Reviews for The Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Book

by Jerry Seinfeld

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The renowned comic puts his online talk show series between covers. Want to get a cup of coffee? The operative verb, insists Seinfeld, is get, an active word that, he writes, “is really a way of saying, ‘I like you enough to do absolutely nothing with.’ No higher compliment, to my way of thinking.” The conceit is to get coffee, and maybe a nice nosh, in a variety of unique cars from every era. Seinfeld, like frequent interlocutor Jay Leno, is a die-hard car guy, affording a topic of conversation that is of interest only to car guys (and used sparingly here). Though there are some throwaway bits, Seinfeld and the dozens of comedians here have more substantive things to say. There’s a lot about comedy, naturally. David Letterman muses about watching Richard Pryor do a bit about having sex with a dog, concluding, “Well, okay. There are many facets of genius.” Judd Apatow remembers that his near-broke mother bought a Mercedes, and when he asked her why not a Camry, she replied, “Because I’m not an animal.” Money is a preoccupation, but Apatow wisely adds in another conversation, “We’re not in the money business. We’re in the fun business.” Some comics muse on race, some on religion, some on what might have been—e.g., when Don Rickles reckons that he might have made “a damn good psychiatrist.” Perhaps surprisingly, the deepest comments come from the late Garry Shandling—unfortunately, too many of Seinfeld’s interviewees are no longer with us—who told Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh a side-splitting joke about the Buddha and then concludes of comedy, “It doesn’t have any value beyond you expressing yourself spiritually, in a very soulful, spiritual way. It’s why you’re on the planet.” The book features vivid color photos, and the interviewee list is a comedy lover’s dream. An amiable, largely amusing ramble down the back roads of the comedian’s art. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.