Steve Martin in Cars Getting Advice

Some people love him, some people immediately change the channel. There doesn’t seem to be a third way to feel about Steve Martin. He’s one of the most polarizing comedians out there. Not because of edgy material, but because of his material nonetheless. He either rubs you the right or the wrong way. I must admit, I, for one, change the channel. However, Jerry Seinfeld has proven more than once, that his internet road trip series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, tends to change one’s perspective 180 degrees about people. Jerry totally strips his guests from their ‘comedy veil’, and almost every time, a very likeable human being surfaces.

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The Car
But first: the car. It isn’t called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee for nothing. Jerry has borrowed a shiny red 1954 Siata. An Italian car, with beautiful lines, beautiful details, but one that doesn’t actually move. It breaks down every chance it gets. Not to mention what happens if you’re touching the gorgeous silver switches; they just spontaneously break off. Needless to say, before they know it, Jerry and Steve are standing by the side of the road, while the production team performs CPR on the car.

Funny Footage
They’ve managed to shoot a decent amount of material while driving, though. Jerry’s mostly interested in the days when Steve started out, back in the seventies. We see several clips from his one man show Live from the Universal Amphitheatre (1979). It may have been a different time, when standup wasn’t about actually telling jokes. It may have been about giving the audience certain looks, making big gestures on stage, which involved a lot of walking around with his mouth wide open, which was considered funny, then. I haven’t seen the whole thing, however, if you’re going to use footage, it’d be a good idea to use funny footage. Unless there isn’t any, of course.

Vietnam
That said, Steve explains what it was like in the old days and does so without trying to be funny, thankfully. The humor comes from Jerry. His oneliners make the stories easy to digest. The best thing about their conversations is Jerry giving Steve advice. How to tell a joke. Which words to use and leave out. It’s like watching the master teaching the man who’d never be able to hit it big, how it’s done. But of course, Steve did hit it big at one time. His own theory of why, is it was the perfect time for absurd humor, which people seemed to be craving after the Vietnam war.

The Wheelchair Anecdote
The only funny anecdote in Steve’s vocabulary, is about a guy in the audience who threw a glass of wine in his face, saying: ‘See if you think this is funny’. Throughout the episode, Jerry keeps referring to a story Steve had heard about another comedian, who’d worked as a standup on a cruise ship. Apparently, he bombed on stage, but it wasn’t solely his fault. A man in a wheelchair had just committed suicide, by rolling off the ship. While the comedian was doing his set, a crane lifted the wheelchair out of the water behind him. I believe this is how it was told to Steve, but I don’t believe for a second this actually happened. Anyway, Jerry can’t seem to get enough of the absurdity of it.

Back Pocket
After the coffee-drinking, the Siata is done. Luckily, Jerry’s got a 1966 Ford Mustang – also a red one – in his back pocket. While riding off into the sunset, Steve does try to be funny.

He shouldn’t do that.

The President in Cars Getting Coffee at Home

Every six months or so, Jerry Seinfeld goes back on the road. Not to do standup (he does still do standup, let’s make that clear), but to get a cup of coffee. He takes a famous friend (because, as we all know, Hollywood’s actually a community of very close friends – no backstabbers there), talks about the finer things in life (cars and comedy) and brings along a camera crew (and the occasional pushy product placement). It’s as simple as that and it couldn’t be more delightful. Two people sipping coffee (or, in Larry ‘sunscreen’ David’s case, tea) and driving around in a ‘classic’ (Jerry uses that term loosely, by the way), that is Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

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Security Issues
Before you can say latte, another season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has begun. First guest: Barack ‘I’m going to go on as many reality programs as possible before my second term is over’ Obama. The President of the United States just got back from a ‘hunting trip’ with Bear Grylls, on Running Wild. He’d not been allowed to do much else other than stay in one precise location (at the foot/mouth of a glacier), let alone hunt. Grylls came prepared, with a half-eaten fish, to fry on a hot rock. The interview was quite nice, though. Since the only things Seinfeld needs, are a car and some beans, I was curious how much he’d have to tweak the format because of security reasons.

Oval Apples
Turns out: not that much. Seinfeld arrives at the White House, to pick up Obama, in a silver blue 1963 Corvette Stingray. A close relative to the submarine, that’s the way it looks. The love-baby of a car and a dolphin. Seinfeld taps on the window of the Oval Office, to get Obama’s attention, who’s in character. He’s busy. Work to do. He lets Seinfeld in, who sits down, pretending not to know how long this is going to take, picks up one of the real unwashed Oval Office Apples and takes a bite; Obama can’t hold his smile in any longer.

