Jerry Seinfeld Interview: How to Write a Joke | The New York Times

by The New York Times • 1,012,356 views

The comedian describes the anatomy of his Pop-Tart joke, still a work in progress, and shows his longhand writing process. Subscribe on YouTube: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n Watch more videos at:...

I think Jerry shows you can be funny with words. You don't have to be a bad ass. You can just enjoy words. You can live in your own head and be perfectly entertained. He preaches a personal religion in a way. It's a philosophy of happiness. Just watch the world and laugh at the irony. Mock everything that's a threat, reducing it all to silly. We don't have much control over what happens but we have total control over what we perceive happens.
+Annabella Cruze  I love Larry too and curb :) I love things that are simple. It's like a magician that lets you see how the trick works but you still love thr trick. There's no barrier between the performer and the audience. It's very enabling.   
so cheap of NYT to force ads on users before video begins. shameless greedy pigs
What a hack. Thank god for Larry David
Watch the Stern interview with him.  No one could ever love Seinfeld as much as Seinfeld.  His show was a big deal.  I think he has a hard time coping with no one giving a hoot any more. But he's not nearly as funny now as then.  He's rich enough to waste 2 years writing something?  Congratulations!  He has done benefit concerts and donated to charities...yet he might feel better about himself if he did more to help others.  He thinks of himself higher than most people or entertainers see him.  Without George and Kramer, he bores me personally.
They should have labeled this 'Jerry Seinfeld. Strictly For Comedians'. It's frustrating seeing all the negative comments from people who have never told a joke onstage in their lives. 
don't really see myself as a stand up entertainer, but i've been working on a lot of comedy scripts while i'm in film school and studying seinfeld has really upped my game
Hey he was right, turns out I didn't care about anything he said in this video. 
Bania: Why do they call it Ovaltine? The mug is round; the jar is round... they should call it Roundtine. (pauses) That's gold, Jerry! Gold!
Always a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, even read Sein Language twice or three times, just has a natural talent of being an observational comedian
that's gold jerry, gold!
941,948 people HAVE been interested in this.
The comments I read on here criticizing Jerry the unfunny jew Seinfeld, is actually funnier than the actual video.
Andy Askren Shared on Google+ · 6 days ago
Did I post this already? Can't post it enough. Gold. 
I love Jerry Seinfeld as an Actor and Comedian
Oh, Jerry. You silly fool. We're interested in everything you do.
One of the worst jokes I've ever heard. Larry David runs miles around this guy
Larry seems to be the kind of guy that doesn't really feel comfortable in that type of setting
+Chris G Watch Jerry Seinfeld's Howard Stern interview. It explains a lot.
Someone 1: Dude stop trying to give my sister a strip pole! Someone 2: It’s just a present. Someone 1: Well forget about ok. Someone 2: Fine. Someone 1: ..…Anyways what are you giving her for Christmas? Someone 2: Oh you know just some make-up, a purse, a book and a fireman’s pole that comes with some money thrown at her. Someone 1: Sorry? Someone 2: I mean……nothing. Someone 1: Dude firstly stop trying to get with my sister, and secondly a fireman and a stripper pole are practically the same. Someone 2: Oh I'm sorry, I don’t remember the last time a couple of strippers save me from a burning building. You know, if they’re not too busy doing business with businessmen. Someone 1: What? Someone 2: Can I oink your sister? Someone 1: Get out! Someone 2: Oh come on, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't mind getting that rod….if you know what I mean. Someone 1 chases Someone 2 with a knife
"My favorite donut is the Old Fashion donut. It never goes stale. It can't go stale because it was never fresh." -A joke I wrote when I first started comedy ten years ago. Nice to know my joke writing is on par with one of the great comedy writers of all time. Too bad I can never use that joke now. O'well...good video.
You do know both jerry and Larry wrote the show. Not just larry
The internet is filled with keyboard warriors, but I must admit that Seinfeld is still the most hilarious of all the popular sitcoms I've ever watched. Albeit, George Costanza made the show all the more funny, rather than Jerry (the character). But it was the most amazing TV writing in comedy I've seen to date.
He should've said pop tarts were like the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey and we were the chimps in the dirt playing with sticks.
