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Comedian is a riveting and engrossing 2002 documentary that provides an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the craft of comedy. The documentary centers on Jerry Seinfeld, a household American name known for his eponymous sitcom "Seinfeld". Directed by Christian Charles, Comedian showcases Seinfeld's journey, starting afresh on the stand-up circuit after deciding to retire all his old material post his highly successful sitcom.

Jerry Seinfeld stars not only as the subject matter but also as himself, allowing the audience to delve into an up-close and personal perspective of his comedic process. It shows the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that he faced in his quest to develop a fresh routine, venturing to various comedy clubs across New York City. The documentary explores his creative process, delivering an honest depiction of the grit, perseverance, and dedication required to create something genuinely funny.

Comedian gives us an access pass into Seinfeld’s world – the laughter, the struggles, but most importantly, the work. More than mere observational humor, it displays how Seinfeld manages to find the funny in everyday situations. He's seen working on and testing new material, sometimes struggling with a joke until the delivery is just right, showing the degree of work that goes into every laugh. Despite his legendary status and reputation, he is shown to be vulnerable, exploring and experimenting with his act, reinforcing the fact that comedy doesn’t come easily - it requires diligence, resilience, and courage.

Alongside following Seinfeld’s journey, the Comedian also portrays the struggles of a relatively lesser-known comic, Orny Adams. The documentary draws sharp contrasts between their different career stages, their approach to comedy, and the trials they face. Their stories intersect occasionally, as Seinfeld provides sage advice to the younger stand-up, serving as a mentor figure. The juxtaposition of Adams, a comic at the start of his career, filled with ambition and anxiety, with Seinfeld, the seasoned vet returning to his roots, is what drives this documentary, lending it depth and a unique perspective.

While the camera rolls for Adams and Seinfeld, other comedians like Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno, Kevin Nealon, Robert Klein, Ray Romano, and Colin Quinn make appearances throughout the film. These interactions serve as comic relief while beautifully attesting to the camaraderie within the comedy community. The documentary illustrates a fraternity of funny men and women supporting each other while navigating the world of stand-up comedy.

Beyond a fly-on-the-wall expose’ of the comedy world, the film examines the psyche of a comedian. It presents Seinfeld's tireless quest for perfection and the euphoria he experiences while performing to a crowd. Concurrently, it exposes the fears, doubts, and frustrations that plague even highly achieved individuals in their journey for continuous self-betterment.

Director Christian Charles manages to capture the audience’s attention by presenting a heartening narrative while maintaining authenticity. Thanks to Charles's prudence, the film is shot in a manner that seamlessly combines backstage footage, on-stage performances, and one-on-one interviews – providing variety and visual interest. The humor is, naturally, abundant, but the documentary also serves generous doses of insight about life as a performer and all that entails.

All in all, Comedian is an exploration of the art of comedy – the tension & release, the craft, the discipline of stand-up comedy. It serves as a tribute to those who choose to walk this path – those who bare their souls under the harsh lights of a stage, armed only with a microphone, their wit, and the hope that the audience will laugh. Regardless of whether or not you are a fan of stand-up comedy, "Comedian" invites you to step into Jerry Seinfeld's shoes, offering an inside look into an art form that skillfully blends entertainment and human psychology to bring joy to people.

Comedian is a Comedy, Documentary movie released in 2002. It has a runtime of 82 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 62.

Christian Charles
Jerry Seinfeld, Orny Adams
Also directed by Christian Charles
Comedian is available on .