As hard as it is to believe, it belongs to Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in cars getting coffee It turns 10 this year. The road-trip talk show — in which Seinfeld and his comedian pals hop into vintage cars and talk shop on their way to grab a cup of java — premiered on Crackle on July 19, 2012, then moved to greener streaming pastures on Netflix in 2018. .
In its 11 seasons, Seinfeld has hosted every influential comic in the business — his Seinfeld Co-creators include Larry David, David Letterman, the late Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Steve Martin and Tracy Morgan. Along the way, he hosted a few comedy-adjacent people: then-President Barack Obama joined him for season seven in a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, then had coffee with Seinfeld in the White House staff dining room.
To commemorate its tin anniversary, Seinfeld has compiled some of the most memorable exchanges from the series. Comedians in cars getting coffee books (Simon & Schuster). Available Nov. 22, and packed with funny stories and insights into the stand-up psyche, it’s a holiday gift for the comedy lover in your life.
Seinfeld, 68, joined The Hollywood Reporter For a chat about what he finds funny, what he’s working on (including his Pop-Tart movie for Netflix), and his own thoughts on the debate currently rocking the comedy world: the controversial Nov. 12 Saturday Night Live Monologue by Dave Chappelle (yes, appeared in one episode Getting coffee and features in the book).
I really enjoy reading the book. What I love about it is that you let us into the whole psychology of the comics, and that’s what I love about the show. What do you think is different from the general population and what makes a comic a comic?
A true comic really cares about nothing but laughs. Everything else in human life seems artificial and meaningless.
There was an interesting exchange in the book where you talk to Dave Chappelle about how Chris Rock has a real edge and he talks in announcements. You refer to his delivery using words like “commands” and “closing arguments.” I really like that idea – comedians should take routine thoughts and make them more extreme.
Yes of course. In fact, the dumber the concept you present, the more interesting it is. I think “this might be a real relevant thought” when it starts to materialize or start to become.
Do you think that somehow gets lost in translation with audiences now? Perhaps in the growth of social media, somehow, in the journey from stage to regular discourse, people forget that these are extreme versions of thought?
It is clearly developing as we speak. I watched a stand-up special this morning [there were] Tons of great jokes. But it shows us the tremendous mental pain you are going through which is now an essential and necessary factor. We want to see it. We want to know how much damage you suffered, in what way, and whose fault it was. Now it’s become part of what people want from stand-ups.
[Audiences] Seems very fond of stand-ups. I think that’s kind of an indictment of other forms of entertainment. Hey, movies and TV do most of this work. We want to tell jokes. But now people are looking for depth from stand-up comics. I always think, “Well, the last thing I want to hear is Rodney Dangerfield really screwing up.” I don’t want to know! Enough with the jokes. Take pain, tell jokes.
I was listening to you The New York Times A video interview where you explain how you wrote the Pop-Tart joke. I really liked it because you broke it down in a way I’ve never seen before. You liken crafting jokes to songwriting – that you have to be in a certain beat or rhythm and sometimes it comes down to shaving off the letters for laughs.
So comedy is a science to you. It earns a laugh mathematically.
Some parts are mathematical, other parts are just – it’s noise. I was talking to this comedian the other day, actually it was today. He has a bit about a dune buggy. I just thought, “Whoah. I want to say Dune Buggy every night. Just an interesting sound.
So sometimes that’s part of the music – interesting sounds to say. You always try. I have this long thing about personal storage areas, and there’s a part of it where I go, “You have to dismantle the lock.” I’m not saying “get into it.” I’m not saying “struggle to get into it”. But the words “got into a lock.” It’s fun for the ears.
I used to do this about bathroom stalls that said “under display viewing window”. There is no word “under display”. No sentence, it does not exist. I made it and everyone will understand it instantly. But that’s part of the music – where it’s an entertainment for your ears. Totally for your ears.
And there are some interesting characters. I hear an interesting letter like “k”.
Yes, because they cut.
