Comedians, Cars, Coffee, and Creativity

What I’m not going to talk about here is whether or not Jerry Seinfeld is funny. I’m not going to discuss how out of touch he might be. He’s not the reason I watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’m not going to deny that the show is hit-or-miss, and that Jerry can be painfully problematic. Sometimes I watch the show in spite of him. I’m there to see his guests, and the interactions they have with him.

While everything on television is contrived to some degree, this one at least strives to feel natural. Two comedians riding together in a car, with no crew present, having a conversation about their craft. That’s as alone, and as intimate and personal, as one can expect from a talk show discussion. When they get to the coffee shop segments there are other customers around, so possibly the camera operators and production assistance are a bit more invisible than usual.

The conversations that work best do so because of the format. They happen because it’s two people in the same industry talking about the business. That’s what fascinates me. That’s the part that draws me in. A comedian wouldn’t tell that story to a talk show host aiming for a mainstream audience. They wouldn’t give that anecdote to an entertainment reporter. We get to hear those tales, thoughts, and opinions because they’re talking to Jerry. They’re swapping stories with a fellow traveler.

Comedians, Cars, Coffee, and Creativity

I find any sort of behind-the-scenes information about creative work interesting. Even though I’m a writer, I like hearing about filmmakers, fine artists, chefs, and yes, comedians. There are bits that are relatable, or uplifting, or even useful. What I’d like to see is the format used for other types of creative professionals. You can skip the trappings of cars and coffee shops. I want to see two notable writers have a long chat about writing. Two game designers sitting down to compare notes on how their careers unfolded. A couple of painters dishing over who their influences were. I know that there are already some things like that out there. I’d like them to get the kind of mainstream success that this show’s found.

Comedians, Cars, Coffee, and Creativity

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