Michael Spicer Calls Out Jerry Seinfeld: Comedy Has Evolved, Not Extinct

Exploring the transformative shifts in modern comedic landscapes

by Zain ul Abedin
Michael Spicer Calls Out Jerry Seinfeld: Comedy Has Evolved, Not Extinct
© Mat Hayward/Getty Images

In a recent exchange of views that highlights the generational divide in comedy, Michael Spicer, a 47-year-old British comedian, has openly criticized Jerry Seinfeld's perspective on the current state of sitcoms. Seinfeld, the 70-year-old comedy legend known for his eponymous nine-season series, lamented the scarcity of good sitcoms on television in an interview with The New Yorker.

He attributed this drought to what he perceives as excessive political correctness and a prevailing fear of offending others. Spicer, however, dismisses Seinfeld's claims as outdated and misinformed, likening his stance to what he describes as the "John Cleese stage" of a comedian's career—where the modern landscape seems alien.

This British comic, who recently debuted a new series on BBC Radio 4, regards Seinfeld's views as an old man's rant against contemporary realities. Despite his critique, Spicer acknowledges his admiration for Seinfeld's work, particularly noting the evolutionary brilliance of his sitcom.

Spicer’s new series, "No Room," exemplifies the shift in comedic delivery and content that Seinfeld critiques. The series features 15-minute episodes packed with skits that address controversial topics through satire and parody.

From spoofing war correspondents to mocking corporate attempts to address racism, Spicer uses humor to tackle sensitive issues without fear of the political correctness that Seinfeld criticizes.

Comedy's Digital Shift

The comedy landscape, according to Spicer, has undergone significant changes with the advent of streaming services and social media platforms.

This shift has diversified where and how audiences consume comedy, moving away from traditional television. Spicer points out that platforms like Netflix, TikTok, and Twitter/X, where he gained significant following through his "The Room Next Door" videos during the COVID pandemic, offer new avenues for comedians to reach audiences directly.

Moreover, Spicer highlights the democratization of comedy in the digital age. The internet has broken down barriers that once made the comedy scene an "old boys' club," enabling aspiring comedians to share their work widely without traditional gatekeepers.

This change has not only broadened the types of comedy available but has also introduced a variety of comedic voices that might not have found a platform in Seinfeld's prime. While Seinfeld might mourn the perceived decline of quality TV comedy, Spicer celebrates the new, varied forms of comedy that challenge the norms and engage with a broader, more diverse audience.

In Spicer's view, the evolution of comedy is not a decline but rather a liberation from conventional formats, offering both creators and audiences more freedom to explore and enjoy comedy in its many forms.