Jerry Seinfeld On His 'Seinfeld' Success (UPDATED)
UPDATE: Jerry Seinfeld tweeted a response to this story:
Our original headline, "Jerry Seinfeld: I Wasn't Comfortable With 'Seinfeld' Success," referred to his quote, "I left LA and I tried to break back into the middle ... and that made me feel comfortable. To be honest with you, I never felt great being at that pinnacle."
PREVIOUSLY: If you've noticed that, for the most part, Jerry Seinfeld seems to have disappeared from public view since the end of his all-time great sitcom, you're right. And it's not because he couldn't repeat his success; he just didn't feel comfortable with it in the first place.
He was the king of TV comedy, with millions repeating his witty one liners and weekly-coined catchphrases, but as a trained standup comedian, Seinfeld was more used to self-loathing than congratulations. As he tells Showtime's new series, "Inside Comedy," being "a thing" wasn't exactly his thing.
"There's nothing better for a comedian than being penned in, closed off, shut out, not welcome, that's nutrition. That's what you want as a comedian. Acceptance is a very dangerous thing for a comedian," he says. "Standup is a loud desperation."
Once "Seinfeld" was over, Seinfeld went back on the road; aside for producing and starring in the animated "Bee Movie," and the short lived reality game show "The Marriage Ref," he's largely done standup and behind-the-scenes work.
"I left LA and I tried to break back into the middle... and that made me feel comfortable. To be honest with you, I never felt great being at that pinnacle. There was a point where the show was really at a very high level of, it was a thing. It was the thing for a period of time. And I thought, this is not good, because it's not where I belong. This is not comedy. I always thought comedy and star are mutually exclusive."