In promoting the sixth season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (and the fantastic first episode featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Jerry Seinfeld interviewed with sports radio’s biggest blowhard, Colin Cowherd (who was recently berated by Coach John Calipari). Cowherd said that Chris Rock and other comedians have suggested that stand-up on college campuses is increasingly difficult because of the level of political correctness, and Seinfeld — who has never been a particularly controversial comedian — said that he doesn’t play colleges. He says that he hears that college students — and the entire younger generation — are too politically correct.
“Let me give you an example,” he says. “My wife says to [my 14-year-old daughter], ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’
And you know what my daughter says? She says ‘that’s sexist.’
“They just want to use these words,” Seinfeld continued. “‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the [bleep] they’re talking about.”
Seinfeld added that the current PC climate does hurt comedy, although he said that people like Louis C.K. have managed to avoid blowback because “his great gift is that he doesn’t [care]” about political correctness, while Seinfeld himself says that he basically stays in his lane. “Everybody has their hot zone. Their heat map. Those are the jokes you do. For me, I talk about the subjects I talk about because for some reason, I can make them funny.” Seinfeld’s heat map typically does not involve identity politics.
It’s a challenging, complicated time out there for comedians, although I personally think that the best comedians can either rise to the challenge or barrel over it. It’s the comedians who are insecure or hesitant about political correctness that aren’t going to make it through the next generation.
And in case you missed anything else on the web today…