The War on Jerry Seinfeld, Explained

May 18th, 2024 1:30 PM

Some stars float on a bed of pure adulation.

Dolly Parton comes to mind, as do Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock and Betty White before her passing in 2021.

Jerry Seinfeld just got bumped from that list.

The 70-year-old comedian is best known for his self-titled sitcom, a sensation still felt in 2024 thanks to the streaming revolution. He’s worked sporadically since then, both on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and the stand-up circuit.

That all changed when he gave a blunt interview to The New Yorker’s podcast.



Seinfeld, now starring in the Netflix comedy “Unfrosted,” blasted the “extreme Left” for hurting comedy. The comments immediately drew the media’s ire, although the think pieces aimed at rebutting his charge fired blanks.

All his critics could do is say he’s too old, too white or too out of touch. Imagine lecturing Jerry Seinfeld on comedy.

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Yes, there’s something wrong with that.

His statement changed the way media outlets viewed the New York-based comic. The press adulation faded. In its place, a brand “reassessment.”

The Hollywood Reporter fretted that Seinfeld’s new, outspoken mien could hurt his career, something John Nolte rightly noted is never mentioned when a star veers to the Left. CNN cranked out a think piece centered on the author’s “growing unease” over the clean comic.

Slate worried aloud with a piece dubbed, “What’s the Deal with Jerry Seinfeld?”

…he’s even started embracing his Judaism more publicly, and in December traveled to Tel Aviv to visit the families of Hamas hostages. Who can fault a Jewish celebrity for calling attention to the dead and missing of Israel? Yet he’s notably not commented on the Netanyahu government, condemned the war, or discussed the suffering of Gazans…

Funny, nearly every celebrity not named Rapaport, Heaton, Messing or Schumer continues to ignore the Israel hostages held by the terrorists in Hamas without any Slate-approved hand-wringing.

But we digress.

That Slate piece wouldn’t exist had the comedian not accurately mocked the “extreme Left” for hurting comedy.

The latest attack on the genial comic speaks volumes of today’s culture.

Roughly 30 pro-Palestinian students protested Seinfeld’s Duke University commencement address Sunday. The walkouts got plenty of media attention, but they didn’t stop Seinfeld from sharing some advice to those about to enter the “real world.”

“Whatever you’re doing, I don’t care if it’s your job, your hobby, a relationship, getting a reservation at M Sushi,” the comedian said. “Make an effort. Just pure, stupid, no-real-idea-what-I’m-doing-here effort. Effort always yields a positive value, even if the outcome of the effort is absolute failure of the desired result. This is a rule of life. Just swing the bat and pray is not a bad approach to a lot of things.”

Why protest Seinfeld?

The comedian is Jewish and he supports Israel’s right to defend itself against the worst terrorist attack in decades. The documentary “Screams Before Silence,” mostly ignored by film critics, captures the Oct. 7 atrocities by the Hamas terrorist group/government.

For that, select students felt Seinfeld wasn’t an appropriate choice to greet the graduates. And it’s not the first time Seinfeld endured heckling for his pro-Israeli views.

Protesters shouted at him when he left a New York event in February featuring The Free Press founder Bari Weiss.

Seinfeld remains a beloved figure to many. They’ll always appreciate the laughter “Seinfeld” brought into their lives. Others embrace a comedian who sticks to his squeaky-clean image in our troubled times.

Seinfeld still isn’t political by nature, and his off-screen life rarely intersects with the Beltway.

That doesn’t matter.

Like J.K. Rowling, he’ll never be viewed the same way by the hard Left and the press, two groups with sizable overlap.

For Rowling, defying the trans movement earned her a Scarlet Letter of sorts for her former defenders. Seinfeld’s willingness to pin comedy’s decline on the far-Left similarly stained him with that movement.

Rowling, once revered for her progressive views and positive impact on children’s reading habits, is now a pariah on the Left. That won’t change unless she attempts an extended apology and becomes an “ally” for the trans cause.

And the author isn’t budging.

Neither she nor Seinfeld will be treated as a beloved icon again, at least in certain quarters.

The Daily Beast dredges up an embarrassing chapter from Seinfeld’s past to keep the attacks. coming.

The comedian’s romance with a 17-year-old “resurfaced” on social media, and the far-Left Beast happily amplified the narrative. The comic was 38 at the time, and while the courtship fueled the gossip pages it wasn’t the worst attack on him.

That came courtesy of Howard Stern. The shock jock invited folk singer Janis Ian on his show to sing an updated version of her hit song “At Seventeen” to mock Seinfeld.