I'd crack a Jew joke here but I realise which channel I'm on xP
Learning from a master. Take notes children.
But only on a yellow pad with their blue clear barrel Bic pens.
Yes! I don't like that cursor flashing at me, either.
"the wrong'er some thing is the right'er it is" said the cleanest comedian ever.
I know what you mean. But Jerry meant getting angry and compulsive towards something as small as a poptart.
The most overrated comedian ever!
What are some books to read about this? I didn't know they arranged syllables and things like in songwriting. 
Jerry is one of the most unfunniest comedians that I know, while Seinfeld is one of the funniest shows I´ve ever seen. It´s funny, isn´t it?
are you serious.. the words chimps, dirt, sticks? Obviously Larry David wrote all of Seinfeld and Jerry sat there eating pop tarts
Jerry giving us such a detailed analysis of his work almost feels like a magician letting us see behind the curtain.
sorry, just stole a joke from Larry David. ~.~
2:02 What I wanna know is if he uses the cristal or the round stic.
pop tarts were a great idea. what else can you put in your toaster besides bread? its boring that you could put only one thing. thats why people like it.
Waffles, English muffins, bagels, the list goes on and on.
do people writing stand usually write out what they intend to say word for word like jerry did in the video or do they usually write short points/bullets about their jokes? i was just wondering
I could do this, "writing comedy"
Seems a little overcomplicated..... I just be funny without a script....
Isaac Garcia Shared on Google+ · 6 months ago
I enjoyed this. 
That was hilarious! To think that you can make something like Pop Tarts become so funny. :) Ah...now I just need a yellow pad and blue bic pen. :)
He didnt write all episodes.....
Words for a comedy writer to live by: "In my world the wronger something feels, the righter it is."
I find Seinfeld fascinating. He has a unique confidence that gives him the opportunity to be brilliant.
Okay, listen. If anyone has any belief in the idea of handwriting analysis, for what it's worth I can give you a couple of the traits I see in Seinfeld's writing: The first thing I see is that, and this will seem odd to some, he keeps a lot of secrets. He evades telling others the truth and to some extent he doesn't admit the whole truth to himself. Secondly he doesn't love attention all of the time. He likes the public attention but then he runs out of gas and needs quite a bit of alone time. He has the energy to finish goals but he also holds back a lot, puts things off a lot more than he'd like too. I could go on but, now I'm getting bored with typing. Anyway if you care, enjoy if not, well that's fine too.
My favorite moments of Seinfeld is when he's just talking, or interacting with someone in a conversation.
The Pop Tart is the quintessential breakfast for parents in way over their heads.
stick to writing for tv your stand up sucks balls
Oh cool Steven King so when can we expect you to be uploading your awesome stand up? Looking forward to it mate, must be soooo amazing:)
His tv show is the most successful sitcom of all time and it was based on material from his stand up.  Obviously you have a sitcom that is airing, right?
Urban Brain Shared on Google+ · 3 months ago
Jerry Seinfeld is one of my heroes.  His observational humor is just amazing.  So this little interview with the master was a great treat worthy of being shared.  "How to Write a Joke" with Jerry Seinfeld. 
I have to go get a glass of water.   Ok, I'm back.    With imagination like that why isn't Jerry writing children's books?  A children's story about nothing has got to be funny somehow.
like every word out of his mouth has to be a sensational hit. he probably did the interview a favor by showing up to begin with.
frickin learn how to focus a camera this video is pissing me off
This guy is terrible lmfao. Not one clever joke, not one funny joke.
Learn how to focus a camera you scrub.
Made2Write Shared on Google+ · 4 months ago
Jerry Seinfield a explicar como escrever uma piada… imperdível!
Brunch. Has he done a joke about brunch? If not, why? Brunch is better than pop tarts. As we all know, brunch is half way between breakfast and lunch. But what about linner? How come we don't have linner? You know, half lunch half dinner? Well I'll tell you why we don't have linner, it's because after we waste most of the day putting things off with breakfast, brunch and lunch, we realise we have gotten nothing done and have to pull our finger out and get something done before we clock off, go home and have friggen dinner!
think that "bit" could use a bit of work
Thanks for nothing, Jerry.  :-)
What a comic. I got one, why did the chicken cross the road? Because Jerry Seinfield was trying to tell him a pop tart joke. 