I was watching my favorite comedians Jon Stewart and Colbert discuss Dave Chappelle. SNL Monologue. I’m curious where you fall on that. Did you find this funny?
I thought the comedy was well executed, but I think the subject matter calls for a conversation that I don’t think I want in this venue.
But it upset you.
It provokes a conversation, which is productive.
Is that the conversation you have with Dave? Because you seem to have a close relationship with him.
I am not close to him. We are friends, it’s not a close relationship.
Back to the Pop-Tarts thing, where are you with the Netflix Pop-Tarts movie? [Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story]?
Watching it on Netflix today for the first time since I finished editing, we’ll see where it goes next week. It should be out early next year, I think.
Not funny. Are you happy with the first cut? Can you tell me something about that? I mean, it’s all fictional, right? This is not a true retelling of the original Pop-Tarts story.
Well, no. There is no story. But the two elements we use to start the story are true, namely that the Post came up with the idea, and Kellogg heard about it and said, “We should do the same.” And I kind of told the story The right things Between NASA and the Soviet Union.
Yes, the Pop-Tarts Race. (laughing.)
Well, I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m a huge pop-tarts lover, so you’re talking to the target audience here. I was also curious about something else: you surprised everyone by becoming a model. I’m curious how that happened — Kith fashion spread.
It was my son’s idea. They told me to get dressed. I got dressed. (laughing.) I had a friend who was taking pictures of this brilliant photographer, and I thought, “This is going to be on somebody’s back page. W magazine.” That no one will ever see.
Oh well. It didn’t happen.
It was a crazy, weird thing how it happened. It was very interesting. It shows how predictable you can be about the world. Frankly, I’m shocked that anyone even saw it. But of course a lot of people saw it and it was very funny to me. Literally took an hour, all of it. “Put this jacket on and I’ll sit here.” “Take a picture.” “Give me that hat.” “I’ll sit there.” “Take that picture.” We were just cheating.
Has it opened up other modeling opportunities?
Yes. Yes. I’m going to do a lot of modeling.
So back to the book. What are you doing to encourage it? Are you signing anything or making an in-person appearance?
Yes, I do this. This. You have to help me with that.
I’m going to help you!
thank you sir Netflix asked me if I could do a book party for the book. So we will do that. And I don’t know, doing something else seems like a good thing.
Are you going to tour in 2023?
Yes, I started the tour this month. I put the materials together. But yeah, I’m doing shows now.
Terrible. I saw you at the Pantages and it was so funny. I love what a pain it is to even get to the theater.
Yes. Yes. And then come back.
Finally, I’m curious, who are all your stars? Comedians of our generation.
Our generation. That’s a bit broad. What is the age limit you give me to work?
Well, they must be alive and over 40 years old.
Living and above 40 years. Who do I really love that I’ve seen? Do you, it’s a bit vague. I don’t know how long you stand. Have you ever seen Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers. It’s on Netflix. You must be able to read Chendamela to buy tickets to go to the show. Because it’s all about the drumming, but it’s not really. It’s like 15, 20 minutes of drumming material. But it is absolutely brilliant. It’s a great stand-up special.
I love a lot of people. I love Ronnie Cheung The Daily Show. I love his stance. I think that’s great. I love earthquakes. I think he’s incredible. I love real hardball stand-up. No, I’m not interested in funny stories from your journal. I want to hear about things that absolutely shouldn’t happen.
So who else have I really been loving lately? I love everything Chris Rock does. I mean, like guys who really go for the jugular comedy. Is that right? Not so much, “I want you to know who I really am.”
You could care less.
Not that I don’t care. But we need jokes. It’s like a Woody Allen chicken joke. Do you remember that? It’s like the guy goes to a psychiatrist. He says, “I think my brother is a chicken. I don’t know what to do for him. ” says the psychiatrist, “why don’t you send him in?” He says, “I would, but we need eggs.” It’s about “we need jokes.”
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.