Have you heard the one about...you have?

Went to see Seinfeld tonight at the Paramount. I saw him here in Seattle the last time he was touring. I think that was two years ago. In between, the movie The Comedian came out, documenting Jerry's motivation for returning to standup (despite his hundreds of millions of dollars), the stress of coming up with a routine, etc. I was expecting an hour plus worth of new material about the absurdity of the mundane.
So it was a shock when, just a short way into his routine, he told a joke he told last time. It took me a minute or two to process. I did a double take. Did he just tell that joke about the cereal called Life again? Did I put in the wrong DVD? Nope, it was true, Seinfeld was committing the comedic equivalent of the double dip. Same joke about the boredom of conversation during dating ("I want to sleep with you but I don't think I'm going to make it"), the tones of voice in marriage, the use of "ass" in conversation, the very fine line between "great" and "sucks", how his life sucks but not quite as badly as our lives sucked, and the concluding joke about the ice cream scoop that falls out of the cone onto the sidewalk.
Granted, about half the material, maybe a little more, was new. And some jokes are still funny the second time around. But even though these routines are meticulously rehearsed, the illusion of spontaneity is part of the entire experience, and hearing the exact same punchlines delivered the same way yet again burst that bubble. His material is still great, but I paid full price of $75 for about half a show of new material, and that sucked. I thought only the Dave Matthews Band got away with extorting their customers in concert year after year with the same material.
You know, Jerry was right, there isn't a that much difference between "great" and "sucks."
[Note: this isn't the first time I've heard Seinfeld reuse material. I heard him on David Letterman or one of those late night talk shows once, and he started spewing a bunch of jokes which I had read months earlier in his book.
I came home tonight and they were airing a Dave Chappelle standup concert on HBO, and I hadn't heard any of these jokes before, and while I can't reprint any of his jokes here for fear of offending someone, he was hilarious and I laughed my liver silly. So in the end, I did receive a full night's worth of new material.]