Although it is hard to believe, Jerry Seinfeld‘s Comedians in cars getting coffee He is 10 years old this year. The talk show Road Trip — in which Seinfeld and his fellow comedians are in vintage cars and a talk shop on their way to grab a cup of java — premiered July 19, 2012, on Crackle, and then moved to the rolling green pastures of Netflix in 2018.
For 11 seasons, Seinfeld has hosted just about every standout comedian in the business — sidekick Seinfeld Among them, Larry David, David Letterman, the late Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Steve Martin, and Tracy Morgan. Along the way, he’s hosted a few neighborhood comics, too: He was joined by then-President Barack Obama in his 1963 Corvette Stingray in Season 7, then grabbed coffee with Seinfeld in the White House staff dining room.
To celebrate the tin anniversary, Seinfeld has rounded up some of the most memorable exchanges from the series in a nutshell Comedians in cars getting coffee (Simon & Schuster). Available November 22nd and filled with entertaining anecdotes and ideas about your spare self, it’s a no-brainer holiday gift for the comedy fan in your life.
Seinfeld, 68, joined Hollywood Reporter For a conversation about what he finds funny, what he’s working on (including his own Pop-Tart on Netflix) and his own thoughts on the debate rocking the comedy world right now: Controversial November 12th Saturday Night Live monologue delivered Dave Chappelle (Which, yes, appeared on an episode of Get coffee and features in the book too).
I really enjoy reading the book. I think what I love about it, and it’s also what I love about the show, is that you really let us get into the whole psychology of comedy. What do you think makes a comic strip humorous and different from ordinary residents?
A true comedian doesn’t really care about anything else but laughter. Everything else in a person’s life seems artificial and useless.
There was an interesting exchange in the book where I spoke to Dave Chappelle about how Chris Rock has a real edge and he speaks in statements. You refer to his delivery using words like “commandments” and “closing arguments.” I really like this idea — that comedians should take regular ideas and make them more extreme.
Oh yeah, sure. In fact, the dumber the idea you present, the more fun it is. I think when it starts to get real, or it starts to become, “This might be an actual related idea,” the fun is gone.
Do you think that somehow gets lost in translation with the masses now? Perhaps that in the rise of social media, in some way, in the journey from stage to ordinary discourse, people forget that these are extreme versions of ideas?
Obviously, this is evolving as we speak. I watched a stand-up special this morning and [there were] Tons of great jokes. But the essential and much-needed element now is that it shows us the enormous psychological pain in which you live. We want to see it. We want to know exactly how and how much you were harmed and in what way and who went wrong. And that became part of what people want from vigils now.
[Audiences] He looks very fond of standing. And I think that’s kind of an indictment of other forms of entertainment. Like, hey, movies and TV are supposed to do most of this work. We just want to tell jokes. But now people are looking for depth from stand-up comics. I always think, “Well, the last thing I’d want to hear is what was really bothering Rodney Dangerfield.” I do not want to know! Just give me the jokes. Take the pain, give me the jokes.
I was watching you The New York Times Video interview where you were explaining how you wrote your Pop-Tart joke. I really loved it because you were breaking it down in a way I’ve never seen before. She likened crafting a joke to writing songs—it has to be on a certain beat or beat, and sometimes it’s a matter of shaving syllables to get a laugh.
For you, comedy is a science. She gains laughter mathematically.
Some parts are arithmetic, and other parts are just — it’s sound. I was talking to this comedian the other day, actually it was today. He has a little bit about dune buggy. And I just thought, “Wow. I wish I could say dune buggy every night.” Just a fun sound.
So sometimes that’s the musical part – sounds fun to say. You always try. I have this long one on personal storage areas and there’s a part where I go, “You have to crack the lock.” I don’t say “hack it”. I’m not saying “strive to get into it”. But the phrase “bust in lock”. It is pleasant to the ear.
I used to do this thing about bathroom stalls where I would say “the invisible window display”. There is no word “undersupply”. There is no phrase, it does not exist. I made it up and everyone immediately understood it. But that’s the music part – where it’s entertaining to your ear. Just to your ear.
And there are some characters that are supposed to be funnier. Like “k” I hear is a funny letter.