"I know it sounds like nothing...and, it is nothing."
I have no idea how this guy ever became famous, he is not funny and has a squeaky ass winy Jew voice that is annoying .. this guy could not touch a guy like Don Rickles if his life depended on it.. now that's funny..  the real star of Seinfeld was Kramer and George, Jerry Seinfeld sucks, he is the worst of all the Jewish comedians, I say the Jews because they are right up there with the black people even funnier .. Jerry go away and stay away.
I used to do my electronic revision on yellow pads just like Jerry's!
"Do you have a special pen?" 10 second slater "Oh you can't be in this?"
trick question: you don't. have you SEEN seinfeld standup....
why isnt he on jupiter reporting in on how the luxury colonies for poor ppl are coming along?
can't go stale because it was never fresh..that beats his boron taxi driver joke
+BoBGAD The mass, mob are idiots, porn, tv, sports zombies Money doesnt = talent, value. Like i said, overrated, loved by some Newyork city rats.
Title should read "Jerry Seinfeld Interview:Why I Like My Joke About Pop Tarts"
Wow. Just before Jerry said it, I was thinking, "This is just like writing a song."
Personally...I think Jim Gaffigans  story about Hot Pockets was a lot better ...and goes into greater detail...
Jerry your the best!!!
My jokes can't get old because they were never new.
part of the reason his brain is able to be so funny is that he is so wildly rich and successful that there is zero smidgen of doubt in his mind that he is funny, which allows his acts to have an impenetrable presentation
He is good writing jokes, but boring at delivering jokes.
if carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be fk'd up
itt: some people trying to be funny, others saying their not funny. I'm not funny.
My jokes can never get old because they were never new.
Adi Hillel Shared on Google+ · 8 months ago
‘The wronger something feels, the righter it is’ – Jerry Seinfeld on funny writing. #writing   #comedy  
Seinfeld is overrated. I beat him in a joke off on west 54th street. Or was that a jerk off???
start with "WHATS THE DEAL WITH" and end with "WHATS UP WITH THAT"
What's the deal with "what's the deal with" and "what's up with that?", what's up with that?
Seinfeld spends more time talking about being funny instead of actually being funny. 
Did he say he was king of jokes?  No.  He's answering a question.  And the fact is he IS king of jokes.  He's serious about analyzing & studying them in order to perfect his craft.  If they gave a diploma in comedy, Seinfeld would have a PhD.
This isn't about jokes, but the process of writing them, esp. for standup. That you confuse the two shows your low rate of comprehension (maybe that day, maybe usually). I feel sorry for you, and I'm far from Seinfeld's biggest fan.
oooooh, I just watched a funny video let me try to be funny!
He's clever and articulate but not really funny.  Seinfeld was funny despite him.
Matt Williams Shared on Google+ · 9 months ago
Jerry Seinfeld tells how to write a joke.   I know what he means about the blinking cursor.
In a league of his own!! Really great explanation of the process of a working on and figuring out a stand up bit.  I could only hope to be 1/100th as funny as Jerry Seinfeld.  Just started doing stand up. Here is my latest set at The Ice House in Los Angeles. search Diane Fredel-Weis Ice House
when i write a joke, i think of something funny, and then start building from there
"spend a lot of time...wastefully" :-)
I prefer Louis but this is also good, thank you
Check out our videos! Thanks!!
Jerry and Larry will go down as the greatest comedy writing tandem in history, they fed off of each others' neuroses, and came up with like 200(?) episodes of the most successful sitcom to date. Seinfeld still runs 2-3 times a day in syndication and they stopped making them in '98, went out on top... amazing.
Bic sponsorship here we go
Chimps in the dirt?  That's gold, Jerry!  Gold!
Jaimie Shared on Google+ · 6 months ago
Funny and and idea of the craft of joke making
he got rich because of Larry David's comedic genius and insistence on commitment to singular vision. 
booooo....    booooooo
I luv Jerry's sensibility....him and LD's together it was gave Seinfeld that edge I so enjoy(ed)....well that and Kramer, George and Elaine's characters.
I can't believe he's 60! Now I feel old!
"cant go stale because they were never fresh"...I smell larry.
He's like a comedy technician. It's surprising writing this way that he's so funny.
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