Jerry Seinfeld Gets Honest About What Ruined Comedy Television

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Has comedy television been ruined? Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld seems to think so, and he was brutally honest about who and what is to blame.

Jerry Seinfeld
Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld co-created and starred in the hit sitcom Seinfeld, often regarded as one of the best sitcoms of all time. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Jerry Seinfeld, the legendary comedian who co-created and starred in Seinfeld, opened up about comedy television during an interview with the New Yorker, and what he had to say quickly made headlines among other outlets. According to the comedic legend, television comedies have been ruined, and he was brutally honest about who and what spoiled them for comics and audiences alike. With “Seinfeld” being regarded as one of the best sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld is an expert, so his take is definitely worth consideration.

First, Seinfeld opened up about the importance of comedy. “Nothing really affects comedy. People always need it,” he said before getting to the problem. “They need it so badly, and they don’t get it,” the comic added. “It used to be, you would go home at the end of the day, most people would go, ‘Oh, Cheers is on. Oh, M*A*S*H is on. Oh, Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on.’ You just expected, ‘There’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight.’ Well, guess what — where is it?”

According to Jerry Seinfeld, people miss politically incorrect sitcoms like All in the Family (pictured). (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Indeed, many people agree that entertainment is nothing like it used to be, especially comedy. But who and/or what is to blame? Is it cancel culture, like actor and comedian Marlon Wayans once suggested? It would seem that’s part of it, but Jerry Seinfeld went a step further, calling out political correctness and the “extreme left” for ruining comedic television. “This is the result of the extreme left and PC crap and people worrying so much about offending other people,” Seinfeld declared.

However, according to Seinfeld, the ruining of comedy TV by progressivism has led to a renaissance or rebirth of stand-up comedy. Basically, if comedy consumers can’t get their fix from television, they’ll find it elsewhere, and they’re now doing that by attending stand-up routines. “Now they’re going to see stand-up comics because we are not policed by anyone,” Seinfeld, who also does stand-up comedy, explained.

Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld believes the same progressivism that’s ruining comedy TV is causing a rebirth of stand-up. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

The famous funnyman went on to explain why stand-up gives comics a chance to show their talents, whereas television has more recently failed. “The audience polices us. We know when we’re off track. We know instantly and we adjust to it instantly,” he explained, saying that the key difference between stand-up comedy and television is all about who’s in control. While comics get direct feedback from the audience during stand-up, television is controlled by those who control the scripts, which includes Hollywood writers, directors, and producers.

Why is this a problem when it comes to comedy? Typically, “through the production process, someone somewhere is bound to be offended by certain jokes,” The Blaze explained. With TV, those jokes get cut. With stand-up, the joke is already said and the audience lets the comedian know how they feel about it. In turn, a good comedian then adjusts their routine accordingly. So, basically, the audience is actually in control.

Jerry Seinfeld explained that “offensive” jokes often get cut during the production process for television, whereas stand-up doesn’t face that same challenge. (Photo Credit: Pixabay stock image)

Ironically, networks like HBO understand that people like the “offensive” material, Seinfeld said. Unfortunately, they are still faced with a problem in a society that’s become increasingly prone to cancel culture. “[T]hey’re not smart enough to figure out, ‘How do we do this now? Do we take the heat, or just not be funny?'” Seinfeld explained. “And what they’ve decided to be is, ‘Well, we’re not going to do comedies anymore.'”

Although PC-heavy culture has dominated entertainment for the greater part of the past two decades, Seinfeld believes we are finally starting to see a “slight movement” away from it. “With certain comedians now, people are having fun with them stepping over the line and us all laughing about it,” he said. “But, again, it’s the stand-ups that really have the freedom to do it because no one else gets the blame if it doesn’t go down well. He or she can take all the blame themself.”

Jerry Seinfeld explained that the audience decides whether a joke is funny during stand-up, where “offensive” jokes often get cut from scripts before making it to television when it comes to comedy TV. (Photo Credit: AI-created image)

Jerry Seinfeld isn’t alone in his assessment. Many of us feel the same way, and we are tired of political correctness and the cancel culture that sprouted from it, which has ruined sitcoms. We miss legitimate comedy and hope to see its return to television. We remember when, if you didn’t like something, you simply turned the channel. You didn’t insist that no one else be permitted to watch it and act like you were doing the world a favor.

Comedy can be controversial and humor is often “offensive,” but that might just be exactly what some of us like about it. We enjoy seeing others cross the line and say what we wouldn’t dare. Unfortunately, we now have virtue signaling, “woke culture,” political correctness, and cancel culture to stifle comedic creativity. Instead, shouldn’t it be our choice whether we want to laugh about it? Sadly, some would rather cry about it, and the tears of the “extreme left,” as Jerry Seinfeld put it, are ruining it for everyone. What a shame.