Born in Brooklyn, Seinfeld became fascinated by comedians at the age of eight while watching them on television. "I remember my parents telling me, 'This man's job is to come out and be funny for people.' I could not believe it. 'That's his whole job?' I asked. 'Are you kidding me?' And they said, 'No, he's kidding us.'"
Raised in Massapequa ("It's an old Indian name that means 'by the mall'") Seinfeld began hitting the club circuit the night he graduated from Queens College; he performed stand-up for free at times just to perfect his act. He paid the bills with a variety of odd jobs, including working for a scam operation selling light bulbs over the phone (a job he has publicly apologized for) and peddling fake jewelry on the street. His work paid off when he became a regular guest on Late Night With David Letterman and the Tonight show.
In 1990, he was given the creative outlet of a lifetime: his own network sitcom. With his partner, Larry David (who was used as the model for the neurotic George Costanza), Seinfeld created a show about "nothing," devoting entire half hours to everything from waiting for a table in a Chinese restaurant to looking for a lost car in a mall garage. By 1993, his off-beat TV series had become a huge hit, both with the critics and with viewers, and that year won the Emmy for best comedy series. The extraordinarily successful series remained at the top of the ratings going into its ninth, and final, season.
Since then, Jerry has branched out with a popular book called Seinlanguage.