Jerry Seinfeld reveals the moment he realized he should become a comedian

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Web Series
Current Status
In Season

A version of this story appears in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now or available here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Legendary sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld, keeps the laughs — and caffeine — coming with the 10th season of his talk show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (now streaming on Netflix). Since he’s been making us laugh for so long, we wanted to hear about the comedy of his life, why he decided to get into comedy, and who makes him laugh today.

The moment I knew I was funny…
I remember being very funny, but everyone was funny. I didn’t think I was funnier than anybody else, especially when I was young. Then one day a friend of mine in college said to me, “I think of all of us in the group, you’re the funniest and you could be a comedian if you wanted to be.” And that was the moment I said, “Okay, I’m going to do it.” That was probably the greatest moment right there.

Comedians I grew up idolizing…
George Carlin, Robert Klein, Richard Pryor — all those great guys of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Lenny Bruce, I loved. I didn’t know if I could be them, but I just wanted to be in that group. I wanted to hang out with those guys.

Shows I used to watch and wish I could be part of…
Laugh-In and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour were my favorite comedy shows when I was a kid. They didn’t need to be funny in a different way; any laugh is good.

The first joke I ever wrote…
It’s the “left bit” about when you’re left-handed, everything is negative. Two left feet; left-handed compliment; you go to a party, there’s nobody there: “Where did they go?” “Oh, they left.” That joke got a huge laugh, and I was in. I just knew, “I’m in the club.”

The joke people ask me about the most…
I’m doing a lot on Flex Seal now, the black goo that helps you seal a pipe, so I talk to people about how much I love it. But I used to do this bit about the sock escaping from the dryer. That was my first signature bit that I was known for: “Oh, this is the guy who talks about the socks trying to get out of the dryer.”

The episode of Seinfeld I’m most proud of…
I really love the pothole episode where George (Jason Alexander) loses the Phil Rizzuto key chain in the pothole, because it ends with Newman (Wayne Knight) bursting into flames while driving his mail truck. I love that.

The stand-up or TV shows I always go back to…
Old stuff: Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan, or any of The Tonight Show, Letterman. I just love watching comedians perform. I watch tons of it every day. I am more fascinated by the joke structure; it’s very complex sometimes or overly simple. There’s always something about it that you’re like, “How did they get to that?”

Comedians who make me laugh today…
Almost every person on [Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee] makes me laugh. Alec Baldwin kills me. We just get crazy with each other for some reason. Zach Galifianakis, Kate McKinnon, Brian Regan — who came back for an episode this year — were all great.

The three late comedians I’d love to have on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee…
Charlie Chaplin, Richard Pryor, and the other one was Jerry Lewis. [Lewis filmed an episode of CICGC before he died at age 91 in August 2017.] So I got one of the three. Those would be my greatest three people; I’m a huge fan.

Seasons 1-10 of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee are available to stream on Netflix now. 

Read More


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here