The Wisdom of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars

Netflix entered our home recently to great effect. I became a fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in cars having coffee. The concept is Seinfeld picks up his guest in an unusual car and drives to a place for coffee and conversation. Often (and unfortunately) it sinks to comedians cracking jokes and trying too hard to be funny. Sometimes, however, it is two people trying to understand being human.

I want to share two of the lessons I learned. The first was a guest saying that success as a stand up was determined by having talent, good material and luck. Seinfeld immediately disagreed. He said luck wasn’t a factor. You have to sell your product, not just produce it. That was a smack on the head for me. I have worked hard to write well what I think are important ideas; talent and material. I don’t bother selling. Have to do better than that and sell more books.

The second lesson was more personal. His guest was Jim Carrey who shared many intimate thoughts. In one, he talked about his “small me,” that part of him that was small-minded. Well, me too. I have a small me that bursts free on too many occasions. Now that I have a name for it, perhaps I can shut it down more quickly.

Seinfeld, by the way, comes across as an intelligent, supportive and thoughtful man. I’d love to have coffee with him and know just the place. I’d like to be picked up in a Rolls.

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