Seinfeld debuted his new web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, earlier this summer. The concept is simple: Seinfeld and other comedians talking about daily life, in cars, on their way to get coffee. Groundbreaking, no?
Huffington Post: You are one of a select few people in the comedy industry who can essentially do whatever you want. Why a web series, and why now?
Jerry Seinfeld: I think I first started playing around with this kind of thing in 2002 with my “Comedian” documentary. Colin Quinn and I did a commentary as a DVD extra and I was kind of amazed at how funny it was. You know, it was just us sitting there talking. 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.
HP: In the first episode, Larry David joked that you finally did a show about nothing. Is that sort of what you intended, to have a free-flowing conversation, kind of like what you had on the show in the coffee shop?
JS: Nobody enjoys the “little show about nothing” humor more than me, but that is never the way I look at it. To me these are great things and essential things. I’m very well-known as an obsessive of the minute, but it’s not minute to me. I mean, this is stuff that I love and I wanted to make something for comedy fans and people that wanted to maybe experience this other side of the life of these comedians.
HP: It seems pretty genuine and true to the types of conversations that comedians actually have.
JS: Oh it is, very much so. I hate when people think any of the laughter is forced. It may be annoying to certain people -- I get that -- but the laughter is completely genuine. I mean, all of these guys, we love comedy so much. So when we get together we love making other people laugh and being made to laugh.
HP: The Internet has freed up a lot of comedians to produce these personal sorts of series and also releasing their specials directly online. Would you consider doing other online ventures in addition to the series?
JS: No, I’m frankly completely obsessed with the show and I love that it seems to have found a little audience that’s enjoying it and that’s a wonderful connection. 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. There’s no intermediary. I haven’t done one ad. We have no advertising commercial promotion. This is my first interview. I haven’t talked about it. So, I just went right to the public with it and they liked it and it didn’t really matter much what anybody else thought about it.
HP: Are there any other upcoming episodes you’re particularly looking forward to releasing?
JS: Well, some of the people you’re not going to recognize at all and I didn’t ask them to be on the show because of their profile, just because of the chemistry that I have with them and the funny conversations that I have with them. For example, a lot of people were not aware of Brian Regan. He’s extremely popular but outside of his fanbase there were a lot of people that didn’t know about him. So I was only too thrilled to introduce him to an audience that maybe isn’t aware of him. There’s a couple of other people coming up that probably are not household names, but I feel like in this format you can potentially get a little addicted to them as I am and want to see more of them.