off the record
You don’t want to make Jerry Seinfeld angry, as Peter Lauria, business editor at Buzzfeed, found out during a snowy Monday night conversation with the comedy guru. Held in conjunction with CBS’s This Morning, BuzzFeed Brews, a live-streamed event, revealed what some of us Jerry-heads have known for awhile: We won’t like him when he’s angry.
“This really pisses me off,” Mr. Seinfeld said, after snarling at Mr. Lauria for questioning his use of mainly “white males” in his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. “Take a look over here, Peter,” he bristled. “What do you see? A lot of whiteys.”
Praise the stars! It turns out that Jerry Seinfeld’s “secret project” with Larry David may, in fact, be related to his recent appearance at Tom’s Restaurant with Jason Alexander after all! And no, it won’t be a SuperBowl commercial (our first thought), or the next episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (our second). Based on his interview with Boomer & Carton on Thursday, the Seinfeld reunion (unrelated to the Broadway production he’ll be doing with Mr. David,) will be its own “short-ish” form project that will probably remain a one-off series.
“How is a raven like a writing desk?” The Mad Hatter asked Alice. While the answer always perplexed me–”The higher you go, the less there are,” seriously??–it’s the kind of SAT question equivocation game that I play in my head when I think of podcasts and web series. (They are basically a place for people to interview each other, right?) Or a Volvo and Twitter, which is what Tina Fey conflates in this latest episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, driving around Harlem looking for product placement.
What is going on here? Who knows. Tina Fey has some food issues and only does 40 minutes of work in an office. It sounds lovely.
Last week, Jerry Seinfeld participated in one of those Reddit AMAs, where celebrities interact with teeming Internet masses to mixed results. Mr. Seinfeld revealed during questioning that he had worked with longtime collaborator Larry David on a new project that would be “big, huge, gigantic.”
“We never obsess over anything that isn’t mundane,” he teased out. “Most recent was intentional mumbling.” Which, shit, was going to be the name of our memoir.
Death of the Middle Class
Backstage at Madison Square Garden’s Stand Up for Heroes benefit, a double-amputee veteran waited with his mother, as he prepared to go onstage to fulfill his—and probably many other people’s—lifelong dream of playing backup for Bruce Springsteen. Nearby stood a 76-year-old man with one eye clouded over with a diabetic cataract. That man approached the veteran and said, “What happened to you?”
“I lost them in the war,” the young man replied, referring to his lower legs.
The old man fixed his good eye on the veteran and patted him twice—thump, thump!—on the thigh. “Oh yeah, you lost them?” he grinned. “Well, where did you put them?”
A moment of silence passed. And then another. And then the man’s mother began to laugh.
On a recent January evening, the stretch of East Ninth Street visible from the rain-smeared window of the salon Lovemore & Do was bleary and indistinct. In the haze of fog and car exhaust, it was easy to imagine the East Village as the grimy heart of bohemia it once was.
With hair swept up in a red bandana, stylist Sue Palchak-Essenpreis looks like the standard-bearer of that fading neighborhood ethos, but that morning she had selected her vintage outfit from a closet in New Jersey. Last summer, Ms. Palchak-Essenpreis and her husband Greg, a social worker, were evicted from their apartment at 50 East Third Street. After 16 years in the East Village, they finally gave up.
“I try not to think about it too much,” she said, pulling at the tufts on the pale blue pillow in her lap as she spoke. “There’s a medical center at the end of the block, so at least we have some sirens that make us feel at home.”
The Essenpreises’ story, at first glance, might appear to be just another retelling of the tale that every New Yorker knows by heart: that dark parable of gentrification and displacement more familiar to us than Little Red Riding Hood’s ill-fated walk through the woods.
You know that phrase, “I could listen to him read a phone book”? The implication is that said person is so talented, that they could give a nuanced performance to the most boring material, and you’d still be enthralled.
Unfortunately, there is another saying in showbiz: “If you have to explain it, it’s not funny.”
That being said, here is the very talented Jerry Seinfeld talking in a New York Times video about why words like Pop Tart, chimps, dirt, playing and sticks are all very funny.
Big Apple Idolatry
While those whose homes and lives were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy might not feel much like hearing jokes, two of comedy’s most famous names plan on raising money for Long Island’s victims with their gift of laughter. And they actually plan on going to L.I.!
– In her continuing efforts to upstage that total biatch Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes decided to strip down in a tanning salon lobby in New York and run around screaming “I’m a retired multi-millionaire!!” Said an eyewitness, “There was definitely something wrong with her.” What do you think it was?