Jerry Seinfeld wants to be in your pocket
“Network TV just seems smaller to me than the Internet,” comedian Jerry Seinfeld was saying last night. “Why would I put a show on a big heavy rectangle in your house when I can put it in your pocket? I would much rather put it in your pocket. When I tell people about this show…they say ‘what is this’ and I say ‘oh it's in your pocket right now’ and that’s a fun thing to say."
Seinfeld was on stage being interviewed by Buzzfeed’s Peter Lauria about the changing TV business for an installment of its Buzzfeed Brews live interview series when he made the remark.
The current Seinfeld moment comes courtesy of the “reunion” episode of his web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," part of which aired during the Super Bowl, in which he and Jason Alexander talk about the big game.
The event got a lot of early hype when he and Alexander were seen filming at Tom’s Restaurant, the diner which serves up the exterior establishing shot of the “Seinfeld” gang’s hangout of choice during the sitcom’s ‘90s run.
Originally, Seinfeld told Lauria, the idea for the Super Bowl promotion was to film Seinfeld having a conversation with series co-creator Larry David.
“Then Larry said ‘Why don’t we do Jerry and George having a conversation about the Super Bowl?’ and that led us to ‘why don’t we do Jerry and George in “Comedians in Cars…,”’ Seinfeld said.
Making the online series that most recently featured Tina Fey, offered creative opportunities that “are more unique than have ever existed before.”
“For example, when I did the TV series…I know I’m making 22 minutes, I know there’s a commercial in the middle, I know how many sets I can tell my story on,” Seinfeld continued. “When you go on the Internet nobody knows anything. There are no rules … so we invented almost every aspect of this concept with nothing to compare it to.”
And its been a success so far. When asked about whether the show was self-sustaining and whether Acura paid for most everything through its sponsorship, Jerry replied that “yes,” it was self-sustaining. But in the famed comedic tone he used while mumbling or secretively pointing something out on “Seinfeld” followed it up with, “I can’t reveal that right here, Peter, because we’re on TV.”
(CBS This Morning partnered with Buzzfeed to produce the event.)
“It’s kind of a complicated arrangement,” he continued. “But we figured it out. Which I’m very proud of because a lot of people said that we can’t make money doing something like this… If this show could not be done making money I don’t think I could do it. I’m not that self indulgent that I would just pay to make a show just so I could say I have a show.”
But if the stream of last night’s talk got a viral lift, it wasn’t from Seinfeld’s observations about 21st century comedy platforms.
When asked about the large quotient of white male guests on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Seinfeld responded: “I mean people think it’s the census or something. Who cares? It’s just funny. Funny is the world that I live in. If you’re funny, I’m interested. If you’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender, race or anything like that but everyone else is with their little calculating… ‘is this the right mix?’ To me it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about P.C. nonsense than are you making us laugh or not.”
The remarks quickly rocketed around Twitter and formed the basis for lots of instant writing on the Internet.
But to many millions the bigger question was, when will “Seinfeld” come back? Don’t hold your breath.
“I know people would want a reunion show,” Seinfeld said. “That’s what I want. My theory of show business is do not give the public what it wants. That’s why they’re not in show business. We’re supposed to know.”
And we leave you with his remarks for young artists looking for their big break, even if it comes from someone who could probably buy Buzzfeed himself if he felt like it.
“This is one of my things. If you really want to make money, never make a decision based on money. If you chase money you’re going to get less of it than if you chase a thing that you love that is interesting only because you love that thing you’ll make more money. In the arts that’s the only way to make money is to never consider money as part of your decision.”