LARRY PLATT: Brenner gave birth to a generation of “observational” comics – funny men who examined small moments closely and poked fun at life’s minutiae. To borrow the now-infamous “Seinfeld” phrase, Brenner’s act was the first to be about nothing. In the same way that Dr. J paved the way for Michael Jordan, Brenner gave us Jerry Seinfeld, much to his chagrin. About a decade ago, a woman in the audience called out to Brenner: “Do you think in his quiet moments alone, Jerry Seinfeld admits you’re the original?” The crowd cheered. […] Turns out, Jerry was more than a wide-eyed admirer of Brenner in the New York comedy clubs of the ’70s: “Years ago, when I was walking into a club, Jerry came running up to me and said, ‘Don’t do your license- plate bit – I just did it.’ ” […] Brenner came of age with Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Albert Brooks and Richard Lewis, one of his closest friends, who warmly signs off his emails to Brenner with the words, “Blow Me.” Today, Brenner said, not only are stand-ups not funny – they’re not committed. They’re in it solely to land a cushy sitcom. MORE

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