A long time ago I remember seeing something about how Jerry Seinfeld was starting a web series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Not being a really big car fan (but a fan of both coffee and Seinfeld), I gave the first few episodes a shot and nodded my head in haphazard approval a few minutes in as I decided to go off and do something else. I remember thinking to myself that it’s always nice to see artists use their talents to bring art to the world, and I was glad that Seinfeld was doing this with his own talents.
Today I happened upon it again, this time an episode with President Obama. One thing I didn’t really notice the first time I saw the show was that the obvious point of the show — two people in a car getting coffee — barely scratches the surface of what is actually going on here. Seinfeld, in his casual and friendly way, is gently tugging on people to talk about themselves, about life, and about who they are as a person, all without anyone really ever showing off or framing themselves as a product of the life they’ve worked hard for.
In an episode with Jim Carrey, for example, you can start to feel an undertone of existential nonchalance coming out, as if Jerry is using dialog with famous people to connect with the masses on a level that surpasses any character either of them have ever played. Instead, Seinfeld is bringing the conversation into our hearts, re-humanizing the people who have been pedestaled with popular movie and T.V. show roles by showing them to us in a safe, comfortable, true-to-self atmosphere. More importantly, we as common folk are able to relate to these famous people, including Jerry, just a bit more now, and in doing so we can feel a bit more connected on a level that we all know is there but rarely have the opportunity to feel.
Jerry’s helped to provide a way to feel that connection with his web series. Do yourself a favor and watch a few episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In the episode with the president, Jerry at one point says that he’s maintained a humble perspective on life because he “fell in love with the work.” This may not reveal itself the first time you sit down and enjoy an episode, but just like new people we meet in life, over time I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with just how much about them (and yourself) you come to learn.