Leading Off, Jerry Seinfeld As Funny As Ever

In one of the highlights of the New York Mets' 2013 season, Jerry Seinfeld joined SNY broadcasters Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez to broadcast roughly half the Mets-San Francisco Giants game on Tuesday night.
Seinfeld provided folksy and biting humor, in his usual sarcastic (but never mean-spirited manner) and demonstrated a keen knowledge of his favorite baseball team's strengths and frailties. The "Seinfeld" show star made it clear that he was there to talk baseball and not Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. He noted at one point: "I'm in show business everyday -- I'm here for baseball."
And talk baseball he did. Seinfeld riffed hilariously about the infamous status of Dr.James Andrews, the noted sports-medicine surgeon who might or might not eventually perform Tommy John Surgery on Mets phenom pitcher Matt Harvey in the next few months. At one point, Jerry buttonholed the SNY in-field broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt by challenging him: "Kevin, have you EVER heard of Dr. Andrews before?" The mock-hapless Kevin dutifully replied, "No, Jerry."
Seinfeld also spoke for the Mets' fan in the TV audience. He all but rolled his eyes at what he called the imaginary "Geico Kick-Dirt Moment," poking fun at the endless promotions -- "nonsense," Jerry called it all -- that viewers are subjected to by corporate sponsors.
You got the odd feeling that Jerry was possibly auditioning new stand up material (he noted that he sporadically performs at the Gotham comedy club on 23rd Street.  Talking about the penchant of outfielders to suffer injured after crashing into unpadded walls, Jerry took off: "I do not understand why outfield walls aren't padded, like a couch cushion!" Couldn't you see Jerry saying to an audience at a club: "What is the DEAL with unpadded outfield walls, anyway?")
It was kind and generous of Seinfeld to help out his team. He surely didn't need to exposure of doing a cameo TV appearance to help goose sales of "Seinfeld" DVDs or re-run viewerships (the show is on roughly 77 times a day in the New York area -- or it seems that way).
My favorite moment came when Jerry reminisced with Keith Hernandez about Keith's sparkling guest appearances on "Seinfeld." Jerry recalled it "like it was yesterday," though 20 years had passed. He remember that the show had not yet taken off nationally and that Keith's guest spot in 1993 was "the most exciting" thing to happen to the show up to that point. Jerry smiled as he recalled the pivotal scene when Keith and Elaine awkwardly try to make out in Keith's car ("I'm Keith Hernandez!").
I interviewed the Mets' announcers a few years ago and asked Ron Darling what he was thinking when he watched his old teammate on a network comedy show. "He's kissing Elaine!" Darling laughed.
Let's hope Jerry follows through on his pledge to make this an annual event in years to come.
For another view check out Joe Favorito's sports, marketing and PR roundup.

- Jon


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