Laughter with Jerry Seinfeld at the Merrill Auditorium

With anytime, anywhere access to entertainment through our mobile devices, the days of must see TV are long gone but they’ll always be tied in my memory with Thursday nights and Seinfeld. So the opportunity to catch his stand up show at the Merrill Auditorium this past weekend was too good to pass up even if the tickets were a little pricey. Some things are worth the splurge.

Portland was energized on Friday. After quite a few dreary, cooler days, it was finally warm and even a little bit sunny. People were excited to be out and about for the evening. Your couldn’t help but enjoy yourself with the knowledge that we’re finally closing in on summer.

I always love heading into Portland, but especially enjoy the city when there is so much activity flowing through the streets. The only downside is it can make parking more of a challenge. We arrived downtown around 5:15 pm and made a few loops around the block finally deciding it would be easier to park in a garage. As soon as we made that decision, we found not one but two spots on Federal Street close to both the bar and the Merrill Auditorium where we would be catching the Jerry Seinfeld show in a few hours. It was going to be a good night.

I had been looking forward to returning to Timber since our  visit a few months earlier. I even titled my previous blog post on Timber, “3 Reasons Why We’ll Be Back to Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie“. One of the main reasons I wanted to return was to try out some of their happy hour deals. Timber is only a short walk to the Merrill Auditorium so it made for a good destination before the show.

The good vibes from our parking success continued as we were able to find seats at the bar. It’s a long bar which is helpful. We also discovered on this trip that they have an outside patio in the back. We’ll have to check that area out on our next visit. We were closing in on 6:00 pm and the end of happy hour so we quickly glanced through the menu and ordered some wings and fries along with a couple of drink specials. Wine for me and beer for my husband. He struggled with his beer choice. He really wanted to go for the Guinness but it was not included in the happy hour deals so instead he opted for one of their many other beer specials. Our budget won this round.

While back in the day Thursday night meant staying in and watching Seinfeld for many, Seinfeld was the cause of one of my first fights with my now husband when we first started dating. Spoiler alert – we didn’t break up.

I like to go out. Always have, and suspect I always will. I even started a blog about going out and doing things. It’s just part of my DNA.

Even in the days of “must see TV”, for me it was more of an “if I was home sure I’d watch it, but if there was something else going on I was out the door”. My husband, on the other hand, liked the idea of staying in to catch the Thursday night lineup and on one particular Thursday night when I really wanted to go out, and he really wanted to stay in, things got a little tense.

Although we stayed in that evening and watched Seinfeld, overall I missed a lot of must see TV to nights on the town. Some shows I’ve caught up on. Netflix streaming has been remarkably kind to shows from the nineties. My daughter has streamed friends so many times I now have the episodes memorized. And, I must say, Friends holds up.

Seinfeld the show doesn’t seem to hold up as well to me. But, Seinfeld the comedian is holding up just fine and still reigns supreme when it comes to observational humor.

How appropriate, given my lost battle to go out rather than stay in so many years ago, that Seinfeld’s set started off with a riff on going out. Somehow I think he would have been on my husband’s side. As he started his set, what really jumped out quickly was that Jerry Seinfeld still knows how to find the funny in everyday life.

Of course, I knew he would be funny. He’s Jerry Seinfeld. But, I actually didn’t think he would be as funny as he was. I don’t know why. Maybe I really am still bitter because of the rift he caused in my relationship back in the nineties. It’s probably time to let that go.

He walked onto the stage casually with no big announcement. Suddenly he was just there and ready to do his show. He had no tricks or gimmicks. What he did have was hilarious commentary on life’s little moments.

The set flowed seamlessly from topic to topic as you would expect from such a seasoned professional. He knows how to tell a story and how to take that story up a few notches finding the humor and absurdity in the mundane. I will never look at a bathroom stall the same way again. Thank you for that Jerry. Everyone can use a reason to smile when entering a public restroom.

I love the Merrill Auditorium. It’s a beautiful venue, but even though I’ve now seen two comedians there – Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin James – it still seems like a strange destination for a comedy show. I feel like I should be in a smaller venue, packed around round tables that are just a little too small to hold all your drinks. Comedy clubs have a certain vibe that no other show generates. While I understand the economics of it all and obviously someone like Jerry Seinfeld needs a larger venue, I miss that grittier, more intimate environment.

But whether seeing him in a large or small location,  Jerry Seinfeld is just plain funny and knows how to connect to an audience.

It was a fantastic way to spent a Friday evening, and Jerry did owe me a night on the town.

Jerry Seinfeld at the Merrill Auditorium

Jerry Seinfeld at the Merrill Auditorium


things to know
Venue Merrill Auditorium
Address 20 Myrtle St, Portland, ME 04101
Phone (207) 842-0800
Website Merrill Auditorium
Favorite ♥ Laughing

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