I've reached my tipping point with Jerry Seinfeld. It happened today, with this endless New York Times writeup that no one asked for, which includes the following caption:
The comedian describes the anatomy of his Pop-Tart joke, still a work in progress, and shows his longhand writing process.
It gets even worse. There are entire sections devoted to Seinfeld's cars ...
He decided to drive what he calls his "city car": a 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Stepping into the garage, he tugged a thick fabric cover from the car. The interior was a pristine matte black, and the paint job was a startlingly luminous azure. "It's called Mexico blue — a very traditional Porsche color," Seinfeld said.
And his shoes ...
Seinfeld, who once said he wore sneakers long into adulthood "because it reminds me I don't have a job," has lately grown partial to Nike Shox.
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And, of course, his "process":
His objective at Gotham was piecework. "A lot of what I'll be doing tonight are tiny things in my bits where I'm looking for a little fix, where something isn't quite smooth," he said. "A lot of stuff I do out of pure obsessiveness."
No. You know what? NO. Fuck him. I am sick of Jerry Seinfeld being trotted out every day to serve as America's Professor Emeritus of Funny. I don't care how much time he spent crafting a fucking Pop-Tart joke. Fuck that Pop-Tart joke. Just tell the joke and get on with it.
There are certain writers out there who write things specifically so that they can get to a point where they can lecture other people about writing. That's what Jerry Seinfeld is doing with comedy. I feel like Jerry Seinfeld spent all those years doing standup and making Seinfeld just so he could one day spend all his time talking about being funny instead of actually being funny. "You see, a good tuxedo joke is all about NUANCE." How many times am I gonna have to watch Jerry Seinfeld do a goddamn comedy roundtable with Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais? YOU MEN ARE WASTING TIME.
Here is the sum total of Jerry Seinfeld's creative output since leaving Seinfeld: Bee Movie, The Marriage Ref, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The rest of his time is spent doing standup when he feels like it and talking endlessly to anyone who'll stand still long enough about the "craft" of standup (he even made an entire documentary about it). Jerry Seinfeld's life is now a DVD commentary for a movie that was never made. The only time he's been remotely entertaining lately has been on Louie and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In other words, when more talented people were giving him shit to do. Paul Reiser's latter-day output is more impressive by comparison.
And the worst part is that writers eat his shit all day long! This isn't the first in-depth look at Seinfeld's labored joke-writing process, and it won't be the last. "Oh, he's so into his process!" I don't care! Look at this drivel:
Seinfeld walks here, grabs a legal pad and a Bic pen and sits at his desk. No street noise penetrates. The pages of the pad are destined for either a wastebasket or a master file containing Seinfeld's entire act, handwritten. The other day, perusing this file, he found a joke in which, discussing touch-screen phones, he likens the act of scrolling through a contact list and deleting names to the effete, disdainful gesture of a "gay French king" deciding whom to behead. Seinfeld wrote the joke a year ago and forgot it; having rediscovered it, he'd be telling it onstage that weekend.
Oh well thank God we got down to the origins of the Gay French King joke. So glad he got to workshop it 50 times at the Comedy Cone to get it just right. I think he came up with the Gay French King joke just so the New York Times could ask him how he came up with the Gay French King joke. Here's a wild idea: Just tell the Gay French King joke and then get on with your life. The most awkward moment in life is when you tell a joke that someone doesn't get and then you have to explain it. That's the entirety of Jerry Seinfeld right now: just one explanation of a joke after another—analyzing jokes, dissecting jokes, taking the jokes home and humping them into oblivion. And this one wasn't even that good of a joke to begin with!
No more. We need some kind of law preventing comedians from talking about comedy. Magicians get pissed at each other when they reveal tricks, and yet comedians ADORE yammering on and on about how hard they worked on that caller-ID punchline. No one cares. Just be funny. Larry David, who is a genius, trots out a new season of Curb, goes away, and then does it again, and it's perfect. He takes risks. He focuses all of his attention on being deeply, truly funny. Everything else is pointless. So enough. Jerry Seinfeld is what happens when comedy disappears up its own ass.