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Jerry Seinfeld Says COVID-19 Is Like ‘the Whole Planet Getting Detention’

To promote his new book, comedian Jerry Seinfeld appeared on last night’s episode of The Late Show, where he and Stephen Colbert discussed everything from why Seinfeld still loves performing stand-up to his love of Transcendental Meditation to his thoughts on what we’re all going through now with the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine. “Do you think this moment we’re in right now is going to be relative and applicable to our lives after this, or are we in like a Mount Vesuvius moment?” Colbert asks. “Not every day is Pompeii getting buried in lava, which it kind of feels emotionally like these days. Do you think this moment right now is going to be understandable to the people who didn’t go through it? Is it a common enough human experience we’re having right now?”

Seinfeld tells Colbert that, much like the older generation and World War II, the next generation will never truly understand what living through this was like — but, to help, he does have a handy comparison ready. “It’s really like the whole planet getting detention. When you get out of detention, you’re really gonna see things a little differently,” Seinfeld says. “Hopefully you’re gonna learn to appreciate a little better. That’s what we have to do. But we probably won’t. But let’s try.” Seinfeld then tells Colbert that he recently went to a restaurant — outdoors, of course — for the first time since February, and just being around waitresses and menus was a thrill that he no longer took for granted. “It was the most exciting, odd, strange thing,” he says. “I was just like, ‘Wow, a restaurant! And they bring the food and the check. The check! I got a check!’”

Seinfeld: COVID Is Like ‘the Whole Planet Getting Detention’