Four for the Road

32630Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee really snuck up on me. It seemed like a gimmick at first; nothing that should be taken all that seriously. At one point I just thought it was a car commercial. It ended up being so much more than that.

The web series, which kicked off it’s sixth season with a completely charming and endearing episode featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is the creation of little known comedian and cereal-enthusiast Jerry Seinfeld. It debuted in 2012 with an episode featuring Larry David. Season One is a string of remarkably strong and endlessly entertaining episodes, none of which last more than eighteen minutes. Alec Baldwin, Ricky Gervais and Michael Richards are some of the guests during the show’s first season.

Every episode is structured the same way.

  • ACURA commercial
  • Jerry introduces that episode’s car- usually something vintage, although he’s now started to use cars that fit the personality of that episode’s guest.
  • Jerry calls the guest and I wonder, is this staged? It’s probably staged. But maybe it’s not. Either way, there’s a little small talk before Jerry lets them know he’s on his way and picking them up in a few minutes.
  • Jerry picks up the guest. In the first season or two, the majority of episodes took place either in or around New York City. It’s since branched off  and now Jerry travels more, bringing his show to the guest when needed.
  • They drive to go get coffee, talk about coffee, comedy and more.
  • And scene.

It’s delightfully simple. Leave it to the dude who created a show “about nothing” to follow it up with something like this.

Each season has had it’s highlights and there’s already an upper level of episodes…the Larry David one, the Alec Baldwin one, the Chris Rock one, the Louis C.K. one, the Tina Fey one, the Jimmy Fallon one, the David Letterman one. I’d like to take a moment to highlight four of my favorite lesser-known episodes.

The One with Aziz Ansari (season four, episode four)

Jerry meets up with Aziz in Boston, where Aziz is currently on tour and even more currently chilling in his bus (Good Times.) No car on this one, they take Aziz’s bus, which Jerry drives surprisingly well. Aziz is mostly chill, reserved, respectful of Jerry and I enjoy the meeting of generations. I think the more interesting episodes are the ones with younger comedians. They take Jerry out of his comfort zone and you see what a fan and student of comedy he is.

Watch the full episode HERE.

Quotes

“There’s twice the number of errands you have to do in a day if you want to stalk someone properly.” – Jerry

“Everyone is the FBI now.” – Aziz on social media

“Jerry, don’t hurt Good Times.”

Interesting Moment in Their Conversation

The waitress at the truck stop asks Jerry and Aziz if everything is good with their meal, to which both men reply, yes. When she leaves Aziz leans in and asks Jerry, is everything really ok? Jerry pauses and admits, I didn’t even think about it. I just answered.

Fun Revelation

One of Aziz’s first bits involved a man talking about having sex with a box turtle.

The One with Patton Oswalt (season 3, episode 2)

Jerry makes Patton’s dreams come true when he picks him up in a Delorean. Unfortunately the car breaks down twenty feet from Patton’s house, forcing them to take Uber to the trendy, hipster coffee shop Patton has picked out for them. They talk about the changes to L.A., how Superman should have died and the nuisance of notes from Network execs, of which Jerry has never had to deal with, making him in Patton’s mind “a unicorn.”

Watch the full episode HERE.

Quotes

“Long and short are code words for good and bad.” – Jerry

“All right, let’s go Uber.” – Jerry

“Everyone needs a Brooklyn.” – Jerry

Interesting Moment in Their Conversation

While talking about baseball, Patton compares a manager making a pitcher give up the ball to a cop having to give up his gun and badge.

Fun Revelation

Patton’s first acting job was on an episode of Seinfeld in 1990.

The One with Bill Burr (season five, episode 3)

I love Bill Burr, he’s one of my favorite comedians. He brings a Boston swagger and attitude to the show and it’s funny, he does most of the talking, rambling about everything from the state of comedy to social media and more. They ride in a killer Ford Mustang and finish things off with a few cigars.

Watch the full episode HERE.

Quotes

“Even all that crap that’s going on in the NFL, you literally have 6 guys, you have 50 guys on a team, plus all the coaching staff and they’re making it out ‘you know, the NFL has a real problem with domestic violence.’ Like opposed to what, plumbers?” – Bill

“You don’t want to be the guy who owns the boat. You want to be friends with the guy who owns the boat.” – Bill

“Someone asked me what it’s like doing a movie. I said it’s like going to the DMV with famous people.” – Bill

Interesting Moment in Their Conversation

Both Jerry and Bill are worried about apologies in comedy and comedians being forced to apologize for things they say, especially when it’s taken out of context.

Fun Revelation

Conference calls are Bill Burr’s version of being water-boarded.

The One with Fred Armisen (season five, episode 5)

In a vintage lime green Saab, Jerry and Fred hang out in Portland, Oregon. Jerry loves the seriousness of Portlandia, especially the “Feminist Book Store” bits. This one is a real meeting of the minds, albeit two very different minds. Both men seem genuinely intrigued and interested with one another and Jerry is extremely entertained by Portland hipsters. Fred asks Jerry almost as many questions as Jerry asks Fred.

Watch the full episode HERE.

Quotes

“You are very much an exotic bird kind of guy.” – Jerry on Fred

“Do you lose track of the days? I do all the time.” – Jerry, to which Fred agrees

“When you have your own show, everyone is happy to see you.” – Jerry

Interesting Moment in Their Conversation

Jerry describes what Fred is doing on Portlandia as art, but then laments how it’s almost frowned upon to describe something like comedy as art; that “art” is reserved for serious endeavors.

Fun Revelation

Jerry can’t name a single member of the Clash, but loves Steely Dan.

 

 

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