Jerry Seinfeld

January 6, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld here. I will give you an answer.

Hi, I’m Jerry Seinfeld, I’m very excited to be here to answer your questions.

I am a comedian, and have been for about 40 years, but I also created the show SEINFELD with my friend Larry David, and now I have a web series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (

Last week was the start of CCC’s third season, and my guest was Louis CK (who has told me great things about reddit). I'm at the reddit office with Victoria for this AMA having some coffee.

Ok, I’m ready. Go ahead. Ask me anything.

This has been so much fun to meet so many reddits. But now that I did it, I gotta quit it. By the way, here's a preview of next week's episode of CCC, you guys are the first to hear it:

Thanks a lot guys!

Please tell us about the first time you met Larry David and what was your initial impression of him? 

The first time I met him, that's a long story... I actually was eavesdropping on him talking to another comedian, and I wasn't even in comedy yet. But he was leaning on my car in front of the Improv on 9th Ave and 44th Street, and this would be probably 1975. That was the first time I ever saw him. But we didn't talk. But him and this other comedian were leaning on the fender of my car, and I knew that they were real comedians and I was still just flirting with it. So I don't know if that answers the question.

Then when we finally did talk in the bar Catch a Rising Star on 1st Ave and 78th Street 2 or 3 years after that, we couldn't stop talking. We were both obsessed with the smallest possible issue.

The first time I met him, that's a long story... I actually was eavesdropping on him talking to another comedian, and I wasn't even in comedy yet. But he was leaning on my car in front of the Improv on 9th Ave and 44th Street, and this would be probably 1975. That was the first time I ever saw him. But we didn't talk. But him and this other comedian were leaning on the fender of my car, and I knew that they were real comedians and I was still just flirting with it. So I don't know if that answers the question.

Then when we finally did talk in the bar Catch a Rising Star on 1st Ave and 78th Street 2 or 3 years after that, we couldn't stop talking. We were both obsessed with the smallest possible issue.

You know what's funny? He doesn't even know that story.

My car was a 1973 Fiat 128 SL.

Is this my coffee or yours?

You're on a desert island, and can only bring 5 of your favorite cars. Which 5 do you bring?

This is an absurd scenario. First of all, cars and desert are a bad combination. I would only bring one car to a desert island and that would be a VW Dune Buggy. No other cars are fun in the desert.

hey jerry -

i just watched the episode of comedians in cars getting coffee with louis ck (which was really, really funny, especially the animation for the boat story). you said that the whole drug side effects was a bad comedy premise. as a guy who wants to do what you do because of you, and just someone interested in stuff, why do you think that’s a bad premise? you never said.

It's too obviously dumb to make fun of. And it's been made fun of by countless comedians, so that's your first signal of a subject to avoid. If you've seen 8 comedians talk about something, you want to not talk about that, unless you can talk about it in a completely new way.

Thanks for doing this Jerry, Seinfeld is my #1 favourite show of all time and I love CICGC as an interviewing model!

***My questions are:

1) -- What is your favourite backstage moment that isn't documented behind the scenes, interviews, etc?

2) -- How did you cope emotionally, socially, etc, after Seinfeld was over?

(P.S. I actually loved Bee Movie and all of its bee-utiful puns!)

Edit: posting from Australia EST where it's 5am!

1) I do kind of like in the documentary I did in 2002, called Comedian, there's one point where I'm performing at Governor's in Levittown at the absolute height of Seinfeldmania. And the club owner comes in the dressing room and says to me "I need you offstage by 9:15." And I said "what?" And I was performing there to create a new act. It was kind of a big deal that I would come to that small club, and the owner of the club just treated me absolutely the same as everybody else, and I just thought that was so funny. That was one of my favorite moments in that documentary. 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.

People are eating chinese food here in the reddit office, with chopsticks.

2) That's a good question. It's kind of the same answer. Going back into doing standup was very grounding because there's no faking standup. There's no coddling in standup. There's no preciousness in standup.

Thank you!

Hey Jerry, first off I’d just like to say you’re an amazing comedian, one of the greats, which makes me waking up here in Australia at 5 am just for this AMA even more worth it. Now I know a lot of people here are going to be talking about Larry David’s and your masterpiece of a show Seinfeld which I’d like to congratulate you on, it is one of the funniest television shows I’ve seen to this day. I’d like to ask two questions if I may, one about Seinfeld and the other about your recent Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Thank you for taking time out of your day for this AMA, it means a lot to people to have the chance to talk to a legend of comedy. On behalf of this AMA, I wish you luck with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

1) Working with the cast was pure heaven for me. We were as well suited to each other as it seems when you watch the show. We enjoyed each other's company enormously. That was one of the big things that made the show work, I think.