Get Off The Lawn
They take a seat in the Corvette and Seinfeld tries to get through the gate, because, hello, that’s what the show is. Obama’s security detail doesn’t budge. There’s no getting off the lawn – not even by explicit order by the President himself. So a slow trip around the green green grass of home it is, then.

Storage Closet
Technically, they’ve been in the car and they’ve driven it, so – after Obama’s shown Seinfeld his usual vehicle for getting around, called ‘The Beast’ – they go inside the White House. Time for coffee. Coffee from what seems to be a rather cheap kind of coffee machine. I would’ve expected something a little more, I don’t know, luxurious. And it’s not just the machine. The lunch room – if that’s in fact what it is – looks more like a storage closet. If you happen to have Presidential aspirations, you might want to reconsider; bad coffee and house arrest. I can think of more pleasant occupations.

Parry
Obama knows how to be diplomatic and open at the same time, which is a very useful quality. Being Commander and Chief, but also sitting opposite Seinfeld, who’s genuinely interested in his coffee companions – whether it’s the President or not. That means he asks questions that other Presidents probably would never have approved. Like how ‘screw-loose’ certain senators and other world leaders are. Obama knows how to parry like no other, though. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, season 7, episode 1 offers another great meeting. The question now is, which reality show will Obama pick for his next appearance? American Ninja Warrior could be an option, since he frequently works out (and shaves before, not after). Undercover Boss might be more difficult, but the man can sing, so – especially given it’s their last season – why not perform on American Idol?

The Return of Jerry’s Coffee Loving Comedians

It’s almost one of the most anticipated premiere dates of midseason, but lest we forget: Jerry Seinfeld’s reality show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee is ‘just’ a web series, and it gives us exactly what the title suggests; comedians. In cars. Going for lunch. And coffee. Still, absolutely hilarious at times.

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Season 6
On June 3rd, its 6th season begins and it’s got quite a lineup. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (the last one of the old Seinfeld cast to appear on the show), Jim Carrey, Steve Harvey, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and new Daily Show presenter Trevor Noah. To celebrate its return, we list the 5 funniest moments of Jerry’s coffee loving comedians.

5. Amy Schumer season 5
There’s something about Amy Schumer that’s immediately funny, in an off-beat kind of way. You might expect a tough, angry woman with a bad mouth, but she’s lovely. The credit also goes to Jerry, who’s having normal conversations with his guests. There’s no role playing going on, or tries to be extra-funny. Just two people having lunch (and coffee, most of the time). It makes the comedians all look like human beings, instead of the ‘joke jukeboxes’ we often perceive them as. Schumer is a delightful young lady, having a delightful time with the creator of The Wire of comedy, an ordinary guy called Jerry Seinfeld.

4. Product Placement season 4
It’s in the episode with Jon Stewart, that CICGC breaks through ‘the fourth wall’, in a sense. You can wake me in the middle of the night for some concept deconstruction. Although the show’s thinly formatted (car + coffee = comedy), it’s got a sponsor and there’s nothing better than poking fun at your sponsor, because you aren’t really allowed to do that. Jon and Jerry almost get run over by a car, but it’s just sponsor’s car and Jerry calmly notes the product placement is ‘very pushy’ this week.

3. Jay Leno season 3
Remember, earlier in the article, when I used the term ‘joke jukebox’? Jay Leno’s the ultimate example. He’s got anecdotes by the dozens, and they’re all funny. There’s no stop; Leno’s exhaling jokes. Whether it’s about an anvil and a goat, or a real life story about his performance at a mobster golf tournament, you can listen to him for hours.

2. David Letterman season 2
David Letterman is on 2, because Jay Leno is on 3. That’s the way it always should be, as we all know. He doesn’t go on a lot of other shows, so that’s one reason to hang onto his lips. Where Leno is a machine, spitting out comedy tennis balls at a dangerous rate, Letterman seems more like the complete package. He’s funny, open, serious, vulnerable, honest, sharp and easy going. And above everything else, much to Jerry’s dismay, Letterman drives an electric car.

1.  Larry David season 1
The very first guest on the show, back in 2012, was Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld, the man on which George Constanza was based, and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He’d stopped drinking coffee and that may as well be the reason he got divorced, he tells Jerry. She couldn’t stand him not drinking coffee. It didn’t matter there was tea in his cup, there was steam rising up from it, no, the fact it wasn’t coffee drove her nuts. Why should it matter to another person what you eat or drink? So much of his reasoning rang so true to me, he had to be number 1 on the list. George Constanza probably would’ve freaked out, but Larry David’s got a very likeable, mellow way of being astonished. He puts his finger precisely on the absurdity of social etiquettes and does it in such a way that it doesn’t get more hilarious than that.