Jerry Seinfeld isn’t losing any sleep over critics giving him bad reviews. With a long and successful stand-up career, there are bound to be some negative reviews along the way, but Seinfeld has a healthy outlook on why it doesn’t bother him.
Why Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t worry about bad reviews
Seinfeld paid his dues when he was an up-and-comer in the comedy world, going on to star in his own sitcom, tour, and film comedy specials. Getting some bad reviews throughout his professional journey is inevitable but he’s found the perfect way to shake it off. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter to him what anyone thinks.
During an interview with David Spade for Netflix, the two comedians got into a discussion about receiving negative reviews.
Spade shared how his Netflix movie The Wrong Missy garnered some negative reviews, but he was rather unfazed about it. “I think our best review is ‘It’s a delightful piece of sh*t,” Spade said.
Seinfeld shared his perspective on receiving bad reviews. “Somebody mentioned to me that I got a bad review on my last Netflix special,” he said. “I tried to say to the guy, ‘Let me explain to you something about critics of stand-up comedy. Do you understand when your piece comes out, we’ve already left town with the money?’ Please, write whatever you want, enjoy yourself.”
Jerry Seinfeld paid his ‘Comedians in Cars’ guests in cash
While discussing stand-up and dealing with negative reviews, Spade agreed with Seinfeld’s take, saying, “Plus it’s so immediate — you go out and you do a gig and you get paid, there’s almost nothing like it.”
Seinfeld revealed the way that he pays his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee guests in a way that comedians can appreciate — cash, in an envelope.
“If I were still doing Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee — which I don’t know if I’m going to get back to that — but I wanted you to come on the next season,” he explained. “And the way I pay people for that show, I give them $4,000 in twenties in a white envelope.”
He added, “That was our comedy club money, nothing felt better than when they would hand you that envelope at the end of the week.”
He has no desire to make movies
Seinfeld easily could have added to his bank account by taking on movie roles, but he explained to Spade why he has no interest in doing movies.
Spade asked him, “I know you did the Bee Movie, but did you ever — obviously you had a million opportunities — want to be in movies as an actor or you just, that wasn’t your thing?”
Seinfeld shared the reason why movies have never appealed to him. “I don’t like other people’s material, first of all,” he explained, “I was fine doing the series, but after that I wasn’t looking. I really feel like I need to control the words, otherwise it won’t be funny. I can’t do other people’s material and make it funny.”
For Seinfeld, doing stand-up is too appealing because he has so much control. “I can’t get over the incredible racket of stand-up comedy,” he said. “So I say yes to every gig because I love to go out and do the gig … I can’t deal with all the paraphernalia of other things and I don’t wonder what it’s like to have a hit [movie].”
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