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Jerry Seinfeld Talks TV In Reddit AMA

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JERRY SEINFELD
Jerry Seinfeld talks with fans in Reddit AMA (John Minchillo/Invision/AP) | John Minchillo/Invision/AP

Jerry Seinfeld is serious about his comedy. As an actor, comedian, author, screenwriter and stage director, Seinfeld has made his mark on nearly every corner of the entertainment industry and at age 59, retirement seems to be far from his mind.

He took to Reddit on Monday (Jan. 6) for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session in which he talked television, comedy and even his daily life.

Seinfeld also took the opportunity to promote his latest venture, a web series called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," which recently premiered its third season.

In the AMA, Seinfeld discussed his web series, chatted with fans and gave TV lovers an insider look at the show that's not really about nothing. Check out some of the highlights from the session below.

  • hawatcha: Hey Jerry! HUGE fan and love "Comedians in Cars"! So my question is, if you could grab a coffee with any comedian no longer with us, who would it be and in what car? Thanks!

    _Seinfeld: Great, great question. Wow. I probably would have to say Charlie Chaplin in a Duesenberg.
  • Jay_Riemenschneider: In some scenes, it's apparent that you're ready to crack up, and of course there are the famous outtakes like Kramer's "look away, I'm hideous" scene in which you completely lose it. Is there a scene in particular you remember as being funniest to you in the moment as you were acting it out?

    _Seinfeld: That's an excellent choice, the one that you mentioned, because I can still remember how brutally funny that was to me. The thing about the show is that you have to realize that I had to look into the faces of those people, six inches away, so if you think Kramer is funny on TV, imagine his real face six inches from your nose, how funny that is. You can't imagine. It's impossible not to laugh. So I would.
  • vousaimezmike: How do you feel about laugh tracks on sitcoms?

    _Seinfeld: This was something we struggled with quite often on Seinfeld. Because we had real laughs on the scenes that were shot in front of an audience, but then we would shoot other scenes that were not in front of the audience (which didn't have any laughs) and then it felt like a bit of a mismatch, so we tried to compromise and put in a subtle laugh track. I think that one of the fun things of a sitcom is feeling like you're in an audience even though you're home, watching it by yourself. I have to say I like some sitcoms with them and some without. Depends on the show.
  • blade316: Were there ever story ideas that you had to scrap for Seinfeld because you felt they pushed the limits too far?

    _Seinfeld: Yes. There was one episode where Jerry bought a handgun. And we started making it and stopped in the middle and said "this doesn't work." We did the read-through and then cancelled it. A lot of other stuff happened, but trying to make that funny ended up being no fun.
  • MisterNatural77: My question has to do with one little moment in the Soup Nazi episode. Wayne Knight walks out of the restaurant, looks at his bag and says "ummm...Jambalaya"...and then does this little dance down the sidewalk. It was hilarious. But not because of the line...because of the way he delivered it and what he did physically. So my question is...how did this happen? Did the script just have the line leaving it up to him on what to do with it? was it an ad-lib? Did the script describe the dance? Describe the process of getting this little golden moment on the screen. Thanks.

    _Seinfeld: Very very well observed, first of all, let me compliment you on that. That moment, which I remember crystal clearly, is the enormous talent of an actor like Wayne Knight. And the script said "Newman looks in the bag, and says Jambalaya" but the delivery and the dance was all his.
  • jklap: What was your favorite episode of Seinfeld to film?

    _Seinfeld: Well, I'll give you two. One was the The Rye, because we got to shoot that at Paramount Studios in LA which was the first time that we thought "wow this is almost like a real TV show." We hadn't felt like a real TV show, the early years of the TV show were not successful. We had this idea of a Marble Rye and we had to shoot it in an outdoor set, and this was a very expensive thing to do, it's like a movie place there at Paramount in LA. Their standing set for New York looks exactly like it, and we thought "this is where the ADULT shows are, the REAL shows like Murphy Brown." We felt like we were a weird little orphan show. So that was a big deal for us. And that was very exciting, we were up all night shooting it on the set of paramount and it was very exciting. The other one that was really fun was in the episode The Pothole, Newman drives his mailtruck over a sewing machine and his mail truck burst into flames. It was really fun to shoot, and it was fun to set Newman on fire. And he screamed "oh the humanity" like from the Hindenberg disaster. It's one of my favorites.
  • almondchicken81: How happy were you with the Seinfeld Finale? In hindsight would you have changed anything?

    _Seinfeld: I was happy with the Seinfeld finale because we didn't want to do another episode as much as we wanted to have everybody come back to the show we had so much fun with. It was a way to thank all of the people who worked on the show over the years that we thought made the show work. I don't believe in trying to change the past but I'm very happy with it.
  • soulexpectation: Who came up with that bass line?

    _Seinfeld: The composer was Jonathan Wolff, and we were trying to come up with something that would not interfere with the standup portion in the beginning of the show. We didn't know how iconic it was going to be.
  • Jabbari_Scrivvens: My question is how did you come up with Festivus and did you ever think that people would actually celebrate it?

    _Seinfeld: I didn't come up with it, it was the invention of Dan O'Keefe's father, who was a writer on our show. We never anticipated anything. I anticipated it would be a good idea that would get us through this week.
  • hornedhawk: How would you describe Seinfeld in one sentence to someone who had never even heard of the show?

    _Seinfeld: Good question. I would describe it as "a very funny show from the 90's"
  • DanielTaylor: In the TV show Seinfeld, Jerry was about to get a deal with the NBC to start producing a show about "nothing", basically making this a selfreference to the very show the characters where in. I have never stopped wondering what similarities there might be between the creation process of "Seinfeld" and the creation process of "Jerry". How did Seinfeld come to be? What obstacles did you face when pitching your idea of a show about "nothing"? Who supported you and who didn't?

    _Seinfeld: The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material. The show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it's the opposite of that.
  • DetroitPistons: Do you find yourself often quoting the more popular lines from the show? I use "these pretzels are making me thirsty" as often as I can.

    _Seinfeld: The only line I quote from the show (and I'll be very impressed if anybody out tehre remembers this line) is "If you're one of us, you'll take a bite." I find myself saying that to my kids a lot. It's a very obscure line, but George was working at some company where they all had lunch together, and he wasn't trying the apple pie, and the boss finally says "If you're one of us, you'll take a bite." A lot of times kids won't want to try certain foods, and so I'll use that line. Sometimes I'll quote Newman in flames screaming "Oh the humanity."
  • twojaguars: What's the deal with airline food?

    _Seinfeld: The deal with airline food is they, everything is miniaturized, as if we're in Gulliver's Travels. I used to do a bit about the tiny airline world, about how everything is miniaturized, there's always a short delay, a little problem, we're going to be a tiny bit late.

Read the entire AMA here.

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