Jerry Seinfeld is best known to modern audiences as either the creator of Seinfeld or the creator of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but what we often forget, despite the constant reminders in his sitcom, is that Seinfeld is the King of Observational Comedy. No stand-up has ever built an empire quite like his on the strength of a particular style of humor. The whole “And what is the deal with…?” stand-up formula is a cliche not just because we’re so used to it now, but because Seinfeld spun it into comedy gold.
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, Seinfeld reminded everyone why he earned the crown. Sure, the topics are mundane and far less provocative than what so many other stand-ups offer now in this, the age of confessional comedy. Sure, it’s practiced and maybe even a little predictable. That doesn’t matter, though, because Jerry Seinfeld is a Master, and he proved it with five minutes of the most polished comedy you’re likely to see all year. He’s like Mozart, only instead of playing the harpsichord he’s getting philosophical about the term “donut holes.”