‘Seinfeld’ Fan Theorizes That Larry David Always Intended for Jerry’s Stand-Up to Suck in the Show

‘Seinfeld’ Twitter debates David’s ulterior motives
‘Seinfeld’ Fan Theorizes That Larry David Always Intended for Jerry’s Stand-Up to Suck in the Show

What’s the deal with Jerry’s shitty stand-up?

Ever since the all-time greatest sitcom Seinfeld premiered on July 5, 1989 under the overly verbose name The Seinfeld Chronicles, fans of the series have joked to each other about how the opening sets from the titular stand-up at the center of the series don’t exactly seem funny enough for him to afford a spacious and physically impossible one-bedroom in Manhattan just off of funny money. 

The interspersed segments showing Jerry onstage in front of an unrealistically generous crowd were an effective tool to establish pacing and a smart framing advice that showed how a professional comic comes up with their material, but really how many of Jerry’s stand-up sets on Seinfeld ever made anyone outside of the in-studio audience chuckle?

That question is at the heart of a heated debate that’s currently raging on Seinfeld Twitter over a sitcom conspiracy theory put forth by user @HendoSlice who suggests that, while crafting the formula for the show, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David surreptitiously suggested that his comedy partner and the show’s star should perform his unfunny stand-up routines so that the audience could laugh at Jerry and not with him. 

If this is true, then I wonder what David’s pitch would have been for Bania.

Beyond the above evidence that @HendoSlice used to support their theory, there are some behind-the-scenes tidbits that could suggest Davids secret investment in Jerrys not-great stand-up segments. For example, after David first left Seinfeld following the shows seventh season, the showrunners phased out Jerrys stand-up sets entirely, and Seasons Eight and Nine featured almost no scenes of Jerry onstage until he returned to on-camera stand-up in the shows controversial finale, written, of course, by David.

In the Seinfeld Season Eight DVD commentary, Seinfeld and the remaining showrunners claimed that they cut Jerrys act from the show due to time constraints and because they felt that the actual plot lines provided more humor potential than Jerrys comedy. Perhaps David agreed — which is why he was so insistent on featuring Jerrys stand-up in the first place.

Though many of Twitters Seinfeld fans voiced their support for this stand-up sneak-diss theory, it is not without opposition. One such dissenter argued, “This idea that Larry David is some svengali and Jerry Seinfeld had nothing to do with the success of his namesake show is absurd. I’d go even further to bet that David shares 99 percent of Seinfeld’s execrable political opinions, but merely has the good sense not to share them publicly.”

Ultimately, it does seem far-fetched that David planted a throughline in the most beloved sitcom in history that his closest creative partner and the shows namesake is a hack comedian whom David never found funny. But then again, this is the guy who once pretended that a stepfather he never had died just to get out of his own stand-up set. We cant put anything past him.


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