In last summer's first installment of Jerry Seinfeld's laugh-filled web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," the comic drank a cup of java as his contrarian "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David sipped tea – spurring a Jerry-and-George-like argument.
"You have finally done a show about nothing," David told Seinfeld amid coffee shop banter straight out of their classic sitcom.
But as always with Seinfeld, there's more to nothing than meets the eye. The web show, a seeming lark that could have disappeared as quickly as a cup of mulligatawny from the Soup Nazi, is back for a second season beginning Thursday – which, 15 years after the end of "Seinfeld," is once again a lucky day for fans.
Seinfeld is throwing the show into top gear with talent to match a Season 1 lineup that included Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin and the great duo Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner – a crew that cracked wise on everything from tipping etiquette to Hitler.
This go-around brings a Seinfeld peer (David Letterman, who rarely appears on anyone's show but his own), comics he clearly influenced (Sarah Silverman and Seth Meyers), one of his biggest influences (Don Rickles) and one of the few standup performers in his league (Chris Rock).
Seinfeld learned well from his NBC sitcom that surrounding himself with fellow funny people leads to success. He's secure enough to play the straight man – as well as comedy provocateur (“You have a face like a sock puppet,” he tells Silverman at one point, apropos of seemingly, well, nothing).
His observational humor works well looking out through a windshield or over a cup of coffee. But Seinfeld takes the show beyond witty repartee, leading smart conversations that mine laughs from dissecting comedy – a rare feat. “I could talk about comedy a lot, but I think it’s kind of like talking about sex – you could do any fancy dive you want, (but) it’s just a foot water,” Seinfeld noted last season, earning chuckles from Reiner and Brooks.
The return of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" follows Seinfeld’s recent Webby Award
for the Crackle.com
series. The return also comes about a week after the Writers Guild of America named "Seinfeld" the best-written
TV comedy of all time.
There's no script for the web show, where the one-liners fly as fast as vintage car-lover Seinfeld drives. He’s fortunate enough to have friends who operate at equally high-speed. We’re fortunate enough to get taken along on the ride. Check out a preview below:
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.