Comic will `retire' his current routine on HBOJerry Seinfeld, the star of one of the most succesful shows in television history, says he'll never do another situation comedy.
"I can't imagine doing another one. Only an idiot would think they could do better," said Seinfeld, during a press conference this week promoting his Sunday night HBO special, "I'm Telling You for the Last Time."(The special will be seen live in the Eastern and Central time zones, but will be cablecast on tape-delay in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. HBO subscribers in Utah will see it Sunday at 10 p.m.)
Wearing white slacks with a navy polo shirt under a gray jacket, the 44-year-old comedian joked and jostled with the media over subjects ranging from sex to money.
While Seinfeld says he misses some of the things about the ending of the phenomenal run of "Seinfeld" after 140 episodes, he's relieved it's over.
"Did you ever take a dog to the park and take his leash off," he asked rhetorically. "The dog looks up for a minute then bolts like a maniac."
Accompanied by by HBO's Marty Callner, who will be directing the special live, Seinfeld explained that returning to stand-up was liberating. For nine years he worked on a show with 100 crew members, a dozen writers and the cast.
"That was very much a group thing," he said. "Now I feel like the leash is off."
He has no plans to take a vacation. "I've been on beaches," he said. "I've been on boats." Then he shrugged his shoulders.
While Seinfeld is not retiring from stand-up, he is retiring all the material from Sunday night's program. "You'll never hear these jokes again," he promised.
He's planning to work on another special, presumably for HBO, during the next eight months, and put out a comedy album based on Sunday's performance.
Tickets for the concert at the Broadhurst Theater are hot. The New York Attorney General's office is investigating ticket scalping. The going street rate for a ticket is $1,500, nearly 20 times the face value. Seinfeld is donating all of the proceeds from the concert to PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning).
"I didn't invent scalping, " he said, pausing just long enough for everyone to realize the absurdity of the situation. "I don't really have any control over it."
While "Seinfeld" will never be considered controversial, the show did run into trouble with an episode in which Kramer accidentally set a Puerto Rican flag on fire.
"I liked that episode," said Seinfeld. "People forget that in that episode Kramer was really looking forward to the Puerto Rican Day parade and that the whole thing was an accident."
When asked if the protest of the episode by some Puerto Ricans was legitimate or a politically correct over-reaction, Seinfeld raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders.
While Seinfeld said that he doesn't have a favorite episode, he did recall with great affection the one in which he mugs an elderly woman for her loaf of marble rye. "They brought in snow and we had snowball fights at five in the morning, and I was trying to throw a loaf of rye bread up to the fourth floor," he said. "It was just fun."
Seinfeld refused to confirm the rumors that cast members from the show, particularly Jason Alexander, might appear for his HBO special.
"If I named who might come, it wouldn't be a surprise," he said. "How can there be surprise guests if there are no surprises?"
Other Seinfeld observations:
On fame: "I've been anonymous. Being famous is better."
On Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton: "Everyone lies about sex. Truth and sex don't go together. Everyone lies during sex, so truth just isn't going to happen."