The champion of observational humor, writer/comic Jerome Seinfeld (1954-) was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Long Island.
Inspired by his father who "was always making people laugh," Jerry decided he wanted to be a comedian at age eight and followed that dream by becoming a stand-up comic right after his Queen's College graduation.
"Men don't care what's on TV," he once observed. "They only care what else is on TV."
While he honed his craft, the breaks started coming. In 1976, stand-up giant Rodney Dangerfield featured the young comic on his HBO special. In 1980, Seinfeld played the semiregular Richie on the Benson television series. A year later, he did a five-minute guest spot on The Tonight Show and wowed host Johnny Carson.
The secret of his success? He explained, "I take the most normal things in life and spend way too much time thinking about them."
His stand-up act which celebrated the absurdities of every day life led to the idea for a TV show, developed by Seinfeld with his friend Larry David. The innovative "show about nothing" with Seinfeld and friends, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), George (Jason Alexander), and Kramer (Michael Richards), debuted in 1990 and became one of the best shows history.
Co-creators Seinfeld and David said the show's writers were guided by two basic rules: "no hugging" and "no learning."
When the NBC show wrapped up its ninth and final season in the spring of 1998, 76.2 million viewers watched the final episode. The winner ofover 20 major awards and nearly 60 nominations, the sitcom lives on in sydication.
About his good fortune, Seinfeld reflected, "My whole life is a vacation."
On the other hand, celebrate life!