Jerry Seinfeld says that “the extreme left and P.C. crap” has had a negative impact on the world of comedy, particularly on television.

Seinfeld made the remarks while promoting his new Netflix comedy film Unfrosted in an interview with The New Yorker. Asked whether bleak current events affected the world of comedy, he said that nothing did that because “people always need” humor. But then he proceeded to explain that the aforementioned forces, as Seinfeld saw it, were essentially bringing about the end of comedy on TV,

“It used to be, you would go home at the end of the day, most people would go, “Oh, Cheers is on. Oh, MASH is on. Oh, Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on,” Seinfeld said. “You just expected, There’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight. Well, guess what — where is it? This is the result of the extreme left and P.C. crap, and people worrying so much about offending other people.”


READ MORE: Every Seinfeld Episode Ranked From Worst to Best

He continued that people still go to see standup comedy because “we are not policed by anyone. The audience polices us. We know when we’re off track. We know instantly and we adjust to it instantly.”

Seinfeld, who recently appeared in the series finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm opposite his longtime friend and collaborator Larry David, said that show was only allowed to continue on TV as long as it did because it was “grandfathered in” thanks to David’s age. (“I don’t have to observe those rules, because I started before you made those rules,” Seinfeld added.)

Seinfeld underlined his point by stating that none of the four main broadcast networks ordered a new sitcom during the fall season — although that could have just as much to do with the changing economics of network television and streaming (of which Seinfeld’s own movie is a part) as with the nature of comedy in 2024.

Seinfeld’s feature directorial debut, Unfrosted, premieres on Netflix on May 3. How do you think these new rules of comedy will affect the film?

Meanwhile, Seinfeld also appeared in a promo for his film with documentarian Ken Burns, trying to convince him to make a film about his film. Maybe he should have pitched him a docuseries about the history of comedy on television.

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