Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jerry Seinfeld and the art of conversation

President Obama and Jerry Seinfeld sharing the art of conversation --
and a good laugh, too.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee is a show that focuses on the art of conversation. It's a gathering of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his friends, going for a cup of coffee, driving in cool old cars, sharing stories all the way.

"It's a show about trust," said former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

Now, in an ultimate show of trust, President Obama is going to ride in a car and share coffee with Seinfeld. The president will appear in the opening show of the seventh season of the popular web series, which debuts on Dec. 30. He becomes the first non-comedian to appear with Seinfeld.

In their episode filmed earlier this month in Washington, D.C., Mr. Obama and Seinfeld take turns driving a blue 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window coupe around the White House driveway that encircles the South Lawn, then sit down to chat over coffee in a staff dining room.

According to the White House, the president's appearance in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee was "an opportunity to pull back the curtain for Americans on life in the White House.

"The president and Jerry had a unique, candid conversation that focused largely on the lighter side of the presidency," said a White House statement last week.

"Growing up in the '60s my kid dream was always to be an astronaut -- doing a comedy show with President Obama in and around the White House felt like going into space," said Seinfeld in a statement released by Crackle, Sony's online video site and the show's distributor.

At 61, Seinfeld has been a comedian his whole adult life. He's one of the best when it comes to the art of observational humor, whether talking about personal relationships or the nuances of uncomfortable social obligations. It's what we loved about the New York native in Seinfeld, which spanned 180 episodes over nine seasons from 1989-98 on NBC. The series remains a fixture in reruns across the country.

Now, in transitioning from TV to the internet, Seinfeld takes an offbeat approach that shows the other side of the comedy world, something he feels talk shows and interviews can't or don't let you see. The web-based comedy series he created, directs and stars in debuted in 2012 and is shot using DSLR and interior-mounted Go-Pro cameras.

A who's who of contemporary A-list comedians, including Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer as well as iconic comedians Mel Brooks and Don Rickles, have been coffee companions of Seinfeld's. So have past and present late night TV hosts such as Stewart, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, and Stephen Colbert. Seinfeld co-stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards have also made appearances.

Each episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee follows the premise of Seinfeld introducing a vintage car such as a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle or a 1967 Austin-Healey 3000, then picking up his guest comedian in that vintage car and, finally, taking them out to have coffee or dine in a restaurant. Seinfeld has filmed episodes on both coasts, in New York and Los Angeles, and he's also ventured to Portland, Oregon as well as to New Jersey and Massassuchetts. Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee can be seen by anyone, anywhere with access to the internet, and on any web-enabled device. And, don't worry, the language in each 12-to-20 minute episode is family friendly.

The unscripted conversations between Seinfeld and his companions in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee are at times both meaningful and meandering, silly and deep. Yet, with the series having been streamed over 100 million times, they're very comfortable to watch on a smart phone.

Hardly a show about nothing.

Note: The seventh season of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee premieres online on Dec. 30 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Along with President Obama, other featured guests this season include Will Ferrell, Steve Martin and Garry Shandling.

Go behind the wheel of the President Obama episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/behind-the-wheel-of-the-obama-episode-of-seinfelds-comedians-in-cars/2015/12/21/2d6376b0-a29b-11e5-9c4e-be37f66848bb_story.html

To watch previous episodes: http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com

Photo: Courtesy of comediansgettingcarsgettingcoffee.com. Video: Courtesy of YouTube. 

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