Jerry Seinfeld has built a career out of an exasperation and incredulity with the minutiae of the world, but on Late Night with Seth Meyers Tuesday, it took an existential turn when the comedian was forced to reckon with the trivial trappings of appearing on yet another late night talk show.
Of course, Seinfeld wasn’t belligerent, but he did reveal his inner curmudgeon/Larry David as he discussed the ridiculousness of doing a pre-interview with a producer — a regular part of the talk show process to prep the guest — at this point in his career.
“I’ve done a few things, you know,” Seinfeld cracked, before addressing Meyers: “And I feel like you want this job, you want to be talk show guy, so I think you should do the work. Because let’s be completely candid, I did not call you to say, ‘I’d love to be on your show.'”
Seinfeld further peeled back the layers of talk show and entertainment politics as he explained the back-and-forth between himself and the Late Night producers: “I don’t have time for this, I don’t really need it, I don’t want it, but they keep calling,” Seinfeld said. “So eventually I say, ‘OK, fine, I will go on.’ So then what do you think his producer says? ‘So what do you want to do?’ I don’t want to do anything! I don’t want to be on these shows!”
After jokingly demanding Meyers engage him for the rest of the show, he gamely stuck around and spoke with the host and New Yorker editor David Remnick, about political correctness in comedy. Seinfeld said he felt like his room to maneuver and skewer was getting smaller, and recalled a lukewarm response he received to a joke in which he compared people swiping through their phones to the flourishes of a “gay French king.” Though it wasn’t intended to offend, Seinfeld said he could see a future where he’d have to apologize profusely for such a joke, adding, “There’s a creepy PC thing out there that really bothers me.”
Elsewhere, Seinfeld — sporting a massive grin — copped to being elated when he found out how much money he would be making after Hulu purchased the rights to Seinfeld. With the show now potentially reaching a younger audience, Seinfeld also remembered the peculiar moment when he realized Seinfeld would be syndicated and he began the impossible task of trying to wear clothes that wouldn’t look awful in the future.
“The way we look right now, there’s nothing we can do that in 10 years we won’t look ridiculous,” Seinfeld said, before turning his attention to Meyers and his expertly maintained coif. “Your hair, this thing you’re doing right here — it’s going to be so hilarious, so embarrassing!”