Netflix UK TV review: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Andrew Jones | On 15, Jan 2018Reading time: 6 mins
What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee? Is it a series about comedians or cars or coffee? Is it a series about Jerry Seinfeld or a series for Jerry Seinfeld? What if it’s all of the above? Would that even be possible? The highly entertaining web series is proof that yes, of course it is.
Netflix has collected the show into an easy-viewing collection pack, out of chronological order, and bursting with great guests talking funny and being funny too. Whether you like fancy cars, talking to funny friends about the world, or sipping a cup of coffee while doing it, here’s a rundown (in no conceivable order) of some of the show’s cool guests in funny episodes… getting coffee.
Oscar-winning Austrian actor Christoph Waltz isn’t a comedian, Jerry and he haven’t known each other for decades, they probably don’t hang out at all, but in this episode, it feels so fun to be a fly on the wall of these two minds meeting. Waltz explaining the dry, maybe even anti-comedic, nature of Vienesse comedy to Jerry is a delight. Waltz being an interesting person helps, always slightly off from any normal human mannerism, and Jerry picks him up on it a few times with hilarious results.
The late, great comedian and star of TV’s masterful satire The Larry Sanders Show reflects on turning the concept of talk shows on their head, reminisces with Jerry about LA’s 70s stand-up heyday and, in a more sobering moment, discusses someone thinking he was dead. It can become a sad watch, as anything featuring somebody gone too soon tends to be, but Gary’s humour and self-deprecation are so endearing, his honesty and wit invaluable and forever engaging. You can’t do much better as an introduction to Jerry’s hosting style, and the way he interacts with his guests.
The creator of SNL, the man who created a comedic empire, sits in a car with Jerry Seinfeld and it’s far more lively than Lorne ever seems to be when approached by other humans. Michaels, true to his reputation, is honest to the bone, and slyly hysterical throughout, while the duo examine what Saturday Night Live has done, and what TV and comedy in America has become as a reaction to the show, while noting that Lorne’s job there is still very much important to that success. Not that the single season after he was fired in the 80s didn’t prove that already.
One of modern comedy’s best and brightest, Patton is an always-funny person, with brains and nerdy references galore. His love of superheroes matches Jerry’s affection for Superman, and the two quickly find rapport as much in discussing which superhero is the best as when discussing comedic process. This is a slick 18 minutes, no awkward beats, nothing downbeat, just pure silly comedy for the entire duration.
Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus falls back into her Seinfeld days as soon as she opens the door to Jerry; they reminisce about working on the sitcom and its legacy, the times backstage on the show, and just life itself in a great reunion episode. The two share such great chemistry – Julia is the positive yin to Jerry’s observationally pessimistic yang – and if you put a few establishing shots of 90s New York, this could very well be a new episode of Seinfeld. (Jerry also does an episode with Michael Richards, which is a lot of fun, and also cuts to the core of his infamous stand-up meltdown a decade ago.)
Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks
What starts off as a genial discussion with legendary writer and comedian Carl Reiner about his 60 years working on comedy becomes a meeting of masters when Carl invites Jerry to his house to see where he and Mel share dinner every day. Mel then comes over and things go off the rails. It’s a great watch to see two people who definitely defined comedy more than anyone else still alive just hanging out in the iconic, near-mythical manner we’ve known about for years. With TV trays by armchairs staring at a TV. At once legendary and human. And also hysterical.
Jerry secures another comedy icon into a car, with insult comic Don Rickles happily being open about his career, and the times he spent with Sinatra and the Rat Pack back in the day. Who could want more than stories on the Vegas party guys pranking one another and having fun? It is the epitome of showbiz lore, and Jerry lets us in on the details by hitting Don with the right follow-up questions at the right time. With someone like Rickles, you let him speak as long as he wants, and then wait to be insulted. A genius and genuinely funny man, the episode highlights everything great about him.
Norm isn’t as big a name as many Jerry shares his classic cars and cups of java with – his time on SNL as the Weekend Update anchor are amazing but he doesn’t get out of stand-up venues often enough. Jerry and he make with the gift of easy wit, each retort funny and weighed with honesty. Norm’s charm and good humour make him a great guest, and Jerry’s genuine interest in him adds to the conversation, making the episode rich with detail amid the laughs. A surprising heavy-hitter.
Sarah is a firm believer in self-betterment, always looking to help others and herself be better than they already are. Recently on Twitter, she helped someone who sent her abuse in an effort to make another human less angry and more in touch with the good. In this episode, Jerry talks about comedy, but Sarah mixes her very funny nature with honest interjections of discoveries to help life go well, and how she adopts these, and passes them on to other people. Not only funny, the episode is something of a feel-good, inspirational 20 minutes.
At the time of the recording, Obama was still in the White House, so while Jerry gets The President a nice car to drive in, they can’t go out of the compound. This means after a trip around the Rose Garden, Jerry is taken to a break room in the White House for a cup of self-brewed coffee and a chat about the politics of politics, and being the cool President. Jerry lets Obama talk, and joke, without much interjection, but it’s fun to watch Barack Obama let off steam and be both funny and serious within the same sentence.
This is just a selection of highlights, but there are plenty more episodes, almost all of them great, sitting on Netflix right now, with more original Netflix episodes coming soon. Jerry Seinfeld’s easy nature and willingness to listen as well as interject with his own observational material make for fun and funny viewing, and even if you don’t like coffee, this show can’t help but make you thirsty and want to drive a nice 1960s Corvette around for good measure.
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee: Season 1 to 6 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.