Jerry Seinfeld Punched Up a Joke for David Byrne’s American Utopia

New Yorkers. Photo: Vulture and Getty Images

With American Utopia on a short hiatus from Broadway before a planned fall 2020 return, David Byrne, New York’s finest resident and friend to all bikes, appeared on Amy Schumer’s podcast to share an unlikely source of creative inspiration for his certified perfect show: Jerry Seinfeld. Turns out, the Bee Movie and SeinfeldVision star was a joke consultant who offered up his services at no charge. “One of the nights you guys came, you brought Jerry Seinfeld and we had some drinks after, and he said, ‘That one joke. You gotta fix it,’” Byrne recalled on the podcast. “This guy knows how this machine works. I’ve never met him before and he’s given me a note. But it turned out to be a good note.”

Schumer, who told Byrne that she saw American Utopia six times, asked for clarification, just in case Seinfeld’s comedic tentacles stealthily wrapped around the choreography or set lists. But don’t worry, it was indeed only one joke. “Before I would say, ‘The firemen don’t want you to dance in the aisles, because the dancers in the aisles have an unfair advantage in the event of a fire,’” Byrne said, referring to a few lines of dialogue he weaves in between his songs. “And Jerry said, ‘Uh-huh. The joke is unfair advantage. Always put the joke at the end, ‘cause otherwise you’re jumping on top of your own joke.’ You leave them on the funny line. So I did that and it worked.” And yet, John Mulaney and his group of tweens were left out of the loop.

Jerry Seinfeld Redid a Joke in David Byrne’s American Utopia