Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon

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9780060188726: Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon

If you think you know Jerry Seinfeld from his show, think again.

Because of a carefully honed publicity machine, and through savvy marketing, millions of rabid Seinfeld fans are convinced that the TV Jerry and the real-life Jerry are one and the same. But that's not the case.

From the time Jerry was a lonely, bashful, introverted kid hiding out in his blue plaid-wallpapered bedroom in his parents' modest house on Long Island in the 1960s, he had an unlikely dream: To become one of America's best-known and most popular standup comics ever. Home alone, he watched his comedic idols on a small, fuzzied-image black-and-white TV, or listened to them on his scratchy portable hi-fi -- Abbott and Costello, Bill Cosby, among others.

Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon is the never-before-told story of how Jerry made his dream come true -- of how this very ambitious, extremely driven, compulsively perfectionistic son of a Jewish sign peddler who once hustled bogus holy water from Lourdes carefully worked his way up through the knock-down-drag-out world of stand-up comedy as it began to explode in the mid-1970s, and how he went on to cocreate in the late 80s what is considered to be the most brilliant and successful must-see TV sitcom in the history of the medium.

From the start, Jerry has been extremely private about all aspects of his personal life. But now this very complex and enigmatic funnyman is revealed, sometimes as loving, compassionate, and sensitive, other times as dark and steely. But always fascinating.

For more than a year, bestselling investigative biographer Jerry Oppenheimer conducted in-depth interviews with scores of Jerry's closest friends, family members, business associates, lovers, and fellow comedians who spoke candidly and on the record for the first time, painting a riveting portrait of the beloved and talented comedian.

This is a book about Seinfeld the man, not Seinfeld the show. It also is a sweeping look at the very serious, often degrading big-money world of standup comedy and network TV, where some die and others, like Jerry Seinfeld, become royalty. Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon is no laughing matter.

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About the Author:

Jerry Oppenheimer has written bestselling biographies of other American icons, including Bill and Hillary Clinton ( State of a Union), Martha Stewart ( Just Desserts), Ethel Kennedy ( The Other Mrs. Kennedy), Barbara Walters ( Barbara Walters: An Unauthorized Biography), and Rock Hudson ( Idol: The True Story of an American Film Hero).

From Publishers Weekly:

Celebrity biographer Oppenheimer (Martha Stewart: Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography) now turns his penetrating eye to the notoriously private multimillionaire stand-up comic, whose response to this salacious page-turner will probably take the tone of his ever-popular phrase, "Hello, Newman." Oppenheimer spares nothing and no one in this saucy expos , covering Seinfeld's modest beginnings in Massapequa, Long Island (Seinfeld famously quipped that the town's name is Indian for "near the mall"), his days at SUNY Oswego and then Queens College, his introduction to the booming 1980s comedy club scene and his eventual launch of the most successful sitcom of the '90s. Oppenheimer digs up sources ranging from Seinfeld's neighbors and old classmates to rabbis, fellow comedians and, of course, ex-girlfriends. In fact, much of the book focuses on Seinfeld's apparent fear of commitment and his tendency to date the same type of woman (Jewish and noticeably younger than he). The author holds nothing back in giving the blow-by-blow of Seinfeld's romances with a teenage Shoshanna Lonstein and, later, freshly divorced (after a three-month marriage) Jessica Sklar. Regarding Seinfeld's career, Oppenheimer attributes the comic's success less to acting skills than simply a desire to be funny. Seinfeld's first shot at stand-up (at a Manhattan club's open mike night) was a disaster, but always the perfectionist he persevered and eventually hit it big. Oppenheimer who has indeed become a master of his own domain delivers a rollicking, sensational account of this "one-time poor boy from blue-collar Long Island who [became] very wealthy from being very funny." Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Joni Evans. (On sale Aug. 6) Forecast: Seinfeld's 1993 autobiography, SeinLanguage, was a bestseller. Fans of the TV show of which there are legions and anyone looking for a juicy summer read will be all over Oppenheimer's book like white on rice.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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