Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has been going strong for six seasons since 2012, distributed by digital network Crackle. The premise is simple. Each episode features Seinfeld introducing a vintage car specially selected for a guest comedian, followed by a drive-and-chat to a pre-selected cafe or restaurant to enjoy some coffee. Plenty of fun conversations have been had, with guests like Alec Baldwin, David Letterman, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer and more. It’s recently been announced that for the series’ seventh season premiere, Jerry Seinfeld will be joined by President Barack Obama, reports The New York Times.
“Growing up in the ’60s my kid dream was always to be an astronaut — doing a comedy show with President Obama in and around the White House felt like going into space,” Seinfeld said in a statement.
This premiere episode has already been filmed, with Obama and Seinfeld driving a 1963 Corvette Stingray on the circular road on the South Lawn of the White House grounds on December 7. This was nearly 16 hours after President Obama delivered his television address on terrorism. Even though Obama is not a comedian, Jerry Seinfeld still felt as though he qualified to be on the show.
“He’s done some really good work as a monologist at those correspondents dinners — that’s how he qualifies to be on the show,” Seinfeld told The Washington Post.
“This was an opportunity to pull back the curtain for Americans on life in the White House,” the White House said in a statement. “The president and Jerry had a unique, candid conversation that focused largely on the lighter side of the presidency.”
This appearance is President Obama’s latest attempt at having a presence in popular culture, following appearances last year on Between Two Ferns, Zach Galafiankakis’s online talk show. In addition, Obama has appeared on a podcast interview with Marc Maron in June as well as the NBC reality show Running Wild With Bear Grylls this month. Both appearances were strategically planned to speak about relevant policy issues — Obama talked about health care with Galifianakis and discussed the issue of climate change with Grylls’ nature-adventure show.
“It was out-of-body for me,” Jerry Seinfeld says by phone after the filming of the episode. “I’m not a guy who likes honor. In fact, I hate any kind of honoring. That I get to be a comedian — that’s the honor. But this was an honor: that [Obama] was okay with me, that he trusted me to do some comedy with him in the real White House.”
Jerry Seinfeld originally created the show’s format around the car drive itself and “movement.” According to Seinfeld, “when attempting to show the meandering, silly and sometimes deep conversations that comedians share, you have to remove the audience to keep the participants from dropping into their acts. Part of what makes the show watchable is that it’s always moving. There’s no narrative to drive the story. We know what happens. We know they’re going to get coffee. You need a kinetic energy to move it along, moving people around keeps them awake.”
[Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]