“23 Hours to Kill” was taped at New York’s Beacon Theatre BC (before Corona), and is Seinfeld’s first original standup special in 22 years. (“Jerry Before Seinfeld,” streamed on Netflix in 2017, featured early material that jump-started his career.) If you can remove your mind from today’s reality and allow yourself an hour to escape, this is hysterical stuff.
Half of the material is ripe for Covid comments like “well we can’t do that anymore,” or “well there are no sporting events now,” or “ no one goes to restaurants these days,” which will kill the mood. Don’t watch if you’re in that mood. The other half is poignantly on point, particularly his 20 minutes on marriage and the communication issues between men and women. Sound like boilerplate stand-up comedian stuff? It is…and that’s what makes Seinfeld such a genius…he follows the playbook but runs the plays better than anyone else.
As per usual, he never cusses…he says “god damn,” twice by my count. His observations about life sucking, our choice in friends, technology, growing older, language, pop-tarts, and so much more are spot-on…and most importantly, NEVER go near politics.
At one point he reminds the audience that at the time of filming he is 65 years old (he’s 66 now) which is the only jarring moment of the special, although it has its’ positives. He neither looks, talks, nor acts like a man half that age. Yet the reality that he is within 20 years of no longer being accessible on a national stage is one of the few moments I didn’t need, and so I quickly crawled back into my non-Covid mental shelter and just enjoyed the ride. You should too; and if you can’t sit next to the person you love and laugh out-loud at his spot-on observations of the challenges of traversing a relationship, then you need a new person to love.