2) Well, there have been many. I think for me, one of the most incredible is in this week's episode with Louis CK, the 2 italian gentlemen at the beginning of the show, we found them right there. I just said to the PA to see if they could find 2 italian guys to argue about the car, and he came back 5 minutes later with 2 italian guys. And that was just so shocking. If I told you to go out on the streets of New York to find 2 old italian guys to argue about a car, it would take you what, 10 minutes, 20 minutes? We filmed it at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, and that Josh Ricks was able to find 2 italian guys... I said "How did you do that?"

The fact that the show is even a show is the most amazing thing to me. To me, it's a very personal fanciful notion of a show that I didn't ever think could go beyond the comedy geek community. And it seems to. Here I am on reddit!

Thank you for answering my questions, it means a lot being able to talk to an actor that really helped define my sense of comedy in my ways, best of luck, this totally made it with the early wake up.

Thank you!

What, above all other things, is the neatest most fascinating and cool thing you get to do on a daily basis?

WOW. First of all, GREAT question.

That I get to do on a daily basis? Probably walk to work. I think that's about the coolest thing that there is. Or take my bike. If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that's just about the coolest thing that there is. Every morning I listen to the traffic on the radio, and they talk about how they are jammed and I just laugh. I love traffic. I love traffic reports because I'm not in any of them.

Where do you 'work??'

I work down the street from where I live. In New York City. See ya there.

[No question]

someone asked what was my favorite conversation topic on Season 3 of CICGC: I like all of them. Todd Barry and I had a little conversation about what do you think about what happens to all those shirts at Macy's. You walk in there, there are thousands of shirts, where do they go? They don't sell out. You don't walk into Macy's and see thousands of empty hangers, it's just one of those things that nobody talks about. I could talk about anything with another comedian as long as it's dumb. That's the whole idea of the show right there, by the way.

If you weren't doing comedy, what would you want to do?


What was your favorite episode of Seinfeld to film?

Well, I'll give you two. One was the The Rye, because we got to shoot that at Paramount Studios in LA which was the first time that we thought "wow this is almost like a real TV show." We hadn't felt like a real TV show, the early years of the TV show were not successful. We had this idea of a Marble Rye and we had to shoot it in an outdoor set, and this was a very expensive thing to do, it's like a movie place there at Paramount in LA. Their standing set for New York looks exactly like it, and we thought "this is where the ADULT shows are, the REAL shows like Murphy Brown." We felt like we were a weird little orphan show. So that was a big deal for us.

And that was very exciting, we were up all night shooting it on the set of paramount and it was very exciting.

The other one that was really fun was in the episode The Pothole, Newman drives his mailtruck over a sewing machine and his mail truck burst into flames. It was really fun to shoot, and it was fun to set Newman on fire. And he screamed "oh the humanity" like from the Hindenberg disaster. It's one of my favorites.

Wait, was "oh the humanity" improvised? That's one of my favorite ever lines from Seinfeld dude

No, that was in the script.

No, that was in the script.

We improvised virtually nothing, as a matter of fact. That's how good the actors were, that it sometimes seems like they are improvising. But we also knew each other so well that we knew exactly what sentences to put in their mouths that would seem natural. We just knew how they talked as people and as the characters, and that's what's really fun about the TV series is that you become an ecosystem where people feed on each other. The actors would inspire the writers and the writers would inspire the actors and it becomes a tropical depression.

Hi Jerry!

Thanks for doing this ama!

I think most people know that you're a Superman fan. My question is - do you have any Superman comics or collectibles in your home? And if so - what do you consider to be your most prized Superman piece of merchandise?

I have a few old Supermans with the Curt Swan art from the 60's. But nothing impressive. I have a really nice model of Kal-El being loaded into the rocket and then another model of the rocket landing in from of Ma and Pa Kent. Those are my best Superman collectibles.

Your opinion on the new Superman film "Man of Steel"?

I was so happy that they made another Superman movie! I'm really reluctant to be critical of it in any way. But I thought the glossing over of the figuring out a secret identity and why he felt he needed one was a huge missed opportunity for that character, and one of the most interesting things about Superman is the whole secret identity. So to me it was too much action / violence and not enough character study.

Hey Mr. Seinfeld. Im a huge fan of your comedy and my dream is to be a comedian like you someday. My question is, what made you decide to do comedy as a career? Anyone have doubts?

