01
Oct
12

Seinfeld and Friends Go for Coffee

It’s fascinating for ordinary folk like me to see celebrities just being celebrities. But that’s exactly what you get with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series that’s not so much about his vast collection of vintage cars or afternoon trips to big city diners, but more in the vein of what made his namesake series, Seinfeld, famous: anything and everything.

Moments of stubbornness involving Larry David were inevitable.

With Comedians, we get a personal look at Hollywood’s most revered comedic figures doing what they do best –  talking, thinking, dissecting, worrying, ranting, complaining, laughing. Seinfeld achieves with this web series what him and former collaborator Larry David originally had in mind for their massively successful 90’s sitcom. We see comedians outside the limelight and in real life. We witness them ponder and construct life into a joke, and we get to marvel at how incredibly quick witted these minds are.

I enjoy Comedians for exactly that reason.  It lacks the rehearsed scriptedness of an ordinary TV interview.  It’s loose, fast and unrestrained, the very atmosphere a comedian thrives in.  We get a glimpse at famous funny people doing something we rarely see: simply bullshitting.  And as much as we’d like to believe that a standup routine is a glimpse into a comedian’s soul (think Richard Pryor, Louis C.K.), Comedians presents something even more honest – living life and figuring out how to make it funny.

The only show I can compare Seinfeld’s new series to in terms of realness is Fishing with John, the long, lost “fishing” show hosted by actor John Lurie.  In each episode, John takes a celebrity friend fishing in an exotic location.  Devoid of any knowledge of how to fish (or host a television show), the episodes typically digressed into what Comedians aims to achieve – unique, honest conversations between talented people.  So honest, in fact, that awkward silences and ridiculous moments were not uncommon (see Tom Waits put a fish down his pants or Matt Dillon and Lurie dance for a good 5 minutes).

Interestingly, this is an ordinary occurrence on Fishing with John.

Overall, I think that Comedians gives it’s viewers a fresh and rare look that only someone of Jerry Seinfeld’s stature could provide.  With loads cash and Hollywood connections, Seinfeld is surely not doing this for the next great hit.  He is revisiting the idea that served as the genesis of his sitcom more than 20 years ago – that a comedian doesn’t stop working when they leave the stage.  Rather, their job has just begun.

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