Is a tangent really a tangent if it comes at the beginning of a thought?
Not that long ago, there were less than a handful of channels on television. The downside of this was that you were sort of forced to settle for whatever the networks decided to put in front of you; options were hard to come by. However, the lack of selection made it much easier to get a bead on what people were and weren’t aware of.
The point is this: I have no idea if you’ve heard of or watched Comedians in a Car Getting Coffee. Maybe everyone knows about this Jerry Seinfeld web series and maybe nobody does – I have no idea. And that feels like an important piece of information to have before writing about the show. But I’m going to do it anyway.
You’ve been warned.
The gist of the show is this: Seinfeld, a renowned car nut, borrows an exotic ride, calls a famous friend (Larry David, Alec Baldwin, Ricky Gervais, etc.) and invites them to coffee. He picks up the person, they drive, they chat, the eat and/or drink and then it’s over. Episodes last about 15 minutes and debut each Thursday.
It’s better than it sounds. At least, I think it is. Frankly, it’s hard to tell. Because I like Seinfeld, I give him the benefit of the doubt, laughing every time I’m supposed to and a tad harder than the joke demands. My wife, for example, may find these exercises extremely boring and odd. But I’m all in from the every-day observations to the overt facial expressions.
That’s because Jerry won me over a long time ago during his run on (and as) “Seinfeld.” It’s insane to think that show has been off the air since 1998. Thank God for syndication. Every day, there are fewer people in on the joke, a hard reality for those of us who still see life through the Seinfeld lens. The references still come so easily and with so little explanation. Shrinkage. Manzier. Festivus. Pigman. Jambalaya. Newman! And on and on.
The show was genius. The proof: According to the New York Post, it has made $2.7 billion since going off the air. And that was in 2010.
Now Jerry is back in a very different way if sort of the same. That is, CCGF – if I can call it that – is even more about nothing than Seinfeld, as David happily points out. It’s just two people making small talk and/or sampling new bits. But it’s also … a Web series. Certainly, Jerry didn’t invent the format, but his involvement sure stands to lend legitimacy to it. That should bode well for the future, be it stars creating a passion project for fun (like Will Ferrell and Funny or Die) or upstarts using it to launch a career.
Frankly, that’s secondary. All I know right now is that I enjoy this Web series. It’s light, it’s funny, it’s fast. It makes me crave coffee. And it’s brought my (pretend) old pal, observation-obsessed, bad-acting Jerry Seinfeld back into my life with new material that’s more than a little reminiscent of old material.
Am I dreaming? No. These Web episodes are real, and they’re spectacular.