Ways in Which I Am Like Jerry Seinfeld

Like a hundred million other people, I watch Seinfeld every Thursday evening. I've also watched so many reruns at 11 PM that I've seen some episodes three or four times. I find the writing and acting for Seinfeld absolutely brilliant. But my purpose here is not to go on and on about how wonderful I think this show is. What I want to talk about is a discovery I made about Jerry Seinfeld in the fall of 1997. I had been watching the show for about a year (experiencing popular cultural phenomena when the phenomena are almost over seems to be a pattern for me). Suddenly it occured to me that Jerry Seinfeld had done an interview with Playboy magazine some time way back when I didn't even know who Jerry Seinfeld was. So I looked back through my collection, and, sure enough, there was Jerry on the cover of October 1993. The discovery I made is that Jerry Seinfeld and I think alike in many ways and have had similar life experiences. In fact, the only difference between us might be that he is rich and famous and I am neither. Okay, maybe he is a better writer, too. And maybe funnier. At any rate, I've chosen some selections from the interview because I would have given almost exactly the same replies that he gave.

From the Playboy interview with Jerry Seinfeld, October, 1993:

Seinfeld: Even I, though I might not seem to be,
          am constantly irritated.
Rensin:   What irritates you?
Seinfeld: Everything. I just hate everything and

Rensin:   How were you with girls?
Seinfeld: Uneventful. I kind of withdrew from a lot of
          social activity. I didn't like group mentality
          and group behavior. I wanted to focus in on
          one person. I wanted to tell that person what
          I think about nuances and details and
          substructures. And you don't do that in groups.
Rensin:   Not when you're just eight years old.
Seinfeld: And even now you don't. You go to parties and
          it's all breezy bullshitting, chitchatting. I
          like that up to a point, but then I'm bored by
          it. I want to sit with somebody and get down 
          to the nuts and bolts.

Rensin:   You're not an unwitting dupe of the church?
Seinfeld: No, I've always had the skill of extracting
          the essence of any subject I study, be it
          meditation, yoga, Scientology, Judaism, Zen.
          Whatever it is, I go in to get what I need.
          To me, these are supermarkets. I go in to get
          my supplies, then I leave.

Rensin:   [W]hen did you lose your virginity?
Seinfeld: I'm not sure whether I was 19 or 20.
Rensin:   Why so late?
Seinfeld: I hated the idea of upsetting a woman in any
          way, so the slightest amount of resistance
          would deter me. I had no persistance at all.
          Still don't, really. If she is at all reticent,
          I'm out of there. It kills the mood for me. I
          don't want to sell anybody anything.

Rensin:   You like doing dishes?
Seinfeld: I like the water and I like the soap.
Rensin:   Do you like to iron?
Seinfeld: No. I like vacuuming, though. I like the way
          the carpet looks after I'm done. I like those
          lines the wheels make.

Seinfeld: See, the thing is, my own age isn't really
          real to me. I look in the mirror and I just
          don't feel 39. I don't feel any different than
          I was when I was 23. And I don't look that much
          different. So it's weird.

January 13, 1998
John A. Johnson