This weekend, Jerry Seinfeld taped his first Netflix hour special, and there’s a giant twist that’s been a well-kept secret. He recorded the hour on Saturday and Sunday night at The Comic Strip comedy club, where owner Richie Tienken gave him his start back in 1976, and the entire hour had a return to the beginning theme to it.
According to our own Jeffrey Gurian, Netflix reconstructed the entire club, going full retro for the taping, even moving the stage back to where it was when the Strip first opened in 1976, and placing a piano on stage, right where it would have been back when Jerry first started. They bought all new tables and chairs were set with checked tablecloths for the occasion, to complete the look.
The reason for the retro-look and locale is that the hour special will cover Jerry’s original material that he did his first five years- the same material that led to him getting his first Tonight Show gig with Johnny Carson. There were very special comics in attendance, including Jimmy Brogan and Mark Schiff who also started at the Comic Strip in ’76. Brogan was the opener, and Schiff, who was dressed as a cab driver, wandered in and bantered with Brogan just like they did 41 years ago. Also in attendance were George Wallace, Comic Strip owner Richie Tienken and Jerry’s manager George Shapiro.
Jerry came out to thunderous applause in a shiny gray jacket and tie, and ran through a set full of applause breaks. Jerry left the stage to even more thunderous applause than when he came up, and went right back to his trailer with his longtime manager George Shapiro to do a little TM before the next taping. The second taping also went without a hitch.
According to Gurian, Jerry walked into the club one afternoon– the first time in years– and announced that he was interested in taping one of the specials he had planned for Netflix in the club where he got his start. He’s been working out the hour for weeks at Gotham Comedy Club, as Jeffrey has reported in multiple weekly columns. Seinfeld’s Netflix deal has him creating two new stand-up specials for the streaming giant, which means one more to go.
Seinfeld will also be bringing his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to the platform and will develop future scripted and unscripted projects. Seinfeld’s deal was announced officially this past January, but rumors have been floating around since 2014, when Jerry had hinted that conversations were taken place during a reddit AMA.
The details are amazing and you can read more in Jeffrey’s regular column which comes out tomorrow (Monday) morning.