Jerry Seinfeld says "the extreme left" is responsible for the decline of comedy on television

GOOD+ Foundation "An Evening Of Comedy + Music" Benefit
Jerry Seinfeld at GOOD+ Foundation "An Evening Of Comedy + Music" Benefit (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

In an interview with David Remnick for the New Yorker Radio Hour, Jerry Seinfeld said he blames “the extreme left” and political correctness for the decline of comedy on television.

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, while promoting his new Pop-Tarts movie, Seinfeld said that there is a dearth of funny material to watch on TV. Seinfeld opined the constant fretting about ruffling people's feathers has led to the decline of comedy on television.

He said—

“This is the result of the extreme left and P.C. c**p and people worrying so much about offending other people.”

Jerry Seinfeld explains his reason for saying "extreme left" has killed comedy

During the interview, Jerry Seinfeld said the audience is deprived of good comedy shows despite the need for the craft. Seinfeld reflected on past comedy shows that used to get people excited about watching TV.

He added:

“Nothing really affects comedy. People always need it. They need it so badly and they don’t get it. It used to be that you’d go home at the end of the day, and most people would go ‘Oh, Cheers is on. Oh, M*A*S*He is on. Oh, Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on.’ You just expected [there will] be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight. Well, guess what? Where is it? Where is it?”

Jerry Seinfeld explained people are worried about offending sensibilities, which has resulted in the decline of good comedy shows on television. Seinfeld continued that when a script goes through multiple alterations to remain politically correct it’s the “end” of comedy.

He continued:

“When you write a script, and it goes into four or five different hands, committees, groups – ‘Here’s our thought about this joke’ – well, that’s the end of your comedy.”

The standup comic continued that while certain comedians were “having fun” stepping over the line, most of them were worried about being canceled.

He also said:

“With certain comedians now, people are having fun with them stepping over the line, and us all laughing about it. But again, it’s the stand-ups that really have the freedom to do it because no one else gets the blame if it doesn’t go down well. He or she can take all the blame.”

Seinfeld’s recent seemingly dreary remarks come days after he announced the movie business “is over '' and doesn't hold any cultural relevance.

While making his feature directorial debut in Netflix’s Unfrosted - a comedy about the creation of Pop-Tarts, Jerry Seinfeld told GQ that movies don’t occupy the same pinnacle in the social and cultural hierarchy they once did. He added that “disorientation" has replaced the business, with most of his colleagues wondering what to do next.


Jerry Seinfeld's remarks on Friends

Shortly after, during a new digital short promoting his film Unfrosted, the comedian spoke about Friends, seemingly inferring the show stole their premise from Seinfeld.

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In the new short film, Seinfeld visits Kellogg’s corporate offices in Michigan due to “trademark infringement,” where he encounters the fictional President of Pop-Tarts, Kelman P. Gasworth, who says he’s going to take something from the stand-up comic for bogarting their product.

Then they proceed to unveil former Seinfeld characters trapped in a box as Gasworth mocks “They’re my characters now, Mr. Seinfeld,” before asking how he feels when people steal his ideas. Seinfeld then quips, “You mean, like Friends?”

Netflix comedy Unfrosted is set to release on May 3, 2024.

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