Jerry’s voice over: This is a 1993 Mazda Protege. It has automatic transmission, manual windows and locks, and it takes regular unleaded gas. This is not a good car. It isn’t cool, it isn’t desirable, in fact its main draw is that it moves forwards and backwards. It was also the very first car my guest today ever owned.
This isn’t a car you get to drive, it’s a car you have to drive. And without the have-to moments, how would we ever recognize the get-tos, really? I like a car that doesn’t look like much but makes you think deeper thoughts than you typically would on a Tuesday.
This car’s value is really only known by those who deal with it every day, which is why it reminds me of my very special guest, Shani Silver. Shani is a writer who lives in Brooklyn and hates cars in this color.
Jerry: Hello can I speak to Shani Silver?
Me: This is she.
Jerry: Shani it’s Jerry Seinfeld.
Jerry: Have you had coffee yet today?
Me: Yes but I’m familiar with your work.
Jerry: Great, see you in a minute.
Shot of Jerry picking me up outside a Walgreens in Manhattan because I don’t want cameras showing people where I live.
Jerry: This car made me think of you.
Me: I’ll work on that. Next time you’ll come in a Hyundai Elantra.
Shot of Jerry driving me around Manhattan.
Jerry: Should we stop for coffee? How about here, the place with the pink awning, that looks healthy.
Me: I don’t really care about being healthy.
Jerry: What does healthy mean? How are we supposed to know? It’s reprinted every year like the Blue Book. First they say one thing is healthy then they change their minds and say something else is healthy then ten years later the first thing that was healthy’ll kill you.
Me: Healthy is just hungry in a good suit.
Shot of Jerry and I having just closed the exterior doors of the car, admiring it from the outside.
Me: I like that it’s dented. Feels honest. I can’t stand those flawless classic cars not a scratch since 1965. I’m born in ’82 and you can tell.
Shot of Jerry and I sitting down for coffee. It’s apparent we’ve already ordered.
Jerry: What’s funny to you?
Me: Standup is funny to me. Like perfect standup. The standup where the comic never smiles.
Jerry: Right, smiling isn’t funny.
Me: You can make yourself smile at home. I paid you to have a straight face.
Jerry: Are you funny?
Me: It depends who’s asking. Today? No. Tomorrow when I make small talk with my neighbor who only burns her microwave popcorn, sure.
Jerry: There’s actually a microwave setting for popcorn.
Me: And yet.
Jerry: And yet. I wonder if it’s a thing with the popcorn and microwave companies that the microwave ruins it on purpose to sell more popcorn.
Me: Yeah but then the air freshener people are in on it, too. Nobody likes that smell.
Jerry: Smells aren’t things you like. Smells are inherently bad. Scents and aromas you like.
Me: Right. Smells…rough gig.
Shot of Jerry and I in the car again. He’s taking me back to Walgreens.
Jerry: How would you be funny if you were funny?
Me: I’d wait for something to happen, or nothing to happen, and then picture whatever reaction the general public would have if the general public was trying to be funny about it. Then do the opposite. That’s funny.
Jerry: So when they’d be animated and charismatic you’d be quiet and unaffected.
Me: Yes and eating grapes.
Post credits clip:
Jerry: What’d you get at Walgreens?
Me: I was returning something.