Jerry Seinfeld forged a stand-up career by avoiding R-rated routines, preferring observational gags to F-bombs and sexual puns.
He didn’t push anyone’s buttons. He just made people laugh.
Yet the Seinfeld star said something so politically incorrect Monday that it could have reverberations across the comedy landscape. He answered charges that both his signature sitcom and his new online series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, don’t feature enough comics of color.
“People think it’s the census or something,” Seinfeld said of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. “This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”
Seinfeld went on to say that approaching comedy through the lens of race or gender or sexuality are “anti-comedy.”
“It’s more about PC nonsense than ‘Are you making us laugh or not?'” he said.
Comedy guru Lorne Michaels also caught heat from diversity seekers for excluding people of color from the majority of Saturday Night Live ensembles. Michaels responded late last year by auditioning several black female comics and ultimately hiring Sasheer Zamata for the NBC show.