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The 11 best jokes from Jerry Seinfeld’s new book

“I have everything I thought was worth saving from 45 years of hacking away at this for all I was worth,” the comedian writes in his new book, “Is This Anything?”

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In his new book, “Is This Anything?” comedian Jerry Seinfeld shares the jokes he’s accumulated over his 45-year career.

Mark Seliger

Over 45 years, whenever Jerry Seinfeld came up with an idea for a routine, he jotted it down. 

It didn’t matter where he was. 

“I have everything I thought was worth saving from 45 years of hacking away at this for all I was worth,” the comedian writes in his new book, “Is This Anything?” 

“All comedians are slightly amazed when anything works,” he continues. 

In true “Seinfeld” fashion, the book finds comedy in the mundane — everything from cereal to cotton balls to Pop Tarts to Bumper Cars. 

“Seinfeld” fans will almost be able to hear the comedian’s inflections as they read his stand-up bits — many of the jokes have even been used in the sitcom.

“Is This Anything?” is a lengthy book, clocking in at 452 pages. Broken up by decade, it shares Seinfeld’s jokes from the 1970s up to the COVID-19 era. The style and subject matter of the jokes change with time, but Seinfeld tells readers his reason for coming up with new material has always remained the same. 


The cover of “Is This Anything?” In this book, comedian Jerry Seinfeld shares the jokes he’s accumulated over his 45-year career.

Provided by Simon & Schuster

“Looking back, I like that I was successful. I’m happy I made money at it,” the comedian writes. “But honestly, I swear I have really been in it for the laughs since day one, day two and every other day, including today.” 

Here are 11 of the best stand-up jokes from “Is This Anything?” 

Parents look like

I’m wearing contact lenses now, but I wore glasses at the age of 10. 

I thought I had to get glasses because I couldn’t tell what my parents looked like. 

I’d ask my mother for money and she’d always say, “What do I look like, a bank?” Do I look like I’m made of money to you?” 

The truth is, when you’re a kid, your parents are the bank.

Where else am I going to get money? 

Am I going to walk into Chase Manhattan? 

They’re going to say,

“What do I look like, your mother? Beat it, four eyes.” 

Parent boss

The best job security is the jobs you do as a kid around the house. 

You cannot lose that job. 

No matter how bad you did. 

I knew my father’s not going to call me in the house, 

“Listen, son, you’re not really cutting the mustard out there on that lawn. Now, I know you’ve been our son for 15 years. But I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go. Don’t feel bad. We’re making cutbacks all over the house. The dog’s only coming in three days a week. He missed a couple Frisbees at the picnic. We had to trim his hours.” 

Keys to the plane

The other day on a plane I thought, 

“I wonder if there’s keys to the plane? Do they need keys to start the plane?” 

Maybe that’s what those delays on the ground are sometimes. 

When you’re just sitting there at the gate. 

Maybe the pilot’s up there in the cockpit going,

“Oh, I don’t believe this … I did it again.” 

They tell you it’s something mechanical, because they don’t want to come on the P.A. system,

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to be delayed here on the ground for a little while. I, uh … this is so embarrassing … I, I left the keys to the plane in my apartment. They’re in this big blue ashtray by the front door. I’m really sorry. I’ll run back and get them.” 

You see the technicians all running around underneath the plane. 

You think they’re servicing it, but they’re actually looking for one of those magnet Hide-A-Keys under the wing. 

Public speaking

I saw a study that said the No. 1 fear of the average person is public speaking.

No. 2 is death. 

Death is No. 2! 

How in the world is that? 

That means to most people, if you have to go to a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy. 

Doctor recommendation

People love to recommend their doctor to you. 

I don’t know what they get out of it. 

But they really push them on you. 

“Is he good?” 

“Oh … he’s the best. The absolute best.” 

There can’t be this many “bests.” 

Someone’s graduating at the bottom of these classes. 

Where are these doctors? 