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.

Dear Jerry, thank you for doing this AMA!

In the TV show Seinfeld, Jerry was about to get a deal with the NBC to start producing a show about "nothing", basically making this a selfreference to the very show the characters where in. I have never stopped wondering what similarities there might be between the creation process of "Seinfeld" and the creation process of "Jerry".

How did Seinfeld come to be? What obstacles did you face when pitching your idea of a show about "nothing"? Who supported you and who didn't?

The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material. The show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it's the opposite of that.

Yeah, I'm always annoyed by people who describe Seinfeld as a show about nothing. Even in the later years when you guys strayed from the "how a comedian gets his material" formula, it was still about social faux pas and ridiculous social customs.

FINALLY I have met someone that understands the show. Thank you for your rare and perceptive analysis.

Just one question: Are you the master of your domain?

Never try and make a comedian laugh with one of his own jokes.

What really ever happened to George's Sable hat? (S8 E8)

It probably went back to the prop department where it came from.

Hello and welcome to Reddit!

Did you keep all those sneakers you wore over the years? If so, how many pairs do you own?

Not unlike yourself, I have thrown out my old sneakers.

Jerry, I've always wondered why you dont do more animated stuff? Was bee movie a pain in the butt or something? Im a 28 year old dude who isn't afraid to admit bee movie is in my top 5. Loved it hahaha.

First of all, thank you so much for liking Bee movie. Animated stuff is a little effort-intensive. And the complete opposite of being in front of a live audience. So as much as I like the final result, the process was a little tough for me to do.

Can you tell us how your white sneaker collection first started?

It started with wanting to be Joe Namath of the 1969 New York jets, who at that time was one of the only football players to wear white shoes. And I wanted to be like him, so I always wore white sneakers. Also, Bill Cosby on I SPY always wore white sneakers. And they were my fashion icons.

Thanks for doing the AMA and I love the CCC series. What is your favorite way to relax and unwind?

Somtimes after a show on the road, I will find a place to have a cigar in an alleyway next to the hotel with a friend of mine, and I find that very relaxing. Also, driving relaxes me a lot and listening to music or sports radio.

What do you think of the Twitter accounts which imagine Seinfeld in modern times? Stuff like and, I mean.

Oh this is a very painful subject. As you can probably imagine, over the 9 years of doing the show, Larry David and I sat through hundreds of ideas that people wanted to do on the show. And most of the ideas are not good. Which I saw Larry say the other day on some show, somebody asked him the same question and he said "I know you think it's funny, but it's really hard." The ideas that Larry and I would respond to, I don't even know, they just need to be very unique. It's just a lot harder than it seems to come up with. And particularly for that show, where we tried to do things that were unusual, and you had to go through a lot of ideas to find the ones you like.

I for one would love to see Kramer on twitter. His analysis of human behavior is amazing. Remember when he almost guessed George's password just by analyzing his character?!

On that note, the real Jerry twitter is also pretty cool!

I know I should tweet more, but sometimes I just can't think of a tweet.

How do you feel about laugh tracks on sitcoms?

This was something we struggled with quite often on Seinfeld. Because we had real laughs on the scenes that were shot in front of an audience, but then we would shoot other scenes that were not in front of the audience (which didn't have any laughs) and then it felt like a bit of a mismatch, so we tried to compromise and put in a subtle laugh track. I think that one of the fun things of a sitcom is feeling like you're in an audience even though you're home, watching it by yourself. I have to say I like some sitcoms with them and some without. Depends on the show.

My all time favorite is in the puffy shirt episode when you can hear a woman in the audience shriek out "OH MY GOD!"

That's funny.

Hi Jerry, enormous fan. Seinfeld is my favorite show of all time, and I have a question about it.

In some scenes, it's apparent that you're ready to crack up, and of course there are the famous outtakes like Kramer's "look away, I'm hideous" scene in which you completely lose it. Is there a scene in particular you remember as being funniest to you in the moment as you were acting it out?

That's an excellent choice, the one that you mentioned, because I can still remember how brutally funny that was to me. The thing about the show is that you have to realize that I had to look into the faces of those people, six inches away, so if you think Kramer is funny on TV, imagine his real face six inches from your nose, how funny that is. You can't imagine. It's impossible not to laugh. So I would.

Great to hear that, because sometimes it's the opposite: things are funny on screen or stage but just uncomfortable up close. I guess the fact that you guys found each other genuinely funny was part of what made the funny contagious for viewers.

