Jerry Seinfeld eviscerates ‘extreme left’ for making comedy ‘P.C.’

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Storied comic Jerry Seinfeld is calling it like he sees it: political correctness has been a detriment to comedy.

The ever-candid “Seinfeld” star unleashed on the “extreme left,” suggesting that while people still crave comic relief, they can’t find it on television.

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“Nothing really affects comedy. People always need it. They need it so badly and they don’t get it,” he said on a recent episode of The New Yorker’s Radio Hour.

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Jerry Seinfeld in a black suit on stage points directly out towards the crowd

Jerry Seinfeld believes that the “extreme left” has hurt the comedy industry. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Good+Foundation)

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“It used to be that you’d go home at the end of the day, most people would go, ‘Oh ’Cheers’ is on. Oh ‘M.A.S.H.’ is on. Oh ‘[The] Mary Tyler Moore [Show]’ is on. ‘All in the Family’ is on. You just expected they’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight.”

“Well guess what, where is it? Where is it? This is the result of the extreme left and P.C. crap and people worrying so much about offending other people.”

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The cast of Cheers poses for a picture

Jerry Seinfeld claims that television shows like “Cheers” aren’t being made any more due to political correctness. (Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)

Mary Tyler Moore in a white sweater laughs on set with Ted Knight in an episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Jerry Seinfeld says instant comic relief given to an audience during a show like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” is no longer attainable.  (20th Century Fox Television/Fotos International/Getty Images)

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“Now they’re going to see stand-up comics because they are not policed by anyone. The audience polices us. We know when we’re off track. We know instantly. And we adjust to it, instantly,” Seinfeld said. “But when you write a script and it goes into four or five different hands, committees, groups – ‘Here’s our thought about this joke’ – well, that’s the end of your comedy.”

Seinfeld emphasized that your job as a comedian is dependent upon being able to work within the parameters of what society deems acceptable. “They move the gates, like in skiing,” he explained. “Culture – the gates are moving.’ Your job is to be agile and clever enough that wherever they put the gates, I’m gonna make the gate.”

Jerry Seinfeld with his hand up in the air speaking into a microphone on stage

Jerry Seinfeld says stand-ups are more likely to speak freely because any fallback impacts their own reputation. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Good+Foundation)

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But where there’s risk, there’s gain, and Seinfeld acknowledges stand-ups are personally leveraging the most.

“With certain comedians now, people are having fun with them stepping over the line. And us all laughing about it,” he said. “But again, it’s the stand-ups that really have the freedom to do it because no one else gets the blame if it doesn’t go down well. He or she can take all the blame [themselves.]”



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