Jerry Seinfeld, best known for playing Jerry on "Seinfeld," took over the Facebook page today of his Crackle web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," in which he posts an episode every week. His web series is in the format of a talk show where he hosts a new guest, including comic icons ranging from Howard Stern to David Letterman to Sarah Silverman. Seinfeld, also the voice star of "Bee Movie," has hosted the series through its current fourth season, and Wednesday he spent an hour fielding questions about comedians, cars and coffee. Here are nine of the best moments from the Facebook forum, which can be read in its entirety at the "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" page.
Jerry can learn a lot about his guests.
What one surprising thing, Seinfeld was asked, has he learned about a guest. As it turns out, Tina Fey can't drive. "Yes, Alec [Baldwin] is brilliantly funny. I didn't know that Tina Fey couldn't drive," he wrote, answering a double question about learning about guests as well as commenting on his Season 1 episode with Baldwin. The Tina Fey episode, which aired in Season 3, matched two comedians with similar backgrounds. Seinfeld and Fey have children at about the same age and related over their turns as comedy showrunners at NBC -- "Seinfeld," obviously, and "30 Rock" for Fey.
Oddness, according to Seinfeld, "is definitely a pre-requisite for great comedians."
And he is someone who should know. In addition to hosting 28 different successful comics on "Comedians in Cars," he spent his professional career in the world of stand-up for nearly 40 years having gotten his big break on "The Late Show with Johnny Carson," which he returned to many times. On "Seinfeld," he partnered with the wildly creative Larry David in writing and producing and co-starred with electric comic actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. Although, oddness is not a pre-requisite for great cars, he says.
He revealed some things about the making of the "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
"We call the coffee shop first," Seinfeld said in response to a question about how people react when he and his celebrity guest walk into a coffee shop. "They are usually very receptive. We then walk in with a couple of cameras and start talking." Seinfeld also noted the technical side of shooting "Comedians in Cars." Three Cameras are used on each set, the car and the coffee shop, and they collect B-roll from material the coffee shops send them as well as on the day of shoot. It takes about two hours to shoot an episode, but three days in the editing room.
Who are some of Jerry's favorite actors?
Against all odds, he supplied a list of dramatic actors, all alike in that they are atypical leading men. Philip Seymour Hoffman was his favorite and has always been great, but Seinfeld added that he can see anything starring Daniel Day-Lewis or Clive Owen. All great actors, he believes, have to be a little bit crazy, and "Napoleon Dynamite" is his favorite comedy film in the past 15 years.
The Seinfeld's all watch "Seinfeld."
When asked if his kids have a sense of humor, Jerry gave a very typically him answer: "Oh yes. They are very funny. I trained them myself." And he noted separately that his kids do indeed watch his old show, which was known at its time for uniquely mature content. He assumes it is a weird experience for them, though.
Jerry on contemporary comedy, and how it has changed:
Seinfeld was asked his thoughts on the fact that young, comic talent was focusing on "non-traditional" comedy, such as web material, and what it's impact on the state of stand-up has been. "There are no comedians who only do stand up anymore," he said "And I do think that causes some general decline of some kind." This issue is being brought up more and more. Seinfeld, despite having formally retired from performing and taking to the web with "Comedians in Cars," still makes the late night circuit the same way he has for decades.
Will any previous guests return to "Comedians in Cars"?
Jerry dropped in that he and Crackle are considering a "Comedians in Cars All-Stars" season that would see former guests returning to the show. This was brought up by a question about whether he would consider having David Letterman on again, despite his pending retirement.
Any other developments in the show?... Yes!
Season 4 of "Comedians in Cars" concludes tomorrow, but one week later Crackle will begin releasing compilations of spare parts from previously released episodes. This spin-off, called "Single Shots," was not public until Seinfeld made this reveal on Facebook. "Single Shots" will showcase features cut from other episodes patched together to provide a complete look into a single subject and what all of the comedians had to say about it.
Lastly, what else might Jerry do...
What would Jerry Seinfeld do if he weren't a comedian? Good question, better answer: "I would choose being a serious person and would accept that very dreary existence." Jerry Seinfeld is meant to be a comedian, Howard Stern having called him a genius in the top class of all-time stand-up acts. We just assume not even think about what had happened if he chose not to be funny.
"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" will release its next episode online at noon tomorrow and feature guest Jon Stewart. Every episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" can be found at comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com.