You're absolutely 1000% right. 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.

I’m a car guy like you, and I was recently at a garage in Houston that had some cars. One of which happened to be a 1967 Porsche 906E, which they said was previously owned by you. If true, what made you give this Porsche the boot from your collection? Here are some pictures I took:

I did own that car at one time. Isn't it beautiful? I sold it because I had something that was a little similar, a 907, and I don't like to have too much of the same thing.

Hi Jerry, big fan. Any stories that you can tell about your most memorable heckle? Or how did you handle your first when doing stand-up?

Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist. So that when people would say something nasty, I would immediately become very sympathetic to them and try to help them with their problem and try to work out what was upsetting them, and try to be very understanding with their anger. It opened up this whole fun avenue for me as a comedian, and no one had ever seen that before. Some of my comedian friends used to call me - what did they say? - that I would counsel the heckler instead of fighting them. 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.

Hey Mr. Seinfeld, who's your favorite minor character from the show?

How minor?

How minor?

We had a GREAT bench of semi-regulars. Newman, Frank Costanza, Jay Peterman - do you consider those minor characters? Because I don't. My favorite minor character was the guy who ran the parking lot who when you went to get your car, he said "we can't do it, we can't get your car."

After creating arguably the most successful sitcom in the history of television, do you think modern comedy shows(How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, or even Comedians in Cars getting Coffee) live up to the precedent Seinfeld set? If not, do they have the potential?

Edit: I understand these show don't live up to Seinfeld. I wanted to see Jerry's opinion on them; after all, they are the most succesful shows on air today.

I think the fans of every show love that show as much as anybody loves any show, that's why they make lots of shows because there are lots of people and everybody has their own opinions. I don't think there's anything like a "best show" I kind of hate that concept. I think awards are kind of stupid, there is no best movie or best actor, what you like is best for you. If everybody liked the same thing there would be just one dish. That's why they have a menu because everybody likes something different.

Hey Jerry, thanks for doing this, love your work. My question: were there ever story ideas that you had to scrap for Seinfeld because you felt they pushed the limits too far?

Yes. There was one episode where Jerry bought a handgun. And we started making it and stopped in the middle and said "this doesn't work." We did the read-through and then cancelled it. A lot of other stuff happened, but trying to make that funny ended up being no fun.

what if sienfeld still on tv today?

Everything would have had to change. The character would have gotten married and started families, I suppose. But I still think everything has its life cycle and if you respect it, people enjoy it longer. And if you disrespect it - look at THE HANGOVER movie. If you made just one, the movie would be a comedy legend. Because they made 3, it isn't.

Hi Jerry!

I was wondering, do you still write a big 'X' on your calendar every day?

Best! Sebastiaan

This is hilarious to me, that somehow I am getting credit for making an X on a calendar with the Seinfeld productivity program. It's the dumbest non-idea that was not mine, but somehow I'm getting credit for it.

Hey Jerry! HUGE fan and love "Comedians in Cars"!

So my question is, if you could grab a coffee with any comedian no longer with us, who would it be and in what car? Thanks!

Great, great question. Wow. I probably would have to say Charlie Chaplin in a Duesenberg.

That's a duzy

That's where that phrase comes from!

Have you ever tried making one of the recipes out of any of your wife's cookbooks? (She's fabulous, I love her, etc.)

I did make the pepper steak one time. And it was great.

[No question]

I just saw what is #1 on reddit and this is almost as fake as the Amazon Drone delivery system. But WOW if it was real!

There's no way it would say Amazon just once on that box.

This would be just great. We could have you around on reddit making sarcastic comments about posts while Snoop Dogg could just call everyone neffew.

Ok, I would love to! But I do forget about things, like my twitter.

What is your favourite cheese?

Tilsiter cheese. Or mozarella on a slice of pizza. It's very mild.

I love comedians in cars getting coffee, what other projects are you working on right now?

Well, I always work on my standup show. And I just finished making all the commercials, the Acura commercials, that are on Comedians in Cars now, and that was a really fun project, was my idea of a funny car commercial.

You wrote the ad copy for the Acura ads that accompany the most recent episodes of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." How did that writing process differ from joke writing? What was the inspiration for the retro-space-age theme?

The idea was to take a car from 2014, and transport it through a time tunnel to an ad agency in 1965 that is somewhat incompetent. And Acura liked the idea and wanted me to do it, so we did it.

What is the one car you dont have but wish you did have?

The 959 Paris-Dakar Rallycar.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia is often compared to Seinfeld. What do you think of the show?

