Love for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Make no mistake: This is not your average YouTube homemade movie; Comedians in Cars is a highly edited, well produced series and it is delightfully charming.
Each of the ten episodes runs from nine to thirteen or so minutes and as the name would suggest, each segment centers on Jerry Seinfeld and a comedian out to find a good cup of coffee while they sit for a chat. But, not all comedians drink coffee and that becomes a skit in and of itself. Some comedians eat fat laden food; others are health nuts. It’s what reality TV should have been conceived as before anyone produced the first reality TV show.
Each episode begins with Jerry’s introduction of the car he has chosen for the drive. And Mr. Seinfeld has put thought into each of the cars for his guest that day.
If you think it impossible, watch the series finale, It’s Bubbly Time with Michael Richards. The car chosen for Mr. Seinfeld’s time with Michael Richards is perfect. This is a mind of a genius: Who thinks, “We’ll talk about cars! I’ll pick them up! We’ll go and get coffee and we’ll talk and see what happens.” Who thinks these things and thinks the concept will work?
I know nothing about cars – could care less; and, yet while watching each of the episodes I find myself thinking, “Oh that is a perfect choice of ride for…” (Carl Reiner or Joel Hodgson).
The first episode I viewed, Larry Eats a Pancake, sold me. Jerry Seinfeld (as well as Larry David) come off as thoughtful, kind and intelligent human beings with their head on as right can be.
The series isn’t out to make laughs for a laugh’s sake; laughs just happen. In the episode with Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, I was reminded of the old episodes of The Johnny Carson Show or the Carol Burnett Show, where the viewing audience was aware that Johnny and his guest were laughing in spite of their audience, as opposed to laughing to elicit laughs from their audience. These comedians were making each other laugh because they thought each other funny. It is the same with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. These guys find each other geniunely clever and the laughs are real. The compliments seem real.
The conversations can veer toward the serious (see It’s Bubbly Time). A few of the comedians rib Jerry Seinfeld for his fame and his wealth, which one would expect between great friends. But the irony here is that Jerry Seinfeld seems anything but affected by either wealth or fame. As he says to Michael Richards, “We’re just rain drops on the windshield.” And if he doesn’t actually believe it, one gets the sense that he tries to live his life within the philosophy.
And I love that these drives are adventures. Mr. Seinfeld’s episodes set in New York City didn’t involve a short drive to Midtown. He went on jaunts with his comedian passengers to far away places in other boroughs. In one episode he was East Side Highway bound with a screaming Ricky Gervais at his side.
Besides the charm and the wit and the funny, this is media for the digital age done right. Love. I don’t know if I could choose a favorite episode. I loved his time with Michael Richards; I was mesmarized by Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks; I was touched by the reserved charm and intelligence of Joel Hodgens…
We’ve included Episode 1, Larry Gets a Pancake. View all the episodes on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.