Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee moves to Netflix on January 5th.
Back in 2012, Jerry Seinfeld boldly redefined the web series with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, defying convention and putting fans first. So much was different about this “show”: It was distributed only on Crackle and Seinfeld’s own personal website, the episodes were usually 14-18 minutes long, and the format itself was unique. Now, Netflix has brought the rights to not only the new fourth season, but the entire back catalog as well.
Every episode follows this same formula: Jerry Seinfeld invites a legendary comedian out for coffee. He picks them up at their house (or mansion) in a different and rare classic car. You could watch this series just for the classic cars. In fact, if you check IMDb you will find that many people who watch this show also watch Top Gear. You might find a bit of Top Gear here, especially when it comes to the simultaneous admiring and poking fun at the cars.
The famous comedians you meet are the top comedians of our time and Jerry has known many of them personally for decades, so anyone who’s particularly into comedy will especially appreciate this series. He ranges from Jay Leno to Sara Silverman and Louis CK, and Chris Rock, to name a few. Lately, Seinfeld has decided to branch out from just comedians. Actor Christoph Waltz was a prominent guest last year. Of course, I’d be remiss to not mention the stellar episode with President Obama, which Jerry Seinfeld says is the highlight of his life.
Although you’ll spot cameras all over the inside of each car, along with a car or two tailing them, Comedians in Cars still gives off the vibe that you are eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between two friends. They’re not trying to create an illusion with the production crew staying out of the way, nor are they in your face either. This isn’t an interview, and it’s not a reality show either. It’s something else, something new. Celebrities just hanging out.
This format works extraordinarily well in the short time length Jerry makes each episode. Each episode features a different classic car, with Jerry describing the characteristics of the car that make it special for him. One wonders whether the cars are somehow matched to the personalities of the comedians. Then he calls them up, and says something like, “So I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes for coffee.” He drives to their house, picks them up, and off they go to a unique coffee shop. Sometimes they have other impromptu adventures along the way, enhancing the repetitiveness of the series.
Side note: My favorite reason to watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is actually to spot all the blatant product placement.