From The New Yorker:
Before Seinfeld, there were never any sitcoms that let their characters be purely selfish, treating the rest of humankind as a resource or obstacle while standing back and observing their shenanigans with a jaundiced detachment. But David’s “no learning” ethos has since become a mantra for the medium, at least insofar as it has encouraged the writers of sitcoms and dramas alike to be true to whatever their vision may be, and not trouble themselves too much with whether you approve of what the characters say and do. Would Tony Soprano have strangled that snitch in the woods, would Six Feet Under’s Nate Fisher have been a sonofabitch right up to his final moments on Earth, would 30 Rock’s Jenna have treated the entire known universe as a ladder leading to her own career success, if Seinfeld hadn’t steamrolled an artistic path for them back in the early ’90s?
Even the end of Seinfeld feels like a harbinger of a particular kind of finale: one in which a show’s creators seem to be deliberately provoking the viewers to hate them and question whether the years they spent watching the series were wasted. The foursome were literally put on trial for being assholes after watching a man get carjacked in small-town Massachusetts and cracking jokes about his weight instead of helping him. (Kramer videotaped the whole thing.) The episode had, to use an aughts word, a troll-y quality. On the one hand, it seemed to be giving a certain sector of the audience—moralizers who were deeply uncomfortable with how much they enjoyed Seinfeld—a kind of catharsis-by-punishment. (David Chase would later joke that Seinfeld and The Sopranos should have switched endings.) The last pre-credits moment—Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer blathering cheerfully in a holding cell—seemed like a middle finger to viewers who wanted confirmation that the characters had grown or at least seen the error of their ways. The credits unreeled over footage of Jerry in an orange jumpsuit, performing for an audience of fellow prisoners. Once again, the Seinfeld characters had reverted to type, hugging no one, learning nothing. Not giving a damn what anyone thinks of you can land a person in jail, but for artists, it’s liberating.
Jerry Seinfeld sat down with Wired to answer a number of technology-related etiquette questions like “Is it okay to video a concert with my iPad?”
As technology pioneers, we are inundated with new gadgets, services, apps, messaging, games, and media. We’re doxing, vaping, and Lyfting. And that means there are new rules for how to behave. Is it ok to answer an email during dinner? Is Google Glass ever cool? We got some help from Jerry Seinfeld, keen observer of social mores and foibles, on how to cope with modern technology… and whether it’s ok to “Like” a Facebook posting that someone died.
Last week, Jerry Seinfeld presented a fourth-season episode of his smash web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a uniquely personal and intimate look at comedy and life with such luminaries as David Letterman, Tina Fey, and Chris Rock. Held at The Paley Center for Media in New York, Jerry discussed the production of this compelling and hilarious project, but unfortunately coffee was not allowed in the theater. You can watch the video in full here.
Father And Son Wins The Final Four With Synchronized Dance: http://wp.me/p3gdJT-aeh
Jerry Seinfeld stopped by Reddit for one of its famous Ask Me Anythings a few weeks back, and he has a few interesting thoughts on life for anyone to follow:
On Critics: “Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist…Instead of fighting them, I would say “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem” and the audience would find it funny and it would really discombobulate the heckler too, because I wouldn’t go against them, I would take their side.”
On Having Enthusiasm: “In fact I would go so far as to say that was the key to the entire show, was that we really felt like together we were funny, and then the audience felt it, and that’s how you can somehow catch lightning in a bottle.”
On His Popularity: “That’s why I wanted to go back into doing standup comedy, because as the star of your own TV show you don’t get treated like that but as a standup performer you do get treated like that. It was hilarious, and absurd, but standup is a life of just brutal reality which is the opposite of the life I had been leading in LA and that I missed.”
On Creativity: “Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.”
On Having A Dream: “I chose comedy because I thought it seemed much easier than work. And more fun than work. It turned out to be much harder than work, and not easy at all. But you still don’t have to ever really grow up. And that’s the best thing of all.”
New York City video editor LJ Frezza has created “Nothing,” a six-minute supercut video of empty scenes from the television comedy series Seinfeld where nothing is happening, even though Jerry has said the show is a show about nothing.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently performed standup on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — the very first comedian to do so during Fallon’s tenure. After Jerry recalls performing on The Tonight Show in LA in the 1980s, he talks about how his style of parenting is drastically different than his generation’s upbringing.
Jerry Seinfeld and his special guest, Tina Fey (30 Rock), drive a 1967 Volvo 1800S to Floridita Restaurant for some coffee.