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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Comedians In Cars Getting Sued

Jerry Seinfeld's lawyers call for copyright case to be thown out

It’s an idea so simple that you think it couldn’t be owned by anyone.

But Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is at the centre of a bitter legal battle about who came up with the idea.

Christian Charles, who directed the pilot in 2011, is claiming he is the true creator of the series, and has launched a lawsuit in New York.

But Seinfeld’s lawyers have called on the case to be thrown out, in no uncertain terms. In their strongly-worded legal submission, they say that Charles’s copyright claims are ‘objectively meritless’ and comprise ‘inflammatory accusations’ that are not even ‘threadbare’.

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

Charles said he pitched Seinfeld a show in 2002 called Two Stupid Guys In A Stupid Car Driving To A Stupid Town,  which the comedian rejected. But  Charles said that in 2011 Seinfeld contacted him about making a car-based talk show.

However, Seinfeld’s attorneys say the comedian came up with the idea himself. And 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, filmed on a dashboard GoPro as he chauffeured guests including  Stephen Fry and Professor Brian Cox in his hybrid car.

When Seinfeld launched his show, Llewellyn said he got 'literally thousands of tweets from people going, "Jerry Seinfeld stole your show! Sue him! You’ll be worth millions!"’  But he never did.

US District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York will be deciding on the fate of the latest lawsuit.

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Published: 7 Apr 2018

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