, you’re really a comedy fan! That was from like 20 years ago!”
Seinfeld then recited a piece of that bit, “When you scrape something off your jacket with your thumb, that’s dry cleaning. Dry cleaning doesn’t really exist. I’ve seen dry cleaning fluid. That proves it — the fluid is right there.”
A fan also asked who Seinfeld’s favorite guests have been on his “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” Netflix series.
“I don’t want to make anyone feel bad, but the Eddie Murphy episode was fun for me. I don’t think people realize that we started in the same place at the same time.” Murphy and Seinfeld both started performing at the Comic Strip in New York City in 1976.
A few comics were in Tuesday’s audience, including Luxor headliner Carrot Top and his longtime opener, Rob Sherwood. John Bizarre and his wife, Nancy Ryan, both of whom perform the comic breaks in the Stabile Productions’ “X Country” and “X Burlesque” stage shows; and Vegas club favorite Kathleen Dunbar were also in the room.
Garrett was not there, but watched Seinfeld’s set from L.A., from the club’s in-house camera.
“He is truly the greatest,” Garrett said in a text message. “When I was 18, I’d go see him at the N.Y. clubs. He was in his mid-20s, and you knew there was nothing like him, even back then. The purest.”
And not an easy act to follow. Singh was introduced just as Seinfeld took in his second standing ovation and left the stage. The featured comic shook his head and said, “Nobody wants to be me right now.” But he performed a terrific set, and the crowd had been sufficiently warmed up.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.