Episode #68

Jerry Seinfeld

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Monday, June 02, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld was just 27 when he first appeared on Johnny Carson in 1981. And he stood out. His material wasn't about his upbringing or personal relationships.  It was about our universal experience of small things. His unique comedy style eventually led him to create his namesake show with Larry David. After Seinfeld ran for nine seasons, he decided to go back to stand-up, and to his audience.  As he explains to Alec, Seinfeld feels uniquely connected to his fans: “You have this relationship with the audience that is private between you and them.”

Comments [45]

M from New York

I have been away from 'Here's the Thing' podcasts for a bit. In perusing the past library I was intrigued to see Jerry Seinfeld as a guest, as I had never heard a candid interview with him. What a disappointment. By reading the other posts I seem to be the minority here. I couldn't find anything likable about Jerry at all. Yes he is a funny comedian, and he said some of the right things (the yacht) but the man behind the comedian is an antagonistic, opinionated, insufferable know it all. My fan has left the building. How he has managed to be married for 15 years, to someone that seems to be a very strong and intelligent woman, is baffling. I could barely take 30 minutes of listening to his ego. Had no desire to listen to the rest.

Apr. 15 2015 02:02 AM
Chelsea252 from NYC

I'm a casual fan of Comedians in Cars etc. and feel I know enough about Seinfeld (almost to the point of being tired of him) but I found this interview insightful and enjoyable. And I much prefer Baldwin's style of creating a real conversation. He doesn't insult us by pretending he and Seinfeld haven't covered this territory before, and he rejects the tired and stilted 'traditional' Q&A format. Perhaps I'm biased, being an Alec Baldwin admirer, but the interviews where he participates more tend to be the best. (Not a particilar fan of Billy Joel but that conversation was wonderful, for example.)

Dec. 31 2014 11:14 AM
Loren from NC, USA

Loved it!

For the folks complaining about too much Alec Baldwin in the mix: the thing is, this is Alec's show. And his guests come on because (we assume) they like hanging out with Alec and having conversations with him. He's not doing a public service program, he's not being paid by our taxes - he's doing *his* thing. So he gets to talk too, he doesn't have to fade into nothingness during the interview. And we wouldn't even get to hear these conversations with all these interesting people if they didn't want to be there talking with him as he is. If you don't like it, that's of course just fine - but don't insult the man about being himself on his show.

Dec. 26 2014 11:13 AM

Great interview...very informal and gets to amazing insights without pretension. Wonder if you'd consider Mark Knophler. Everyone thinks of him as a great guitarist but he a great lyricist as well.

Nov. 28 2014 12:09 PM
Lonnie from Portland, Don't Move Here

Got to love Alec Baldwin! His voice is too sexy. Great interview with two great personalities of our time.

Jun. 16 2014 02:27 PM
Ash from Canada

SEINFELD, put Fran Dreaser on your show , stat !

May. 31 2014 02:50 AM

I agree with the listener above who recognized that this “conversation” was more about Baldwin than about Seinfeld. Thank God Seinfeld asked himself some great questions, and was assertive enough to answer them…despite Balwin’s attempt to interrupt.

May. 20 2014 10:55 AM
Kevin Mc. from Eastern N.C

Loved the banter,could not have gotten close to the real J.S without it.

Mar. 16 2014 10:39 PM
Francis James from London, UK

... or Alec, even.

Feb. 27 2014 11:34 AM
Francis James from London, UK

On a good day, there are few people funnier than Jerry Seinfeld. And this was definitely a good day. Thank you, Alex.

Feb. 27 2014 11:29 AM
TOM ALLEN from Fishers In

I love there coversation, Comedians in Cars, same thing.

Feb. 21 2014 10:38 AM
Ally from Sydney

I am loving these interviews so much!!!!

Jan. 20 2014 08:49 PM
Alexis from Brooklyn, NY

This link now seems to be broken! WIll the audio for this be up again soon?

