Much of comedy is derivative. Even the good stuff. Especially the good stuff. Funny people develop a relationship with a certain brand of humor that’s already being purveyed by someone more famous and, if they’re not outright thieves, they build upon that premise, adding texture and originality to a proven game. (E.g., Lots of people played the narcissistic dickhead card before Danny McBride, but no one does it quite like him.) Still, the Seinfeld toolshed is usually a tough one for comedians to open up.
Getting an authentic, funny handle on the over-analysis of minutia is difficult because not everything about everyday life is entertaining, no matter how much observational comics want it to be. And once they’ve found something really ripe for a jokey probe, it’s all about presentation: making the inconsequential seem so important it’s almost dire. The whole formula is very complex and no one, in the history of humor, masters it quite like Jerry Seinfeld. It’s why his new web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (CICGC) has been so highly anticipated, why I cracked up watching all 13+ minutes of it, and why I’m almost certain I’d click away if anyone but Jerry was sitting behind the wheel of that vintage ride.
Totally unscripted, voyeuristic, and themed as broadly as any project I’ve ever come across, CICGC is wholly reliant on the little feeling we Seinfeld fans get in the pits of our stomachs when we see Jerry do literally anything. That, and star power. What’s better than listening to Jerry talk about nothing while drinking coffee and eating hot pancakes? Listening to Larry David chime in all along the way, of course! Isn’t that a dream come true? Sure, if you really love Seinfeld and Curb. Not so much if you don’t.
Here are three reasons to watch CICGC’s inaugural episode. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of what you see, tune in tonight at 9:30pm to catch Jerry spitballing with Ricky Gervais.
Episode #1: Larry Eats A Pancake (No, it isn’t embeddable. Dammit, Jerry.)
There’s nothing quite like seeing the people we idolize live their everyday lives, especially if the basis for our enthrallment is that idol’s perception of his everyday life. It’s like watching a magician planning his tricks.
2. Cool cars
The cars aren’t funny but, since Jerry’s such a notorious car guy, they’re a draw in the same way looking inside Batman’s gadget closet would be one of the coolest things imaginable.
3. Very funny guests
A show built entirely on off-the-cuff banter should have a stellar back-and-forth. Obviously. Putting Jerry Seinfeld next to some of the top names in comedy ensures that’s the case, and exposes us to our favorite stars in a raw way.