Seinfeld Opener and Friend, Mark Schiff Reflects on Comedy as Pair Come to Erie
As Jerry Seinfeld prepares to perform at Erie's Warner Theatre, longtime friend and opening act Mark Schiff reflects on where comedy belongs in today's society.
"You know, there used to be commercial -there's always your room for Jell-O," said Schiff, promoting his new book, "Why Not? Lessons on Comedy, Courage, and Chutzpah" at Werner Books Thursday afternoon.
"There's always room for comedy. It's rare that a person comes out of the show and doesn't say, 'You know, I feel better.' The great Neil Simon was called Doc Simon because, you know, he was a doctor of comedy, and that's what we try to do. We try to perform. We try to insert laughter into people and it works."
Schiff opens for a Seinfeld at a sold-out show and says the pair have been working together for decades.
"We started together in 1976 in New York," continued Schiff.
"He was a waiter at a restaurant called Brew & Burger and he was selling jewelry on the street to earn a living. He [doesn't] have to do that anymore, I don't think...And we started together and we built an act together. And one of my first road gigs was with Jerry. We went to Washington, D.C. together in my 1976 Toyota Corolla."
Downtown businesses are also looking forward to the added business that Seinfeld's sold out show will bring, but perhaps none more than the Warner Theatre, which is hosting the comedian at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
"This is our second big comedy show of the month," said Ed Snyder, Director of Warner Theatre.
"We had Jeff Dunham sold out earlier, and now we've got Jerry [Seinfeld]... You know, it's huge for the theater, especially since we've reopened and it's huge for our downtown community... All the restaurants, everything will be busy before the show. So we're very excited to have another sold-out show here at the Warner."
Schiff will continue to open for Seinfeld at some shows. The full list of tour dates can be found for Seinfeld here, and Schiff here.