Jan. 08 2014 08:48 PM
Alison Goodman from Arden, NC

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most interesting people alive today. Yet all I heard was Alec Baldwin sharing HIS stories and trying his best to make Jerry Seinfeld laugh. At one point Jerry became the interviewer. Every time Jerry was about to reveal something genuine about what makes him tick, you interrupted with your own nonsense. Maybe your show is "a conversation"... OK, so you succeeded in making Jerry laugh. We get it, you're really funny. You nailed the Al Pacino impersonation. But I wanted to hear Jerry talk, not so much you. I'm usually disappointed by the super high Alec-to-guest-ratio....but today I was mad. I mean, just listen to it. No disrespect, but maybe radio isn't your venue.

Dec. 14 2013 08:47 PM
Gary from NYC

Have listened to most of the interviews and enjoyed them all. BUT they seem to have come to an end. No new ones in a month or 2. Is the series over since Alec went to MSNBC for his TV interview show?

Nov. 12 2013 09:52 AM

Jerry Seinfeld: He is what is is. Interesting conversation. Would love to hear the hour-longs with Barry Marder!

Nov. 09 2013 05:59 PM
tood from Canada

Jerry speaks of Kipper. her sounds a bit off...
Having trouble starting his sentences, over his thoughts..
Was he a bit high?

Nov. 03 2013 07:41 PM
Cindy McPhee from Toronto

I really enjoy listening to Here's the thing. This interview with Jerry is so amazing because I felt like I was sitting in the room with the two of you. Thank you!

Nov. 02 2013 11:41 AM
Vic from .

Great show with Jerry.

How much prep work do you in creating these shows...?

I've asked this question before ~ Would you ever consider doing
a radio play at WNYC in the Greene Space? You've done readings on
Selected Shorts with Isiah Sheffer ~(THE DOME is one of my favorites)
I also enjoyed your reading of James Joyces' hot letter to Nora this past Bloom's Day on WBAI. By the way, in this past reading on BAI, who selected your excerpt to read from ULYSSES...? The letter was better. Anyway,
The first major show WNYC produced in the Greene Space was a radio verse play by Archibald MacLeish, THE FALL OF THE CITY. WNYC should consider producing another one of MacLeish's plays, AIR RAID.
Look Up! The time is right.

Oct. 27 2013 09:33 AM

I'm so grateful to have heard and be able to re-hear this conversation. Thank you.

Oct. 22 2013 10:33 PM
Susan from Manhattan

Loved this interview. Learned a LOT about Seinfeld I never knew -- what a childhood! TM? how hard-working he is . . . really increased my respect for him.

And Alec was so articulate, insightful, intelligent, funny.

Thanks for a very enjoyable hour. Please don't stop doing the show!

Oct. 22 2013 09:54 PM
YarnGuy from Brooklyn

Hi Alec, loved the interview with Jerry. Now look, I know this is totally unrelated, but can you please do something about this: making a sequel to this amazing film is such a bad idea, I don't know where to begin. It's so indicative of all that's wrong with Hollywood, and I'm hoping you can talk some sense into Mr. Burton. Thanks. - Eric

Oct. 22 2013 10:26 AM
Kayan from Canada

True but I prefer the kayak, it's not as wet.

Oct. 21 2013 10:59 AM

I don't think Jerry is smug,i'd say he has this glassy-spacey, emotionally flatlined affect. opposites,that sort of cancel each other out. I hope this is taken the right way;but if one grows up in NYC, one finds a lot of Jewish people who have this type of personality. now,do your own ad hoc sociology and please send your letters to....??

Oct. 19 2013 06:28 PM
David from Amsterdam

Loved it. Very insightful. Keep it up.

Oct. 19 2013 05:38 AM

I love Alec Baldwin's interviews, but Jerry Seinfeld is just unbearably smug.

Oct. 18 2013 03:00 PM

@ Tony from Rockaway- I actually like the occasional cuss word ,from a person that is not the standard passive aggressive , mild mannered spineless NPR personality. I highly respect "Alec being Alec". if we had more of his ilk in politics,we just might keep a band of deviant buffoons from shutting down the government. there'd be someone there to say "f%#k no" to them.

Oct. 17 2013 02:28 PM
Tony from Rockaway, NJ

To WNYC and WQXR: As a long time listener and supporter of both stations, I am disappointed that you would hire an egotistical, hot-tempered , foul mouthed, arrogant person such as Alec Baldwin to air on your otherwise highly respected stations.

Oct. 17 2013 02:08 PM
Nelson from Los Angeles

Great interview, the best.

