Jerry Seinfeld Is Wrong About Comedy

By Robert Scucci | Updated

jerry seinfield

By now, we’ve all heard Jerry Seinfeld’s latest hot take about how comedy has been ruined by political correctness, but I’m not buying it. At 70 years old, it seems like Seinfeld doesn’t quite have his finger on the pulse anymore when it comes to seeking out comedy that continues to push the envelope in ways that Seinfeld never could have in the ’90s. If I had to weigh in, I’d say that comedy has the potential to be more offensive than ever, and I know this because I actively seek it out.

It’s Always Sunny

it's always sunny

In fact, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the longest-running live-action American sitcom, kicked off with an episode entitled “The Gang Gets Racist.” In the episode, the gang gets racist, and nobody seemed to bat an eyelash upon its release nearly 20 years ago. So if we live in a world where Jerry Seinfeld asserts that comedy is controlled by the “woke mob,” then how can it be that a show that dropped racial epithets during its inaugural episode still exists today?


The same can be said about the current state of stand-up comedy.

When Matt Rife’s Natural Selection was making waves on streaming and facing a considerable amount of backlash this past November, Anthony Jeselnik weighed in on the controversy during an episode of This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von. Jeselnik, who is famously known for frequently making jokes about sexual assault and violence toward children, explained that being a good artist or comedian means being offensive in ways that allow you to get away with it because it means you’re connecting with your audience on a deeper level through dark humor.

In other words, if you’re facing backlash for being offensive, then you didn’t get away with it and you’re not good at your job.

No Comedians Are Losing Their Jobs

Even though Matt Rife technically didn’t “get away with it,” he’s still thriving as a comedian, and the same can be said for Jerry Seinfeld, his comedy, and comedy in general. If anything, the publicity Matt Rife garnered for his special did nothing but help his career because everybody was talking about him, for better or for worse. The publicity that Jerry Seinfeld is getting, however, just makes him sound like an out-of-touch curmudgeon, and I’m saying this as a fan of Seinfeld.

I can also say with 100 percent confidence that Jerry Seinfeld will never get cancelled for his brand of comedy.

Why Is Seinfeld Even Worried?

I’m not denying that there are people out there who are easily offended and want to see shows like It’s Always Sunny and South Park get pulled off the air. But Jerry Seinfeld, a billionaire, built his comedy legacy by co-creating and starring in one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. Outside of Seinfeld, it’s not like his stand-up routine is so edgy that people are walking out in the middle of his set because his humor, in my opinion, is family friendly compared to most up-and-coming edge-lords.

Comedy Is Doing Just Fine

While Jerry Seinfeld is right to think that the comedy found on prime-time network television is somewhat tame, I don’t think it’s because of PC culture. The reality of the matter is that most groundbreaking television these days is found through streaming or on the internet because that’s where the viewers are.

I grew up watching Seinfeld with my parents every week like clockwork, and my sense of humor’s origin can be traced back to quotes from the comedy series about man hands, close talkers, and Soup Nazis. Jerry Seinfeld single-handedly changed the comedy landscape with his series because he wasn’t trying to play it safe. Younger comedians who are following in his footsteps are as offensive as ever, and finding new and exciting ways to get away with it.