Jerry Seinfeld on ‘Late Night’: ‘There’s a Creepy PC Thing out There that Really Bothers Me’

‘They keep moving the lines in for no reason’

MEYERS: “Well, I will say comedy — it’s interesting. Comedy is, I do think is — you know, is supposed to push the line, push toward lines of the medium. There are now more people who will let you know if they think you went over the line than ever before.”
REMNICK: “Don’t I know it.”
MEYERS: “I mean, you have to feel the same way about comedy.”
SEINFELD: “Yeah, but they keep moving the lines in for no reason.”
MEYERS: “Right.”
SEINFELD: “I do this joke about the way people need to justify their cell phone. I need to have it with me because people are so important. Well, they don’t seem very important the way you scroll through them like a gay French king, you know. (Laughter)
REMNICK: “Well, that’s very offensive to the gay French king.” 
SEINFELD: “Well, yeah, I did this line recently in front of an audience. And comedy is where you can kind of feel like an opinion. And they thought, what do you mean gay? What are you talking about gay? What are you talking — gay? What are you doing? What do you mean, you know. And I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I mean, we can’t even — I could imagine a time — and this is a serious thing. I can imagine time when people say, ‘Well, that’s offensive to suggest that a gay person moves their hands in a flourishing motion, and you now need to apologize. I mean, there’s a creepy PC thing out there that really bothers me.”
REMNICK: “But you can also screw up.”
MEYERS: “Yes, you can screw up.”
REMNICK: “It happens once in a blue moon. And you hear about it on Twitter. Halfway — you know, just as soon as the magazine has hit the Internet. And sometimes we put the cover out early. And the cover [indeciperable] controversy eve more than the cartoons do. And we hear about it right away.”
MEYERS: “It’s interesting how that ripple can sort of start. And then do you have a sense of when controversy starts, do you then look back at the work and say wait, ‘Did we make a mistake, or is this ...?”
REMNICK: “Sure, of course. If you have half a brain, you give it a second thought.”
SEINFELD: “When was that? Tell us about that.”
REMNICK: “Well, this had to be on television all the time.”
MEYERS: “You would go on TV and defend this –“
REMNICK: “I had to go on CNN to explain this. And it’s never a good moment; a) when you’re on television explaining a joke; and, b)  when the guy on CNN is asking you, ‘Well, that could have been on the cover of a Nazi magazine.’ (Laughter) Thanks a lot. My mother is watching this show.”
SEINFELD: “Explain and defend is not apologize.”
REMNICK: “No, I didn’t apologize at all.”
SEINFELD: “OK. Have you ever done that?
REMNICK: “Apologize?”
SEINFELD: “Yeah.”
REMNICK: “No.”
SEINFELD: “So then you’ve never felt that you’ve gone over the line?”
REMNICK: “No. I’m saying — but we have these conversations in the office all the time. We do get - Barry Blit who did this cartoon and does a lot of our political —“
SEINFELD: “He’s great.”
REMNICK: “He’s fantastic, but a lot of his sketches go over the line in a way that’s it’s important for him to go too far to see where the line is if such a line exists. You know, should there be a line? I don’t know. But sometimes there’s a misfire. I got a misfire today. I won’t describe it, but it was —“
SEINFELD: “What does that mean, ‘You got a misfire today?’”
REMNICK: “It was a sketch, a possible cover about the — ‘Vanity Fair’ cover recently.”
SEINFELD: “OK. There you go.”
REMNICK: “But it didn’t work.
MAYERS: “But I would like to know what it was.”
REMNICK: “You’re not going to get it.” (Laughter)
SEINFELD: “Now you — as long as we’re on this subject, which I think is very relevant, you said the other day — I saw a thing. I think it was on Instagram — you’re not going to make any jokes about Caitlyn Jenner.”
MEYERS: “I said that day I wasn’t.”
SEINFELD: “Oh, the day.”
MEYERS: “No, again, I don’t want to — (Laughter); Again, Caitlyn Jenner is a person who will continue to do things in the public eye. And she will be as open to jokes as everybody else. But as far as that cover and that moment, I sort of thought that was a wonderful moment and that wasn’t a time to make a joke.”
SEINFELD: “Oh, OK.”
MEYERS: “But I don’t want to think Caitlyn Jenner can go around doing what ever she wants the rest of her life thinking she’s not gonna show up in a monologue.” (Laughter)
SEINFELD: “Oh, OK, good.”
MEYERS: “Let’s be clear about that.”
SEINFELD: “Alright, good. I feel better now.”
MEYERS: “Yeah, nobody gets carte blanche on ‘Late Night.’”

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