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Jerry Seinfeld

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Jerry Seinfeld stopped by Reddit for one of its famous Ask Me Anythings a few weeks back, and he has a few interesting thoughts on life for anyone to follow:

On Critics: “Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist…Instead of fighting them, I would say “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem” and the audience would find it funny and it would really discombobulate the heckler too, because I wouldn’t go against them, I would take their side.”

On Having Enthusiasm: “In fact I would go so far as to say that was the key to the entire show, was that we really felt like together we were funny, and then the audience felt it, and that’s how you can somehow catch lightning in a bottle.”

On His Popularity: “That’s why I wanted to go back into doing standup comedy, because as the star of your own TV show you don’t get treated like that but as a standup performer you do get treated like that. It was hilarious, and absurd, but standup is a life of just brutal reality which is the opposite of the life I had been leading in LA and that I missed.”

On Creativity: “Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.”

On Having A Dream: “I chose comedy because I thought it seemed much easier than work. And more fun than work. It turned out to be much harder than work, and not easy at all. But you still don’t have to ever really grow up. And that’s the best thing of all.”

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Comedian Jerry Seinfeld stopped by reddit to do an AMA (“ask me anything”) and he offered a peek into his creative process:

On writer’s block:

Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.

On dealing with hecklers:

Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist. So that when people would say something nasty, I would immediately become very sympathetic to them and try to help them with their problem and try to work out what was upsetting them, and try to be very understanding with their anger. It opened up this whole fun avenue for me as a comedian, and no one had ever seen that before. Some of my comedian friends used to call me – what did they say? – that I would counsel the heckler instead of fighting them. Instead of fighting them, I would say “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem” and the audience would find it funny and it would really discombobulate the heckler too, because I wouldn’t go against them, I would take their side.

On staying motivated:

I am burned out. And you may have noticed that I tend to quit things soon after doing them, like TV series, animated movies, book writing, broadway plays. I do feel very strongly in stopping the second I feel like I’m not excited anymore, whatever I’m doing.

The comedian describes the anatomy of his Pop-Tart joke, still a work in progress, and shows his longhand writing process.

“I’ve probably been working on this for two years. Two years? I mean usually I’d write a bit in a couple days. It’s a long time to spend on something that means absolutely nothing. But that’s what I do; that’s what people want me to do…is spend a lot of time wastefully. So that then I can waste their time.”

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