The man who successfully made a show about nothing, Jerry Seinfeld, made a triumphant return to the Stern Show today, visiting the SiriusXM studio for the first time in the process.
Right off the bat Howard and Jerry discussed what is possibly the greatest television program of all time.
Everything About the "Show About Nothing"
Jerry is careful to not take full credit for his iconic, namesake sitcom, acknowledging that it was instead "the perfect storm... in a good way." Great concept, great writers, great cast.
Jerry had been doing The Tonight Show four or five times per year for nine years before NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff finally thought: Hey, this guy might be good for a TV show. So Jerry and his partner Larry David created the Seinfeld Chronicles. It didn't do well in the overall ratings for the first four years, but they did have good ratings with the high-income demographic, which kept them on the air.
Howard gave Jerry credit for finding out how to properly use Michael Richards, who was an extraordinary talent that hadn't gotten much work until Seinfeld. Jerry says he was perfect in the part and nobody could've possibly done more with the role.
Larry David left the show two years before it ended. Jerry says it was difficult to see him go, and allowed that they probably would've done another season if they still had Larry, but it really showed Jerry that he could run the show on his own, and he's grateful for that.
Howard asked Jerry about that big, $110 million offer for one more season. Jerry's bottom line about that was this analogy: You can see a great comic do an hour long set, love every minute of it, and leave feeling satisfied. If the same comic goes to an hour and a half, it can completely change your experience.
Jerry prides himself on his timing.
Make Me Laugh
If you want to hang out with Jerry Seinfeld, you'd better be funny. He doesn't have patience with anybody who isn't quick-witted and interesting.
Like Howard, Jerry has gotten better at socializing in recent years, but he still has little use for small talk. He also says his wife Jessica is very funny, and Jerry makes sure to stress the importance of being funny to their kids. Jerry has eased a little with his constant disinterest, because there are some people you have to talk to, but at the end of the day: "I'd rather be talking to a comedian."
Which led Jerry to his new web talk show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. The premise of the show is Jerry and another funny person (David Letterman, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Silverman, Larry David) take a drive together and … get coffee. Jerry uses this time to talk with them about their lives, their careers and comedy.
Jerry then invited Howard to a party at his house this weekend, and Howard said he'd stop by. "Do we have to try to be witty and funny off the air?" Howard asked.
"I don't," replied Jerry, "because I'm already funny."