Regretfully I have not yet enjoyed it. I'm sure it's wonderful.

What is the most mundane thing you and Larry have obsessed over?

We never obsess over anything that isn't mundane. Most recent was intentional mumbling. We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can't reveal what it is at this time. All I can do is tell you is that it's big, huge, gigantic. Even bigger than that Amazon package.

How do you get the awesome cars for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee? Is that how you capitalize that show name? Thanks for being awesome!

All the cars on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee are borrowed, rented or lent to us by very nice people. And we are very grateful to them.

What's it like working with/knowing Ricky Gervais?

Ricky's one of my favorite people. He's one of those the second you step into the same room that he's in, you're laughing. He's just got comedic energy that I love.

How would you describe Seinfeld in one sentence to someone who had never even heard of the show? (Thanks for doing this!)

Good question. I would describe it as "a very funny show from the 90's"

What comedian would you bring back from the dead to do one more show (of new material)?

Wow. First of all let me say that I'm not that interested in new material. If I like somebody, I love hearing their great material, it doesn't have to be new. But obviously the answer is George Carlin.

Thanks for the AMA!

Question from my husband: Did you enjoy your time at Oswego State and why did you transfer? Was it because of the weather?

Cheers :)

Edit: What's your favorite cheese?

I loved Oswego state. I loved the weather there. I loved the town and the school. But I knew that if I wanted to become a standup comedian, I had to go to New York City.

I have been very excited about your AMA, big fan here from Pakistan. So here is what I want to ask you

EDIT: To those who think that I am babu

Oh my god, we're in Pakistan! Hello Pakistan! I have been wanting to talk to you for a long time!

1) I'm sure you have funny conversations with your friends, as I do. But I decided maybe this is a show.

2) Charlie Chaplin in a Duesenberg.

3) There are so many comedians that I love that I haven't yet talked to! Lately I've been watching a lot of Bill Burr on YouTube, I really like him and I'm going to try to get him on the next round of shows.

4) Yes. It would.

5) Good one. Good question. Well obviously, people that are holding their phone and talking to you while they're looking at their phone. The competitive phone talker!

6) Very good joke reference. Yes, well, one of the great things that my generation, that we're doing, is extending our childhood into our 60's, so I will not be heading to Del Boca Vista.

[No question]

Have you ever seen that grilled cheese truck around here? That food picture is great.

Hi Jerry. My question has to do with one little moment in the Soup Nazi episode. Wayne Knight walks out of the restaurant, looks at his bag and says "ummm...Jambalaya"...and then does this little dance down the sidewalk. It was hilarious. But not because of the line...because of the way he delivered it and what he did physically. So my question did this happen? Did the script just have the line leaving it up to him on what to do with it? was it an ad-lib? Did the script describe the dance? Describe the process of getting this little golden moment on the screen. Thanks.

Very very well observed, first of all, let me compliment you on that. That moment, which I remember crystal clearly, is the enormous talent of an actor like Wayne Knight. And the script said "Newman looks in the bag, and says Jambalaya" but the delivery and the dance was all his.

Is Larry David anything like he is on Curb Your Enthusiasm?

I have heard this question many times. And I find his character on Curb to be the most reasonable and logical person. And I've never understood why people think of him any other way. To me he is one of the most intelligent and perceptive people, and our minds are very synchronous. So I think he is very much like that character, maybe not as nice all the time.

First I want to say your chat with Louis CK with Comediansincar... was lovely. It was really "human" something odd in modern times. Maybe not the most original question over here but are you planning to drink a coffee with Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Well I haven't made any plans for our future episodes. We just finished making the six that will run this season and I don't know what is coming next.

Who came up with that bass line?

The composer was Jonathan Wolff, and we were trying to come up with something that would not interfere with the standup portion in the beginning of the show. We didn't know how iconic it was going to be.

What's the deal with airline food?

Edit: Thank you Mr. Seinfeld and /u/mehatch! Really wasn't expecting any of that. Sometimes I love you, reddit. My reaction to all of this.

The deal with airline food is they, everything is miniaturized, as if we're in Gulliver's Travels. I used to do a bit about the tiny airline world, about how everything is miniaturized, there's always a short delay, a little problem, we're going to be a tiny bit late.

Hi Mr. Seinfeld. Ty for being here. Who's the best comedian we've never heard of?

Some people never quite get past that 20 minute phase, where they have that good 20 minutes, and even though they're enormously talented, they don't stay long enough for the public to find out about them. Here's a name, Ronnie Shakes, he's a great great comedian, he did a few Tonight Shows and passed away at a young age. You can see him on Youtube and I think you might like him.

