Seinfeld Talks 'PC Crap,' Pop-Tarts, and His 'Favorite Human'

Comedian chats with 'New Yorker' about his beef with the 'extreme left' and much more
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2024 6:25 AM CDT
Seinfeld: 'Extreme Left' and 'PC Crap' Are Marring Comedy
Jerry Seinfeld poses for a portrait to promote the film "Unfrosted" on April 16 in New York.   (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Jerry Seinfeld's new film, Unfrosted, an origin story for Pop-Tarts, begins streaming Friday on Netflix. But the 70-year-old Seinfeld creator is making headlines this week not for that project, but for what he has to say about the state of comedy. Per the Hill, Seinfeld appeared on the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast for a Q&A with New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick, where he blamed "the extreme left and PC crap" for bringing the genre down, noting that people are "worrying so much about offending other people." More from Seinfeld:

  • Lamentations: "Nothing really affects comedy," he told Remnick. "People always need it. They need it so badly and they don't get it. It used to be, you would go home at the end of the day, most people would go, 'Oh, Cheers is on. Oh, M-A-S-H is on. Oh, Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on.' You just expected, There'll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight. Well, guess what—where is it?"
  • Who inspired him as a comedian: "Robert Klein and Jay Leno ... and George Carlin. Bill Cosby I loved, but I thought I could never be that good."
  • His 'favorite human': That would be actor Hugh Grant, who co-stars in Unfrosted. "His charm and funniness is what I dreamed of when I was a kid in the '60s," Seinfeld says. "I wanted to be a charming, witty man. That never happened."
  • Joke that led to his first booking: "I'm left-handed. Why are so many left things negatively associated? Two left feet. Left-handed compliment. You go to a party, there's nobody there. Where'd everybody go? They left."

  • His legacy: "I really have adopted the Marcus Aurelius philosophy, which is that everything I've done means nothing. I don't think for a second that it will ever mean anything to anyone 10 days after I'm dead."
Read or listen to the interview in its entirety here.
  • Counterpoint: Meanwhile, in an op-ed for the Guardian, Stuart Heritage calls Seinfeld's take on comedy "lazy and inaccurate," noting, "Perhaps the problem here isn't that the extreme left has a stranglehold on comedy. Perhaps it's just that Jerry Seinfeld is getting old," Heritage writes. Check out his essay in full.
(More Jerry Seinfeld stories.)

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