Is someone, somewhere, saying to their friend, 

“You should see my doctor, he’s the worst. Whatever you’ve got, it’ll be worse after you see him. The man’s an absolute butcher.” 

And whenever a friend refers a doctor they say,

“Make sure you tell him that you know me.” 

Why? What’s the difference? 

He’s a doctor. 

“Oh, you know Bob? Ohh, OK … I’ll make sure you get the real medicine. 

Everybody else I’m giving Tic Tacs.”

Campaign ’88

I bet a lot of Americans are thinking the same thing about it. 

In the back of your mind you’re like,

“I’m sure once the actual election rolls around, there’ll be other choices. Once the word gets out that they’re hiring presidents, there’ll probably be lots of new people coming in. I’m sure these are just placeholders for now, probably.” 

Just the fact that someone thinks they should be the president is proof that they’re quite mentally off. 

What kind of person is this? 

That sits around,

“Let’s see, who should be the most powerful person in government? Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces? Leader of the Free World? You know, I’ve got to say … that sounds like me. It sounds like something I would be good at. I really strike myself as the best person there could possibly be for that kind of job.” 

No, you’re not. 

You’re sick and deranged. 

Who could be friends with this person? 

You’re at a ballgame,

“You know, I was thinking about being the most powerful person in the world.” 

You go,

“Uh-huh … I was thinking about getting a hot dog.” 

We have soda

The basic problem with TV is everybody you see on TV is doing something better than what you’re doing. 

Nobody on TV is just watching TV. 

You never see anybody on TV half conscious, sliding off the sofa with potato chip crumbs on their shirt. 

Some people on TV are having a little too much fun. 

The soda commercial people. 

Jumping, laughing, hugging. 

Where does all this enthusiasm come from? 

“We have soda! We have soda! We have soda!” 

Have you ever been sitting there, drinking the exact same product they’re advertising on TV at that moment? 

They’re spiking volleyballs, jet skiing, ... driving jeeps into the surf,


I look at it, I think, 

“Maybe I’m putting too much ice in mine.” 

Left turn okay

The signs directing traffic flow are usually very straight.

“One way.” 

“Right turn only.” 

“Wrong Way. Go Back.”

I think my favorite is,

“Left turn okay.” 

That one’s got a little personal touch to it. 

“Left turn ... okay.”

It’s like,

“We’re not crazy about you making a left … 

It’s okay. 

Believe me, I’ve seen better.” 

I think a lot of these signs could loosen up a bit. 

“Right turn, why not?” 

“U-turn? Enjoy it!” 

Repeat story

A lot of times people will launch into a story they have already told you. 

And you go, “Well, I guess I’m going on this ride again.” 

Now you’re in your own little one-act play. 

Trying to re-create all the same responses you had the first time. 






And now you’re terrified they’re going to catch you.

“Wait, I did tell you this. Why didn’t you stop me?”

“Because I’m focusing on my performance.” 

The two of you end up just staring at each other.

Realizing one’s a liar. The other’s a bore. 

The whole relationship’s a fraud.

Neil Armstrong’s toothbrush

I was at the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.

They have all kinds of exhibits about the astronauts.

They show you the food they ate and everything.

They even had Neil Armstrong’s toothbrush on display, in a glass case.

Underneath it said,

“On loan from Neil Armstrong.”

And I’m thinking, “Neil, give them the brush.”

I mean, they flew him to the moon. No charge.

Get. Another. Brush.

So they asked him for his toothbrush and he says,

“... I could lend it to you.”

Is he coming in at night and using it?

Bathrobe, slippers, Colgate in his hand.

“I’m going to need the brush ... if everyone’s done LOOKING at it ...”

Hallmark greeting cards

People are so confused about relationships these days. 

You can tell just by the greeting cards. 

They have a whole section of greeting cards now with no writing inside. 

It’s like Hallmark is saying,

“Hey, we don’t know what to tell her. You think of something, pal. 

For 65 cents I don’t want to get involved.”