Well before James Corden turned “Carpool Karaoke” into a viral hit, Jerry Seinfeld was mining mobile entertainment for laughs. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, his offbeat, intimate talk show that is conducted in a vintage vehicle (and includes a pitstop for caffeine/foodstuff) returns for an eighth season of ridesharing — and story sharing — between humorists, who have included everyone from Steve Martin to Don Rickles to Tina Fey to Louis C.K. (And let’s not forget President Obama.)
“It seems all I have to do is sit down with someone that interests me and interesting conversations just happen,” Seinfeld tells EW. “I have no cards, I have no notes. Something we just can’t stop… Comedians are very chatty, very inquisitive. They’re like watch-repair people: They like to take everything apart.” Here, he takes us under the hood of season 8 — the premiere of which is now available on Crackle — by previewing all six episodes, before reflecting an installment from the first season that featured an old friend.
Jim Gaffigan (premiere)
“Jim and I went to the 2nd Avenue Deli, because his favorite thing in the world is pastrami and we decided to have pastrami sandwiches. He said it was the greatest pastrami sandwich of his life. It was very exciting for me to watch him because he loves to eat anyway and to watch him be happy with a sandwich was a privilege, and you’re going to get to see this: a man and a sandwich, in pure ecstasy.”
“Here’s the essence of the show: You take two people that have never met and within 20 minutes, we are wiping tears from laughing. That only occurs within the community of the comedian. […] The thing that I loved about him, like me, is that all he cares about is a laugh. Doesn’t care about anything else, not interested in any other human emotions or reactions. When we’re doing comedy, we’re just completely content.”
“She had this blow-up in this comedy club in New Jersey, so we went back to that club and invited that audience back and we had a therapy encounter session with the audience that walked out. We did a show for them… Margaret hearing their problems with her and her problems with them and hashing that all out — I mean, there’s no comedian that’s not going to want to see this.“
“Judd approached me when he was 16 and pretended to be an interviewer for a radio station. He was obsessed with stand-up and wanted to learn about it. Here we are 30 years later and he’s still obsessed, and so am I, and we’re still talking about it. […] We’re both very good friends with Garry [Shandling]. He worked with Garry, and Garry was a very close friend of mine, so we had that in common, and we know all the same people. It’s just obsessiveness — two people who are very obsessive. He decided that we should have a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake for breakfast. And I’m always onboard for an insane idea, so we did that — and it was spectacular.”
“A lot of amazing lives have moved through his world, and he is the history of comedy in one person, in a way. He lives a very nice life in Manhattan, as I do, but he lives a little more eloquently than even I do. We went to the Monkey Bar — it has great history as a speakeasy and as a Tennessee Williams hangout from the 40’s. Then we walked on this gorgeously sunny day down Madison, down Fifth Avenue by St. Patrick’s Cathedral into 30 Rock, and it’s like a scene from Cleopatra… I remember when I was young, I was at Mr. Chow’s one time in Beverly Hills, and I saw Steve Martin and Neil Simon having dinner, and I went out of my mind thinking, ‘What in the world are those two guys talking about?’ All I wanted to do was to eavesdrop, and that’s what this show is. If you saw Lorne Michaels and me sitting in a restaurant, talking, you’d want to just pull up a chair, right? That’s what the show is.”
“He’s a car guy, which not a lot of these guys are, so I get excited when I get a car person. His favorite car is the Studebaker Avanti, which is this obscure car from the early ’60s, and I got a magnificent one. He saw it and he just wanted to weep.”
Asked to pick a Comedians in Cars episode from the past seven seasons that stood out as a favorite, Seinfeld chose the season 1 installment in which he tooled around L.A. in a weathered 1962 Volkswagen bus with his former Seinfeld costar, Michael Richards. In that episode, Richards took Seinfeld on an ill-fated mission to find Sugar Ray Leonard’s house (which turned out to be Jay Mohr’s) before discussing two crazy games of chess that he once had with a gifted homeless man. Richards also revealed his 2006 tirade at a West Hollywood comedy club — during which he shouted racist insults at a heckler — still tormented him years later, and had prevented him from returning to the stage. (“I busted up after that event… Inside, it still kicks me around a bit.”) Richards thanked Seinfeld for sticking by him, and Seinfeld encouraged his friend to put down the emotional baggage that he’d been carrying around. The episode concluded with a family approaching the pair on the street for a photo, and Richards goofing around with/for them.
“I think certain things happen in the episode with Michael Richards that I did not expect, particularly the ending when he’s clowning for the family after showing how much he suffered from his meltdown onstage,” shares Seinfeld. “I’m not a person that wanted to ever make anything touching — I have no interest in being touching or tender in any way — but when that show was done, I said, ‘Wow, that’s kind of touching.’ I couldn’t believe that I had made that, so that one’s special to me.”