Is seinfeldvision ever going to become a reality?


What is your favorite/most impressive joke you've heard?

Oh my god, that question is overwhelming to a guy like me. Well whenever my kids ask me this question, I always answer with "Two peanuts were walking along, one was assaulted." And I like that joke because anybody can tell it, and it always works. And it's very short.

Is Patrick Warburton as stern as he sounds on TV?

Oh no. Patrick is one of the silliest, funniest, most entertaining people I ever had the privilege of working with. He's the most difficult actor to work with in Bee movie, because every time he would come in to read, I would end up lying on the floor weeping with laughter.

Is Larry David really like George in real life? Any funny LD stories to tell?

Larry David is not really that much like George in real life. George is a little bit angry. And does not care if he has to break the rules to get what he wants. And Larry David is not like that at all. Larry David is a very considerate and respectful kind of person. George is not.

What is the funniest real life incident you can tell us ?

Can you be a little more specific?

How happy were you with the Seinfeld Finale? In hindsight would you have changed anything?

I was happy with the Seinfeld finale because we didn't want to do another episode as much as we wanted to have everybody come back to the show we had so much fun with. It was a way to thank all of the people who worked on the show over the years that we thought made the show work. I don't believe in trying to change the past but I'm very happy with it.

Has anyone refused to appear on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee?

Well, kind of. There are some people who don't really know about it or what it is, so they haven't responded yet.

What's your opinion on airline travel?

I've always liked airline travel. I think anytime you get to leave earth, it's pretty special.

Hey jerry, Recently watched a few old episodes of your show and only recently realized how well they have aged with time, at any point during scripting did you think "no we cant do this because 15 years from now it wont be funny"?

No, we didn't think that, and there are a few examples of things that we completely ignored that this would not make any sense in the future. But we did try really hard with each episode to make it the absolute best we could so that it would hold up over time.

Invite Simon Pegg for a drive.

I'll get on it right away.

What is your favorite television comedy that is currently airing?

I don't know if it's currently on the air, but Get Smart might be my current favorite television comedy. or maybe The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Or maybe the Honeymooners.

If you could hi-five anybody in the world right now, who would it be and why?

It would be you. And I would say "That's it!" and that's the end of high-fiving forever.

How hard is it to push and stay motivated and active on all of your projects, especially when you were doing Seinfeld. From everything I've read and heard, your involvement in writing and producing the show was so significant, I don't know how you didn't get completely burned out.

By the way, I still love watching Seinfeld reruns whenever they air, and your series CiCGC is awesome!

Thank you Tashi. I am burned out. And you may have noticed that I tend to quit things soon after doing them, like TV series, animated movies, book writing, broadway plays. I do feel very strongly in stopping the second I feel like I'm not excited anymore, whatever I'm doing.

Hello Jerry, then again since we're not friends (yet) I'll call you Mr. Seinfeld.

When you were a kid, what was your ultimate "one day if I'm rich I will..." fantasy?

Did you fulfill it yet?

First of all, I love being called Mr. Seinfeld. In fact, all my children call me that. It's funny that you should ask this, because this was something I loved to do as a kid with my friends was sit on my stoop and think "what would we do when we were rich" when we were kids in Long Island. And I remember thinking "The greatest thing you could do if you were rich would be to have a go-kart track."

I don't have one. I do have a long driveway in my house in Long Island, and sometimes I ride on it on a scooter. And that makes me feel like Richie Rich.

Richie Rich, that comic book, made me anxious. Just the whole thing was kind of weird, it brought out strange, uncomfortable emotions of envy, and you know, sadness. He had parents, but it was one of the most depraved comic books of all. I wonder if it still exists, it can't possibly still exist.

one of my favorite lines in a Seinfeld episode was George's scream of despair after being seen naked, "I was in the pool!"
Who came up with that idea for the show?

I don't remember. A lot of the shows were written by lots of people, different ideas were thrown in by different people every step along the way. So there's a writer listed for that episode, but in many cases they are only responsible for 20% of it because we had a huge writing staff and everybody would help everybody every week because it was very challenging.

Obligatory "OMG you're my favorite / I love your shows" fanboy meltdown.

