Jerry Seinfeld began his commute after dinner, in no particular hurry. Around quarter to 8 on a drizzly Tuesday, he left his Manhattan home — a palatial duplex apartment with picture windows and a broad terrace overlooking Central Park — and made for a nearby garage. Due to tell jokes at a comedy club downtown, he decided to drive what he calls his “city car”: a 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Stepping into the garage, he tugged a thick fabric cover from the car. The interior was a pristine matte black, and the paint job was a startlingly luminous azure. “It’s called Mexico blue — a very traditional Porsche color,” Seinfeld said. “In the ’70s it looked normal, but now it looks insane.”
His hair, flecked with gray, was buzzed almost to the scalp, and he was dressed in light-blue Levi’s, a navy knit polo and a dark wool blazer. Seinfeld, who once said he wore sneakers long into adulthood “because it reminds me I don’t have a job,” has lately grown partial to Nike Shox, which he likes for their extravagant cushioning, but tonight he opted for tan suede desert boots. When he’s in the workplace — on a stage, microphone in hand, trying to make a crowd erupt — the feel of a harder sole helps him get into the right mind-set.
"But I still did the show and, honestly, I thought, “This is gonna be the worst show ever. I’m about to walk out onstage and tell them horrendous stuff.” But I knew that I had Louis CK coming out to close the show, in case my set was just the worst thing anyone’s ever heard. I can bring Louis CK out to make everyone forget that I was even ever up there. And that night before my show I was taking a shower and I thought, “How am I gonna get into all of this material?” And I pictured myself going out onstage saying, “Hey everybody you know, heads up I’ve had a weird few months so this is gonna be kind of a… not very traditional show of mine, just bear with me.” And then I was like “That is so lame I cannot start a show like that. And one side of my brain was, like, “Oh my gosh, what if you walked out onstage and started waving to everyone, saying, ‘Hi, I have cancer thanks for coming! I have cancer! How is everyone doing? I have cancer!’” And then I just started laughing so hard. And then the more time went on I kept laughing about that idea and then I was like, “I have to do that."
"I’m not precious about material. I kind of like that Twitter might decrease the “lifespan” of a joke, because then you just gotta come up with more and I enjoy that challenge. The danger for a comedian on Twitter is the same danger that any civilian faces: sometimes you gotta put that phone down and go live your life. When you’re on Twitter, you’re not living, and if you’re not living, you’re not taking in stimuli with which you can create new material. So don’t mistake using Twitter for participating in life."
"I don’t believe I can offend you in a comedy club. I don’t believe I can offend you in a concert. A comedy club is a place where you work out material, you’re trying material. Louis CK, Tosh, any of these guys, it costs $80-100 to see them. If you’re in a club, and you pay $12, and a superstar comedian comes in there trying out his jokes – you know, that’s like the first draft to a book, or a movie that’s not cut, it’s just not to be judged for the masses. This guy is trying out stuff. I think that’s the deal that’s made when you see a famous guy in one of these clubs."
– Chris Rock on comedy clubs as ‘first drafts’ for big-name comedians
I have a joke about how people don’t talk about mental illness the way they do other regular illnesses. “Well, apparently Jeff has cancer. Uh, I have cancer. We all have cancer. You go to chemotherapy you get it taken care of, am I right? You get back to work.” Or: “I was dating this chick, and three months in, she tells me that she wears glasses, and she’s been wearing contact lenses all this time. She needs help seeing. I was like, listen, I’m not into all that Western medicine shit. If you want to see, then work at it. Figure out how not to be so myopic. You know?”