More than 2,200 Tucsonans on Thursday night decided to get dressed up and drive downtown, finagle a parking spot and trudge in the breezy, near 100-degree heat to the Tucson Music Hall for a few laughs.
Boy was it worth it.
"Oh my God, Tucson, we made it!" comedian Jerry Seinfeld announced, the tone of his voice rising several octaves as he bounded on the Music Hall stage for his first Tucson concert in five years.
And for 90 minutes Seinfeld, best known for his long-running namesake sitcom about nothing that played out like his standup comedy, took us on a journey into the little nuances of life that alternately annoy and delight.
• Like why do we get on a train and in a cab? Well, you need to get off the train so you have to get on. And you need to get out of a cab, hence you get into the cab.
• We've gotta go so we can get there and once we're there all we can think of is "I gotta go."
• Food and sex occupy 99 percent of our brains; the other 1 percent is responsible for all we accomplish in life, and hopefully it's enough to lead us to the best restaurants with the sexiest people.
• We got dressed up to go to "a special event that a lot of people worked really hard to put together because we had nothing better to do," he said.
"Why the hell am I here in Tucson? I can tell you why I'm in Tucson. Because I got nothing else to do. ... We're trying to convince ourselves that our lives don't suck," he said, and then let us in on a secret: The distance between "suck" and "great" are not that far: You get an ice cream cone and the ice cream falls out onto the street and your response is: "That sucks! Great!"
• We never say "hello" anymore. In fact, we don't even talk; we text everything. And we're so lazy we can't take the time or energy to text "OK"; instead we text "k."
"How much time do you save by not typing the 'o'?" he said, his voice teetering on a holler.
• Bowling alleys now have bumpers in the gutters so that every kid gets a shot at knocking down the pins.
"If your kid is traumatized by the gutter ball, forget it. He's not going to make it," Seinfeld said.
Seinfeld segued from his childhood to fatherhood and the challenges of raising his three children and living with his wife on Long Island — you live "on" the island and go "into" the city, he quipped. He's 63 years old, he proudly boasted, and the 60s, it turns out, is his favorite age. If someone asks him if he likes something, he can say "No, I don't," and no one will blink. He imagines it will get even better in his 70s; he will just have to nod.
He tried golf; he's not a fan. And he considered his friends' advice to create a bucket list of things he wanted to do before he died.
"I turned the 'b' to an 'f' and I was done with that, too!" he said, and the audience howled.
Throughout his 90-minute show, the audience's laughter filled the room and at times sounded like a soundtrack choreographed to the cadence and rhythms of his voice. When he talked fast, almost spitting out the words in a high pitch, the laughter rose. The deep belly laughs from rows of men sounded like the bass section of an orchestra; the higher-pitched howls from the women fleshed out the strings and winds. And every few minutes, dozens of people created a percussive thump from slapping their legs as they bent over from the sheer physicality of laughing.
From the back of the hall, way up in the balcony, it's easy to imagine all that laughter sounding like a symphony.