When Seinfeld wrapped up its ninth and final season in the spring of 1998, the popular show's namesake and cocreator decided to offer a symbolic gesture to his fans. Taped for HBO in August 1998, on the final date of Jerry Seinfeld's tour appearances at New York City's Broadhurst Theater, I'm Telling You for the Last Time presents the standup comedian's so-called "final" standup, or at least his final tour with the standup material that made him famous. The video opens with a great prologue in which Seinfeld's old material is literally laid to rest, with many of Seinfeld's comedy colleagues in attendance at the "funeral." (Jay Leno is there, but David Letterman is conspicuously absent, and while it's a bit self-congratulatory to show Seinfeld's fellow comedians fighting like vultures over his abandoned jokes, it's worth it just to see Garry Shandling pilfering from the catering table like a homeless intruder.)
Whether he's talking about airline flights, cab drivers, or memories of Halloween and an ill-fitting Superman costume, Seinfeld's observational humor is as timeless and sharp as the day he first performed it. Even the most familiar routines (such as the one about pharmacists with a superiority complex) are like old friends who still haven't overstayed their welcome. Seinfeld's delivery is polished to a shine--he's a consummate professional--and an impromptu Q&A with his appreciative audience demonstrates that he's equally adept with a fast and witty comeback. This performance certainly wouldn't be the last we'd see of Jerry Seinfeld, but from the perspective of phenomenal fame and fortune, it's a fitting farewell to the classic "bits" that took him to the top. --Jeff Shannon
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