Now that we've got that out of the way, my questions:

  1. How do you select which car you use for each episode? Does it reflect the guest's personality?

  2. Would you ever go on Top Gear as a "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car?"

  3. Do you ever race any of your cars? At the track or otherwise?

  4. Finally, Acura: since CICGC is supported by them, have you/would you ever own(ed) one?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

1) I try to do that in some way and from now on, I'm going to mention in the show, before it starts, why I picked that car for that person.

2) Sure. It's a little inconvenient though, since they're in England.

3) I have driven a car on a track, but I have never been in a race nor would I ever be in a race. I don't want to be faster than somebody else, that seems like a psychological problem.

4) I have never had an Acura but I would own an Acura, and without Acura, there would be no Comedians in Cars show. They have been absolutely enabling us to continue doing it.

How good of friends are you with Julia, Jason, and Micheal today?

We're still very good friends. And I actually see them pretty regularly, whenever we're in the same city.

We're still very good friends. And I actually see them pretty regularly, whenever we're in the same city.

You know what happens is people tend to get married and have families and it's like the friends you grew up with from highschool, people ask "you were such great friends, do you still get together with them" but when your context changes in life, those things become more difficult.

What does a typical day off from work consist of for you?

It's usually, the kids and I will go get bagels and lox on a weekend. And then we'll come home and eat them.

Do you find yourself often quoting the more popular lines from the show? I use "these pretzels are making me thirsty" as often as I can.

The only line I quote from the show (and I'll be very impressed if anybody out tehre remembers this line) is "If you're one of us, you'll take a bite."

I find myself saying that to my kids a lot. It's a very obscure line, but George was working at some company where they all had lunch together, and he wasn't trying the apple pie, and the boss finally says "If you're one of us, you'll take a bite." A lot of times kids won't want to try certain foods, and so I'll use that line. Sometimes I'll quote Newman in flames screaming "Oh the humanity."

Who was your favorite supporting character on Seinfeld and why? The Bubble Boy? The Soup Nazi? Newman?

Newman would be my favorite supporting character. I mean, when I got to have a real evil nemesis like Superman would have, that was a dream come true for me. There's no superhero that doesn't have an evil nemesis, and I got to have one. And I love that nobody ever asks "Why didn't you like Newman?"

No one ever asks me that, and no one ever questions it. There was no reason, but it was just fun.

How come you decided upon clean humour and to never go blue?

Well when I started out in comedy in the 70s, if you didn't do clean humor you weren't getting on TV, so I started doing that so I could be on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. And then when I saw what other people were doing, I just always wanted to be a little different.

In the 90's what device made you think, "Wow, we're in the future."

That is a good question. Well, the cell phone. The first cell phone, the Motorola Star Tech. When I got the first cell phone, I thought "we're in the future now." I didn't get the bigger battery.

That is a good question. Well, the cell phone. The first cell phone, the Motorola Star Tech. When I got the first cell phone, I thought "we're in the future now." I didn't get the bigger battery.

The battery life wasn't bad. Almost the same was now. You could survive fine with that one. I'm sure that someone still has a working one.

Are the legends true? is there really a Superman in every episode of Seinfeld?

No, not true.

Hey Jerry, thanks for doing this AMA!

I was listening to Alec Baldwin's podcast where he interviews you. At the end you mentioned your meditation practices.

How has that helped with your career? Also, are people often surprised to hear that?

I don't know if people were surprised, I would have to see all of their eyebrows to see if they go up. But meditation helps because it's the ultimate way to rest when you're working. It's just as simple as that.

Would you consider hosting SNL again?

I had a great time being on SNL. But I didn't think that I was one of those great hosts that had all these different things that they could finally do on that show. So I think it's better when other people host it.

Where did the idea of, in Seinfeld, your character being a comedian for a profession, but be the straight man for your friends, come from? I always thought that juxtapositioning for the show was genius.

EDIT: Thank you, whoever you are, for the reddit gold!

Very good observation and analysis on your part, Baxter. You are truly exhibiting a good comedic eye. The reason I would play straight was it was funnier for the scene. And very few people have ever remarked on this, because it was a conscious choice of mine, only because I knew it would make the show better, and I didn't care who was funny as long as somebody was funny and that the show was funny. So you have hit upon one of the great secret weapons of the Seinfeld series, was that I had no issue with that.

Do you want to be the pirate?

Once again, nothing less funny to a comedian than his own material...

Hey Jerry, love your pez collection! Quick question, if you were to live in another country, which country and why?

Thank you for doing this AMA, and hope you have a great new year!

I can't give a single answer, but I will say it's definitely between Italy, Norway and Australia.

