Last fall when Top Five came out, I forgot to mention how Jerry Seinfeld’s cameo was the least funny part of the film. Even in an R-rated setting, the dude couldn’t muster up a laugh with his sardonic comments. I try to forget Jerry was a part of the project.
Jerry is still complaining about how stand-up comics have it rough these days. Yesterday, we talked about how Jerry feels college campuses are too sensitive, and kids don’t understand what “racist” and “sexist” mean. Jerry can’t believe people won’t let him shine. Seriously, can’t a guy stand on a stage, joke around, and make millions of dollars without being held accountable? People called Jerry out.
Jerry “clarified” his statements last night during a visit to Late Night with Seth Meyers. He still can’t stand political correctness, and he didn’t mean to simply call out college kids. Jerry thinks the problem is a larger one, and now everyone is too uptight. Seth started out by saying comedy is all about “pushing the line.” Jerry believes comedy has been hampered by audiences moving that line, just for fun:
“They keep moving the lines in for no reason. I do this joke about the way people need to justify their cell phone. ‘I need to have it with me because people are so important.’ I say, ‘They don’t seem very important, the way you scroll through them like a gay French king.’ [Exaggerated hand gesture.] I did this line recently in front of an audience, and comedy is where you can feel an opinion. And they thought, ‘What do you mean gay? What are you talking about gay? What are you doing? What do you mean?’ I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
“I could imagine a time where people would say that’s offensive to suggest that a gay person moves their hands in a flourishing notion, and you need to apologize. There’s a creepy, PC thing out there that really bothers me.”
Journalist David Remnick agreed with Jerry and thinks the internet (especially Twitter) makes the PC brigade worse. Remnick makes an interesting point. The internet can amplify any sentiment. It can highlight the worst and best of humanity. It’s still not a comedian’s place to tell people how they should feel about his jokes. Nor should anyone belittle a group who feels offended when a comedian mocks them.
I guess we’re supposed to feel bad for Jerry though. Woe is the privileged comedian who can’t adapt to his audience.
Here’s the clip of Jerry whining to Seth Meyers.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN