Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld – Life as a comedian, one Pop Tart at a time

One Christmas gift stands out above all others, Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld. It’s a compilation of 45 years of Jerry Seinfeld’s best jokes arranged by decade up, from the seventies to the Covid-19 era. Like Seinfeld, it’s a collection of jokes about nothing, focusing on the minutia of daily life. It includes 452 pages of jokes we can all relate to like Dad’s thermostat, the men’s room, Pop-Tarts, movie candy, nose hair, and more.

Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. “Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders,” Seinfeld writes. “So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth.” 

For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In page after hilarious page, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, readers will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.

Best Jerry Seinfeld Quotes from Is This Anything?

  • Comedians seems to hurtle through space and time untethered to anything but the sound of a light. Jerry Seinfeld.
  • But when I’m in the company of other stand-up comedians I feel like I’m rolling around in a litter of puppies.
  • I am totally in love with the very clear winning-and-losing outcome that a stand-up set can have.
  • The real deal of stand-up comedy, of course, is that you must constantly justify why you are the only one talking while a room full of people sit quietly
  • Getting live laughs is a druggy kind of lifestyle.
  • Man let me tell you, when you’re on a stage all by yourself under a hot light, with a hot mic, and those laughs are crashing down around you, it’s a strong, pure hit of every addiction you’ve ever wanted.
  • The biggest comedians you can name still go onstage with a little worry in the back of their head, that whatever they have might not be good enough tonight.
  • I deeply love the endless, somewhat torturous struggle of never quite feeling that you’ve got your act where you want it.
  • …When a new bit breaks through and gets a real laugh, that’s when you feel like you’re at the beginning of the journey all over again.
  • I love hearing a laugh that’s never existed in the world before.

Favorite Stand-Up Joke from Jerry Seinfeld Is This Anything?


Different foods hit you different at different ages.

When I was a kid,

And they invented the Pop-Tart,

The back of my head blew right off.

We couldn’t comprehend it.

It was too advanced.

When we saw the Pop-Tart in the supermarket, it was like an alien spaceship.

And we were just chimps in the dirt playing with stick.

You open the box.

The Pop-Tarts are not even visible,.

They’re sealed.

Inside special packages, too precious and valuable to be exposed to the air.

The packets had this silvery lining.

Some metallic alloy from NASA, in case of a Russian satellite gamma ray attack.

Once there were Pop-Tarts, I did not unserstand why other types of food continued to exist.

I’d see my mother coking in the kitchen.

“What are you doing? We have Pop-Tarts now.”

You’ve got to think back to when the Pop-Tart came out…

It was the ‘60s.

We had TOAST.

We had orange juice,

Frozen decades in advance.

To read the rest, buy the damn book, it’s good, it’s funny, it’s worth it.

Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfield captures the mind of one of the finest comedians I’ve ever heard.


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