Just wanted to say seinfeld is one of my favorite shows. Anyways! Georges voicemail song in one of the episodes is my voicemail message and has been for years. My favorite part watching that is when he does that little shrug when it goes "where could i be? believe it or not im not home~" Was him rocking out to that voicemail part of the script? Who's idea was that to give him a little song like that? Thats' Gold Jerry! Gold!


That really was one of the funniest things we ever did was that voicemail message. And I think I remember whose bit it was, but I'm not sure so I'm not going to say. The shrug of "Where could I be" may be the quintessence of the George character.

Hi Jerry, will you ever go on a global comedy tour? Would be great to see you perform in Amsterdam.

I have already done that, where the hell were you?

How do you deal with writers block?

Writer's block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.

Hi. I attended a taping of"the parking spot" in '92. We were seated in bleachers at an outdoor set (Kramer hitting the blinds). The session was proceeding slowly, so cast members were able to take time to mingle with the audience. You were the only member that didn't/ couldn't mingle. It was at that point that I realized you are a really busy/serious guy keeping many things aloft in juggling your daily ongoings. From that point on I always wondered, from 0 to 100%, how much of your serious side rules the day?

WOW. P_ro, you are DEEP. And super-observant. Thank you for understanding that I was busy and not being an a.h. I would say that I am 90% serious in my day. Comedy is no joke.

What is the most bizarre/surreal location that you have been to and been recognized?

One time, a friend of mine and I decided to drive a 1967 VW Bug from Albuquerque to the Hamptons. I bought the car on eBay for $5,000 and flew to Albuquerque and my friend flew from LA, and we decided to do that for something fun to do (this, by the way, is the actual original inspiration for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the year was 2000 and I did this with my friend Barry Marder, who you may know as the author of "Letters From a Nut" by Ted L. Nancy).

ANYWAY, so one time we stopped in this tiny town and somewhere in the Midwest whose name escapes me at the moment, and the town was honestly no more than 2 blocks long, and we are walking on this little sidewalk that they had, and there was a guy there, walking past us, and I was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, and the guy says as we walk by "Hey Jerry" and kept walking.

And that, to this day, so blows my mind that not only was he NOT SURPRISED that i was in this town, population 115, but that I just walked by him, he recognized me and he felt the need to say anything more than "hi." Not "what the hell are you doing here." I'm sure that guy is out there, somewhere. Probably on reddit.

Where'd the name come from? Something like "you seen this? I already read it."

Mr. Seinfeld, thanks for doing this! Did you have a favorite sitcom when you were growing up?

I would say, when I heard that they were going to do a sitcom with a secret agent who was funny, that it was going to be a comedy secret agent TV show, and it was going to be called "Get Smart," the back of my head blew off. So that was really my favorite show when I was a kid. Also Laugh-In and Batman.

As long as you're browsing other posts ... what's the weirdest thing that YOU ever saw on a plane?

Me: mock wedding on the plane of a young couple who were engaged and actually on their way to get married in California, complete with a fake bouquet, veil and train made from toilet paper, and airline treats for everyone for the "reception." Good Guy Southwest, back in the day!

Wow, that's a nice idea. The weirdest thing I ever saw on a plane... well, I don't know the answer to your question, but I will tell you a true plane story that I know. And it's true, and you're not going to believe this.

I had a friend who worked as a flight attendant in the 1980s. And she was working on the plane, and she saw this weird guy go into the bathroom, close the door and come out a few minutes later. And she got this really weird feeling, and she went into the bathroom and started digging through the garbage in the bathroom. And it was full of garbage, and she pulled out everything in the garbage.

And this is a crazy story, right? because the plane hasn't even taken off yet.

She gets to the bottom of the garbage, and there's a bomb. She finds a bomb. The guy had planted a bomb, and what it was exactly, we may never know. But she walked slowly up to the cockpit, she tells the pilot "I found something on the plane" and of course they call the marshals, they grab the guy, this is probably 1982 this happened. And that's really the whole story, but I thought it was one of the most amazing things, that she got that weird feeling and acted on it. Something weird's going on, and then emptying out the garbage - it wasn't part of her job, but that's the craziest story I've ever heard about the plane.

Hi Jerry!

Thanks for doing the AMA.

My question is how did you come up with Festivus and did you ever think that people would actually celebrate it?

I didn't come up with it, it was the invention of Dan O'Keefe's father, who was a writer on our show. We never anticipated anything. I anticipated it would be a good idea that would get us through this week.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Jerry Seinfeld conducted on Reddit on 2014-01-06. The Reddit AMA can be found here.