Fourteen years after his eponymous sitcom left the television airwaves following a ratings-topping nine seasons, Jerry Seinfeld has finally reached the point where his art imitates his life, and vice versa.
This summer, with virtually no fanfare, advertising or advance media campaign, the comedian debuted his latest video project. And — just like NBC’s Seinfeld — the new program is, quite literally, a show about nothing.
The title, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, practically says so. But don’t go channel surfing expecting to find the series on network TV. It’s not even on cable.
Seinfeld took to the Internet as the origination point for the series he first began pondering 10 years ago, when he made Comedian, a reality-rooted documentary about his return to standup comedy after taking a nine-year break to do the TV series.
“Colin Quinn and I did a commentary as a DVD extra [for Comedian] and I was kind of amazed at how funny it was,” Seinfeld told the Huffington Post in late August in one of the only interviews he did to promote the series.
“You know, it was just us sitting there talking,” he continued. “Then I bought this VW Bug in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and went to pick it up with my friend Barry Mardar, and we videotaped ourselves driving back. And so those two experiences plus the Comedian documentary itself really had a lot of just comedians talking, although it was more talking shop than what you would call the usual stand-up comedian nonsense talking that we do quite a bit of.”
Seinfeld began thinking of adapting his cross-country road trip into a TV show. He didn’t want to create another talk show or a conventional sitcom, but he wanted an outlet to show the public the off-stage life of comedians.
“I always just felt like there was another thing to the life of a comedian that audiences might enjoy, but I had to figure out how to create a context where it would happen,” he said. “I don’t think it happens, you know, in what I guess we would call the ‘controlled environment.’ So, I cooked this up.”
Seinfeld has produced 10 episodes of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, which can be seen on the aptly named Web site comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com. Each episode runs between 10 and 12 minutes; the only exception is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to casually chat with comedy legends Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, which ate up 17 minutes of Web time.
The titles of the episodes are both esoteric and very Seinfeldian. There’s “Larry Eats a Pancake” with Larry David (co-creator of his 1990s sitcom), “Just A Lazy Shiftless Bastard” (Alec Baldwin) and “I Want Sandwiches, I Want Chicken” (Brooks and Reiner).
“The episode itself I like to keep to a certain length. Even if I have tons of great stuff, I don’t want an episode to run too long,” Seinfeld, 58, told the Huffington Post. “Kind of like how a pop song has gotta be about three minutes. Things feel right to me at like 11 or 12 minutes but sometimes I have a lot of funny stuff, and there are obviously obsessive fans out there and we love them, so we want to give them more if they want more. I put up these little ‘spare parts’ if you want more so you can kind of customize the length depending upon how much you’re liking that particular show.”
They say you should never count someone else’s money, but with a net worth estimated at just south of $1 billion, it’s pretty safe to assume Seinfeld didn’t get into this project to add to the fortune that’s made him not only one of the wealthiest comedians in history, but one of the richest people in the entertainment industry.
Seinfeld, who’ll headline Saturday, Oct. 20, in Borgata’s Event Center, admitted he’s become “obsessed” with the new Web series because it quickly found a small but fiercely loyal audience.
“It’s very much like the experience of being a stand-up comic in that you come up with something and you bring it right to the general public,” he explained during what appears to be the only formal interview he did to promote the series.
I’ve been talking about racist dolphins. We were out in Hawaii and we were swimming with the dolphins, but they were only swimming with white people. What’s that about?"
"The world has changed, but the art of stand-up is exactly the same. It’s so low tech. There’s nothing you can do that’s technological. You can’t speed it up, you can’t accelerate the process."
Atlantic City hosts tattoo expo, antique show, and the 5th annual A.C. Cinefest, plus more.
“I was interviewed recently [in another market] and the reporter asked me where was my favorite place to play, and I immediately said Atlantic City,” Orlando says.
Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on his upcoming Atlantic City show at Caesars, Oct. 6.
“We decided we were only going to have young people in the audience, young people on stage and young subject matter. Young people, by definition, are much wilder in their lives, much more open. And the show started to go crazy.”
Atlantic City is about to get a healthy dose of classical culture courtesy of a very unlikely source.