Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon

Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon

by Jerry Oppenheimer
5.0 1

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon by Jerry Oppenheimer

The never-before-told story of how Jerry Seinfeld made his dream come true -- of how this very ambitious, extremely driven, compulsively perfectionistic carefully worked his way up through the knock-down-drag-out world of stand-up comedy as it began to explode in the mid-1970s, & how he went on to co-create in the late 80s what is considered to be the most successful TV sitcom in its history. From the start, Jerry has been extremely private about all aspects of his personal life. For more than a year, Oppenheimer conducted in-depth interviews with scores of Jerry s closes friends, family members, bus. assoc., lovers, & fellow comedians who spoke candidly, painting a riveting portrait of the beloved & talented comedian.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062030818
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 486,571
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jerry Oppenheimer has written bestselling biographies of other American icons, including Bill and Hillary Clinton (State of a Union), Martha Stewart (Just Desserts), Ethel Kennedy (The Other Mrs. Kennedy), Barbara Walters (Barbara Walters: An Unauthorized Biography), and Rock Hudson (Idol: The True Story of an American Film Hero).

Table of Contents

1Family Roots1
2Tojo, Television, and Holy Water6
3And Betty Makes Two10
4Near the Mall14
5Moving On Up22
6Tough Times26
7Becoming a Man35
8High School Loner42
9Romeo and Juliet51
10To Israel, with Love56
11Sex, Drugs, and Suzukis64
12Campus Odd Couple72
13I Just Want to Be Funny81
14Queens College Days87
15Girl Trouble95
16Catskills Forays102
17I Want to Do Stand-up110
18Peanuts on the Bar116
19The Dianetics Kid123
20Doctor Comedy133
21Major Changes142
22Strange Bedfellows148
23Faster Than a Speeding Bullet156
24Welcome to L.A.169
25The Benson Fiasco177
26Jerry Does Johnny184
27Comedy Club Bonanza192
28Love and Death199
29Sex, Money, and Accolades206
30L.A. Story218
31Birth of Seinfeld232
32Press War239
33Fame Is Free246
34Love in All the Wrong Places259
35L'Affaire Lonstein271
36Ups and Downs in TV Land280
37Designing Woman287
38The End of Life as We Know It301
39The Marrying Kind315
40Stop, Thief!331
41And Baby Makes Three347
Notes and Sources363


It's Not About Nothing: Jerry Oppenheimer Discusses His "Must-Read Book" on Jerry Seinfeld

One of the areas of Jerry Seinfeld's life that intrigued me most during my almost two years of researching and writing Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon was his business acumen, his prescient ability to say no to offers that other comics would have jumped at, head first, without thinking.

When, for example, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson first offered him a shot, Jerry initially turned down the spectacular offer. It wasn't because he lacked confidence in his talent but rather because he had seen a fellow comic seemingly go down in flames on the show -- because, in Jerry's thinking, he wasn't thoroughly prepared. Jerry didn't want that to happen to him. So he patiently waited to appear on Carson's show until he had a dynamite five minutes of material, and more powerful routines to follow. And when he did appear for the first time on Tonight in 1981, Jerry's career was launched like a rocket to the moon.

Along with his sense of humor, Jerry had inherited his talent for entrepreneurship from his salesman father, Kal Seinfeld, who went from peddling fake holy water to successfully hawking business signs. Jerry credits his father, who died in 1985, for all of the good things that happened to him through his spectacular career, and he even used the character of Kal Seinfeld in his TV show.

I also found it fascinating that Jerry had a remarkable sense of timing, not only in his stand-up act and his "must-see-TV" sitcom, but also in real life. All his career steps, as I track them in the book, were carefully timed, perfectly planned. He decided to get into stand-up just as the comedy club business was starting to boom -- many of the clubs replacing discos, an entertainment form whose day had passed. He also put together a strong, tightly knit team of managers, agents, and publicists.

At that time, he told his booking agent that he wanted to work 50 weeks a year, 52 if he had to, to become a road warrior, to become the best stand-up ever, a household name. And through incredibly hard work and with his immense talent, he succeeded far beyond anyone's imagination.

Once again his timing was right-on when he accepted NBC's offer to do the show that became Seinfeld, because at that point, the comedy club boom was running out of gas. Jerry's is a true Horatio Alger story -- a kid who came from modest means on Long Island to become a comedic and creative genius. Like his childhood comic book hero, Superman, Jerry Seinfeld seems invincible.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be regifted because it needs to be shared. Jerry got what he wanted and that is to be applauded. That it entertained us in the process makes it noble. Robert Frost