Yes, because they cut their way.
I was just watching Jon Stewart and Colbert, two of my favorite comedians, discuss Dave Chappelle SNL Monologue. I am just curious where it is located. Did you find it funny?
I thought the comedy was well done, but I think the subject warrants a conversation that I don’t think I’d like to have in this setting.
But it made you uncomfortable.
It sparks a conversation that will hopefully be productive.
And is this the kind of conversation you’d have with Dave? Because you seem to have a close relationship with him.
I do not have a close relationship with him. We are friends, not a close relationship.
Getting back to the topic of Pop-Tarts, where are you with the Netflix Pop-Tarts movie [Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story]?
Watching it on Netflix today for the first time after I just finished editing and then we’ll see where it is next week. I think it should be released early next year.
no kidding. Are you happy with the first cut? Can you tell us anything about it? I mean, it’s all fictional, right? It is not a true retelling of the actual Pop-Tarts story.
Well, no. There is no story. But there are two valid elements that we use to start the story, and that is that Post came up with this idea and Kellogg heard about it and said, “We have to do the same thing.” Hence the story told as it is The right kinds With NASA vs. the Soviet Union.
Yes, the Pop-Tarts race. (Laugh.)
Well, I’m definitely looking forward to that. I’m a fan of Pop-Tarts, so you’re talking to your target audience here. I was also curious about something else: you surprised everyone by becoming a model. I’m curious how that happened – this KITH fashion spread.
It was my son’s idea. They just asked me to get dressed. I get dressed. (Laugh.) I had a friend who was this brilliant photographer taking pictures and I thought, ‘This is going to be on the back page for some w magazine.” that no one would ever see.
Oh, okay. This did not happen.
It was crazy and weird how that happened. It was so much fun. It just shows you how little you can predict about the world. Honestly, I’m totally shocked that anyone saw this. But of course a lot of people saw that and it was very funny to me. It took an hour, that whole thing. “Put this jacket on and I’ll sit here.” “take a picture.” “Give this hat.” “I’ll sit there.” “Take that picture.” We were just fooled.
Have you opened up other modeling opportunities?
yes. yes. I will do a lot of modeling.
So back to the book. What do you do to promote it? Do you do any autographs or personal attendance?
Yes, I do this. this is. You are supposed to help me with that.
I’m going to help you!
thank you sir. Netflix just asked me if they could throw me a book party for the book. So we will. And I don’t know, anything else seems to be working fine.
And will she tour at all in 2023?
Yes, I started touring this month. I’m just getting the material together. But yeah, I’m doing shows now.
Fabulous. I saw you in Pantages and it was so funny. I love what a little pain in the ass it is to even get to the stage.
yes. yes. And then you have to go back.
Finally, I’m just curious, who are your stars? Our Generation Comedy All-Stars.
Our generation. This is a bit broad. What age range would you give me for the job?
Well, they must be alive and over 40 years old.
Alive and over 40. Who really loved who I watched? Is this a bit vague. I don’t know how deep you stand. Have you ever watched Fred Armisen: Stand up for drummers. It’s on Netflix. You must be able to play a snare drum to get a ticket to go to the show. Because it’s all about the drums, but it really isn’t. It’s just like 15 or 20 minutes of playing the drums. But it’s absolutely amazing. It’s a great special offer.
I like a lot of people. I like Ronnie Ching who does The Daily Show. I like his attitude. I think it’s very excellent. I love earthquake. I think it’s incredible. I love the real stiff stand. No, I’m not interested in amusing anecdotes from your journal. I want to hear about things that never would have happened.
So who has he really been in love with lately? I love everything Chris Rock does. I mean, like guys who really go for the jugular comedian. right? Not so much, “I want you to know who I really am.”
You could care less.
It’s not that I don’t care. But we need jokes. It’s like Woody Allen’s chicken joke. do you remember that? It’s like a man goes to a psychiatrist. He says, “My brother thinks he’s a chicken. I don’t know what to do for him.” The psychiatrist says, “Why don’t you send him in?” He says, “I will, but we need the eggs.” It’s about, “We need the jokes.”
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.