Jerry Seinfeld Blasts 'Extreme Left' for Pushing 'PC' Culture in Comedy

Jerry Seinfeld shares insights on comedy's evolving landscape.

by Nouman Rasool
Jerry Seinfeld Blasts 'Extreme Left' for Pushing 'PC' Culture in Comedy
© Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld has voiced strong concerns about the impact of political correctness on comedy, attributing the shift to influences from the "extreme left." Speaking candidly in the New Yorker's Radio Hour, Seinfeld decried the state of televised comedy as one that has been vastly watered down through an overemphasis on not offending viewers.

Iconic shows such as 'Cheers,' 'M.A.S.H.,' 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' and 'All in the Family' were something an audience could count on for a nightly dose of humor."You just expected there will be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight," Seinfeld recalled.

However, he now questions, "Where is it? This is the result of the extreme left and PC crap and people worrying so much about offending other people." According to Seinfeld, the rigorous scrutiny and modification processes that television scripts undergo strip them of their comedic essence.

"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," he explained.

Stand-Up's Unfiltered Freedom

Seinfeld highlighted the freedom that stand-up comedians enjoy as a stark contrast to television.

Without the oversight of networks and producers, stand-up comics are governed solely by their audiences' reactions, which Seinfeld views as a more authentic and immediate form of feedback. "We know when we're off track. We know instantly.

And we adjust to it instantly," he noted. Furthermore, Seinfeld pointed out the dynamic challenges that comedians face, likening it to a skier navigating shifting gates. "Culture – the gates are moving. Your job is to be agile and clever enough that wherever they put the gates, I'm going to make the gate," he said.

Despite the obstacles, Seinfeld sees a silver lining in the risks that stand-up comedians are willing to take. With society's evolving boundaries, some comedians find humor in pushing these limits, to the delight of their audiences.

"With certain comedians now, people are having fun with them stepping over the line, and us all laughing about it," he concluded, acknowledging the unique liberty and responsibility stand-up comedians possess in shaping their craft.