Oct. 17 2013 02:14 AM
SPR from Staten Island, NY

Aaaaaaaaaah...that was good! Thank you!

Oct. 16 2013 07:15 PM
Brooks White from Brooklyn NY

Two Massapequa boys talking. Interesting to hear Jerry talk about those who make it in their business are those who are the most driven, not necessarily those who are the best. Probably true for a lot of businesses. I think of Brad Seltzer when I think of those who were quick witted and funny. Even Howie Silverman. Both a little older than Jerry. Doubt that they ever went into comedy. Jerry was driven. He also is honest. He was not much of a runner.

Oct. 16 2013 07:11 PM
Tom from Glen Ridge, NJ

I will definitely listen to this, as I am a fan of both--but will someone please tell me what's with this picture of Alex Baldwin? How many hours did he practice in front of his mirror to perfect his pucker? So vain. So embarrassing. Alex: you are an undeniable talent; you are obviously a very bright guy, but what an ego--eccchh!

Oct. 16 2013 06:17 PM
Frank from Babylon, NY

Great interview. Alec is at the top of his game. I have a lot respect for the way Jerry sees his role in the world. It's too bad most other celebrities don't approach life with such inner awareness and understanding.

Oct. 16 2013 01:18 PM
verna jetter from East Brunswick, NJ

To Jerry: I use the pajama pocket for my cell phone before dressing. Can't do without it.
To both of you: What do you think about the messiah? As an aside, if God is so smart, how come He can't fix the world's problems?

Oct. 16 2013 09:52 AM
Benji from East Fishkill

Not everyone dreams. This guy I know, Tom, didn't dream until he was in his 40s and it scared the crap out of him. He was afraid to sleep again!

Oct. 15 2013 07:56 PM
Michael from plainview

True Story ,I'm walking behind Jerry and a friend in Sag Harbor and they are discussing getting ice cream,turning into the ice cream store there is a line immediately discouraged they decide to go with the organic ice cream sold elsewhere. It was very much a Seinfeld esq ,I said hello when you turned out of the store but you were very so disinterested ,rightfully so,but it was hysterical in a real way,thanks for the memory

Oct. 15 2013 03:22 PM
Milos from Queens

My god, Alec, would you PLEASE stop talking and let your guest answer the questions you've just asked him? Seinfeld is one of the smartest, funniest people in the world, so in spite of your interruptions and attempts to make yourself sound as witty as possible, I managed to laugh out loud a bunch of times. Jerry is a very interesting, unique individual whose opinions we don't get to hear that often. It would have been wonderful if you had simply closed your mouth and given the man some working space. Thank you.

Oct. 15 2013 03:16 PM
adm from nyc

sheer entertainment. doesnt get better than this. I like how Jerry gave Alec a bit of a hard time at the beginning. Thank you.

Oct. 15 2013 02:27 PM
RH from nyc

I enjoyed this interview a whole lot more than I thought I would...Funny, insightful and provoking.

Oct. 15 2013 01:21 PM
Celeste from Los Angeles

I'm going to miss this podcast. Who could interview Jerry Seinfeld as well as Alec? Nobody in my opinion. It's brilliant, so compelling, interesting and funny. Thank you, Alec. Looking forward to your new show and everything else you'll be doing for that matter.

Oct. 15 2013 11:53 AM

F*cking great interview. Well done Alec!

Oct. 15 2013 11:33 AM

hey there. i will miss this show.

Oct. 15 2013 10:37 AM
chris from CA

He sounds under influence...Another one who thinks highly of himself...

Oct. 14 2013 01:31 PM
seve ausfrey from Bronx NY

this is small potatoes in the scheme of things,but is Jerry another one of these people who doesn't know that congas are not bongos. or perhaps, does know but doesn't give a crap.

Oct. 14 2013 01:19 PM
Anne-Lucie from West Village

Deepest thing I've ever heard, and I admit I've never considered Mr. Seinfeld particularly probing.
"You want to get wet? you want to be on the water? You have to decide if you want to be on a surfboard, or you want to be on a yacht. I don't want to be on a yacht. I don't want to be on a yacht just to show other people that I have a yacht."

Excellent way to look at life and opportunity: Do you want to be on the sea or do you want to show off your ship?

Oct. 14 2013 07:05 AM

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