Jerry Seinfeld Is (Or, At Least, Was) A Huge Fan of Ukulele Apology Songwriter Miranda Sings
In some alternate universe, Jerry Seinfeld is writing a ukulele song about Shoshanna Lonstein.
Colleen Ballinger, better known by her YouTube persona “Miranda Sings,” currently holds the dubious distinction of being the “main character of the internet” for a vlog she posted yesterday in response to mounting accusations that she behaved inappropriately toward underaged fans. Ballinger denied that she groomed and manipulated minors in a 10-minute song, sung with stringed accompaniment and including banger lines like, “The only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats,” and, “Toxic gossip train, you got a one-way ticket to manipulation station.”
The full breadth of the accusations against Ballinger were examined in detail by NBC News earlier this week and countless other outlets have covered the facts and rumors surrounding the strange scandal, and a fanbase of millions is currently reckoning with the possibility that their favorite YouTube comedian may have behaved incredibly inappropriately toward children — a fanbase that includes Seinfeld.
“I remember sitting in my daughter’s room. She said, ‘Hey, you want to see something funny?’” Seinfeld recalled of his first exposure to Miranda Sings in a joint Vulture interview the two gave in 2014. “I watched (the video), and I laughed, and I didn’t think that much more about it. And then (my daughter) would say, ‘You want to see another one?’” And I would watch another one. I started to see that there was a very well-developed character there, and a very talented performer.”
The Miranda character maintained a massive following among teens and tweens as underaged YouTube fans flocked to Ballinger’s eccentric, narcissistic and wholly oblivious internet celebrity who sings and dances poorly, loves attention and hates haters. In the videos, Seinfeld saw a star that could transcend the generation gap between teens and parents with the power of comedy. “I became very interested in that (Miranda Sings) was just as funny to me as it was to my daughter, who is 13. Normally I’m not a big fan of the crap that they watch, but this was really making me laugh,” Seinfeld said. “I’ve been around a bit, and I can tell when someone’s really funny. This was on a different level comedically for me.”
Seinfeld quickly took to Ballinger’s comedy, inviting her to appear on his own web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Over the course of the following year, Seinfeld would plug Miranda Sings on The Late Show with David Letterman, appear with her on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and even make a video with Ballinger on the Miranda Sings YouTube page titled “HOW TO BE FAMOUS! feat. Jerry Seinfeld.”
Though the pair have not appeared in a project together in almost eight years (and certainly none since allegations against her began to arise in 2020), there was clearly a time when Seinfeld was enamored with Ballinger’s brand of internet comedy and took a vested interest in fostering her blossoming career. Since the infamous ukulele defense dropped yesterday, Seinfeld has not made any sort of statement on Ballinger’s behavior, and it seems unlikely that the megastar will ever again play Pictionary with her against Martin Short and Jimmy Fallon.