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Why Jerry Seinfeld Doesn’t Believe He Could Make the Same Jokes on ‘Seinfeld’ Today: ‘P.C. Crap’

Why Jerry Seinfeld Doesn t Believe He Could Make the Same Jokes on Seinfeld Today P C Crap
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Netflix

Jerry Seinfeld believes the current political climate is preventing comedians from being funny on television.

His self-titled NBC sitcom remains very popular now in reruns after airing from 1989 to 1998, but he doesn’t think some of the same jokes would fly today. According to Seinfeld, 70, fans go to live shows instead of television to get their laugh on.

“Nothing really affects comedy. People always need it. They need it so badly and they don’t get it,” Seinfeld told The New Yorker in an interview published Sunday, April 28. “It used to be, you would go home at the end of the day, most people would go, ‘Oh, Cheers is on. Oh, M*A*S*H* is on. Oh, Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on.’ You just expected, ‘There’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight.’ Well, guess what — where is it? This is the result of the extreme left and P.C. crap, and people worrying so much about offending other people.”

The Emmy winner argued that when fans want to laugh, they abandon their televisions and are “now going to see stand-up comics because we are not policed by anyone.”

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“The audience polices us,” he said. “We know when we’re off track. We know instantly and we adjust to it instantly. But when you write a script and it goes into four or five different hands, committees, groups — ‘Here’s our thought about this joke.’ Well, that’s the end of your comedy.”

The comedian used his own show as an example of how jokes he did in the past would not be allowed now because they are not politically correct.

Why Jerry Seinfeld Doesn t Believe He Could Make the Same Jokes on Seinfeld Today P C Crap
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Good+Foundation

“We did an episode of [Seinfeld] in the nineties where Kramer decides to start a business of having homeless people pull rickshaws because, as he says, ‘They’re outside anyway,’” he continued. “Do you think I could get that episode on the air today? … We would write a different joke with Kramer and the rickshaw today. We wouldn’t do that joke. We’d come up with another joke.”

Seinfeld’s latest project is the Netflix film Unfrosted costarring Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant and Amy Schumer. As he makes his directorial debut, he is also critical of the movie industry.

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“Film doesn’t occupy the pinnacle in the social, cultural hierarchy that it did for most of our lives,” he told GQ in a recent interview. “When a movie came out, if it was good, we all went to see it. We all discussed it. We quoted lines and scenes we liked. Now we’re walking through a fire hose of water, just trying to see.”

Seinfeld added that he does not enjoy working with film executives. “They’re so dead serious! They don’t have any idea that the movie business is over. They have no idea,” he said.

The former host of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee believes that the movie industry is in total disarray.

“So what, if anything, has replaced film? Depression? Malaise? I would say confusion. Disorientation replaced the movie business,” Seinfeld claimed. “Everyone I know in show business, every day, is going, ‘What’s going on? How do you do this? What are we supposed to do now?’”

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