Brian Williams did an NBC Nightly News profile on Jerry Seinfeld this week, highlighting his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and speaking as though Seinfeld had revolutionized the Internet (I love Comedians in Cars, but it didn’t particularly revolutionize web series). During the course of Williams interview, however, Seinfeld revealed — in a way that wasn’t jokey at all — that he believes he’s on the autism spectrum.
“I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I’m on the spectrum,” Seinfeld said. Asked what criteria he is using to self-diagnose in this way, he continued, “You know, never paying attention to the right things. Basic social engagement is really a struggle. I’m very literal, when people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don’t know what they’re saying.”
“But I don’t see it as dysfunctional,” Seinfeld added. “I just think of it as an alternate mindset.”
Most of what I know about being “on the spectrum” comes from Ray Romano’s character on Parenthood, and according to his self-diagnosis, I’m inclined to believe that Seinfeld is on the spectrum, in the Parenthood sense, anyway. But then again, “basic social engagement” is difficult for many of us in this generation, because we spend so much time on the Internet that we no longer know how to interact with people. I always find that alcohol helps immensely, not necessarily with detecting social cues, but with no longer caring about them. Hanging out with people like Larry David — who carry and even dominate conversations — is also helpful.
You can watch the new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, beginning with the Kevin Hart episode, on Crackle now. Jimmy Fallon will also appear later this season.