Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

Date of birth: 29-04-1954

A born and bred New Yorker, Jerry Seinfeld’s interest in comedy began when as student in the city’s Queens College, where he communications and theatre. His first open-mic night in the Catch A Rising Star club came in 1976, right after he graduated.

Three years later, he landed a small recurring role on the Benson sitcom as a mail delivery boy who had comedy routines that no one wanted to hear. In May 1981, Seinfeld made his first appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, leading to several appearances on the late-night talk show circuit.

In 1989, he created Seinfeld (originally titled the Seinfeld Chronicles) with Larry David the show that would go on to become the most successful sitcom in American TV history over its nine-year run. It has made him incredibly wealthy through syndication, and he earns up to $85 million a year, which helps him indulge his passion for cars, owning reported 46 Porsches.

After his sitcom ended, Seinfeld returned to stand-up; recording the show I'm Telling You for the Last Time during his 1998 tour, which briefly visited Britain. He then had to create a new set, a process captured in the 2002 documentary Comedian.

In 2008, he helped create the animated Bee Movie, and provided the voice for the main character. The following year, he again worked with his Seinfeld co-stars for a storyline in David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm revolving around a long-anticipated reunion. In 2010, he was executive producer on the American reality show The Marriage Ref.

He has also written a number of books, including 1993’s Seinlanguage, based on his stand-up routines, and 2002 kids’ book Halloween.

He has been married to Jessica since 1999, and they have daughter and two sons.

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© Mark Seliger

Victory for Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians In Cars... copyright case

Director's claim thrown out of court

Jerry Seinfeld has triumphed in a court case over who created his hit Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

The comedian had been sued by Christian Charles, who directed the 2011 pilot episode, and claimed he is the true originator of the show.

Charles said the idea had its roots in the 2002 documentary Comedian, which he also directed, and which included shots of Seinfeld driving across the country.

While making the movie, he said he pitched a show called Two Stupid Guys In A Stupid Car Driving To A Stupid Town to the comedian, which he rejected. But Charles said that in 2011 Seinfeld got back in touch about making a car-based talk show, which became the web series.

However, Seinfeld’s attorneys said the copyright claims were ‘objectively meritless’ and based on accusations that were ‘threadbare’.  While insisting the comedian came up with the idea himself,  they concede the concept of ‘comedians driving in a car to get coffee and engaging in comedic banter’ is probably too simple to be copyrighted anyway Indeed, in the UK Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn had a very similar series caked Carpool in 2009.

Now Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, has thrown out Charles’s case, saying he had waited too long to sue. The director didn’t act when the series first launched on the Crackle platform in 2012, only when Netflix paid a reported $750,000-an-episode for it in 2017.

The show has run for 84 episodes across 11 seasons with guests including  Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, Ricky Gervais, David Letterman, Chris Rock and even Barack Obama.

However, earlier this week Seinfeld intimated that he was not going to make any more episodes now his Netflix deal expired with the release of his latest stand-up special 23 Hours To Kill.

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Published: 8 May 2020

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