Jerry Seinfeld is not slowing down. Since the famous comedian ended his hit series back in 1998, he has continued to work as a standup comic. In recent years however he has taken on a new role. In 2012, Seinfeld debuted his online talk show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”. This show is very unique in that Seinfeld picks up his guests (the guests are always comedians) in fancy cars and has interesting conversations with them as they drive around and stop to get coffee and a meal. Some of his guests so far have included big names like Steve Martin, Jimmy Fallon, Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, Larry David, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert. The conversations are great because they include stories of how iconic comedians got their starts, the horrifying times that they bombed on stage, and just other random insights into their lives.
The great thing about “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” is that Seinfeld can make it uniquely his own. He has a love for cars and a love for comedy. Through his online show, he is able to showcase both. In a typical episode, Seinfeld will give a dazzling introduction of the car that will be featured in the episode. He will then tie it back to the guest and explain why he picked that particular car for that particular guest. The show flows well because the conversation always seems very natural. This is the case because usually, the guests are Seinfeld’s actual friends, and in the off chance that they are not, Jerry is able to connect with them because of the bond they share from both being comedians.
One of my favorite episodes was the one featuring Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. Since the 1950s, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner have gotten together for dinner nearly every night (at Reiner’s house) to eat and watch TV (usually pre-recorded Jeopardy). For this episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, they let Seinfeld join in on this nightly ritual. As the three ate off of their dinner trays in Reiner’s living room, they told jokes and talked about “Get Smart”, Blazing Saddles, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, and “The Producers”. Seinfeld even recalls a time when he was eight years old; he snuck backstage at a comedy show and met Carl Reiner and Alan King. At this show, he received both of their autographs and still has them today. As the three finish up their conversation, they say goodbye to each other. As Jerry is finally leaving, Carl says to him, “Hey Jerry, what’s the difference between a Frenchman and Jew?”, and then he continues, “A Frenchman leaves without saying goodbye, and a Jew says goodbye but never leaves!”
This episode, along with so many others gives viewers an inside look into the lives of comedy legends. We all know these comedians and love hearing them onstage or watching movies, plays, and sketches they wrote, but “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” gives us the inside look into their lives that we are otherwise unable to see.
Overall, however, all of these successful comics started out small. They crafted their materials, took it to the clubs, and saw what worked. Now, they are legends and talk about their careers with Jerry Seinfeld in extravagant cars. Can you imagine seeing a young Steve Martin perform at the clubs before his act blew up? How cool would it be to see a comedian perform before they became famous? Come check out the shows here at Stand Up NY. Young talent comes to perform here every night. You never know, maybe one day someone you see here will end up on a hit show or a receive his or her own Netflix special. Wouldn’t it be cool to say that you saw that person perform when they were just starting out?