Most celebrities are willing to play the game. Out in public, on the red carpet, celebrities will act pleasant to one another. They will at the very least recognize a fellow celebrity when they see one. But Jerry Seinfeld is not most celebrities and the hug refusal heard ’round the world was epic. This week, while at David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Seinfeld was giving an interview when Kesha approached him and asked for a hug. It did not seems such an unreasonable request. Seinfeld denied her nonetheless. She asked again and still Seinfeld said no. Kesha didn’t give up until Seinfeld hit her with a third and final “no” to the hug request.
It was classic Seinfeld and quite hilarious.
— Tommy McFLY (@TommyMcFLY) June 6, 2017
Those surprised at Jerry Seinfeld’s actions either a) have never seen an episode of Seinfeld or b) never seen Seinfeld be himself on stage or in interviews. A rude man he is not, but he does not care for social rules that so many of us allow to define us. No matter the situation, Seinfeld will be Seinfeld.
Related Story: Learn How To Create Some Of ‘Seinfeld’s Classic Food Dishes
Still don’t believe me? Here are the seven ways Seinfeld doesn’t care for your games.
He doesn’t care if you’re famous
Kesha learned this one the hard way. Fame will open many doors for you, but don’t expect Seinfeld to budge his open for you. When talking with David Letterman for a Paley Center for Media event, Seinfeld said, “I pretty much engage with funny people or weird people…Anybody who’s a little normal, even just like a normal actor or actress, I’m lost. I got nothing. I’m not curious, I’m not interested. You got a show? I don’t care.”
Those who call Seinfeld “the show about nothing”
Somewhere along the nine season run of the show, Seinfeld earned the moniker of being a show about nothing. The show is unconventional in that characters undergo few dramatic changes, but Jerry Seinfeld does not like you referring to the show in this way.
In a Reddit AMA, he revealed: The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material. The show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it’s the opposite of that.”
Comedians get heckled. The phenomenon is embedded within the culture of stand-up comedy. Each comedian has their own way of dealing with it. Seinfeld’s solution is a bit unique you might say.
Very early on in my career, I hit upon this idea of being the Heckle Therapist. So that when people would say something nasty, I would immediately become very sympathetic to them and try to help them with their problem and try to work out what was upsetting them, and try to be very understanding with their anger. It opened up this whole fun avenue for me as a comedian, and no one had ever seen that before. Some of my comedian friends used to call me—what did they say?—that I would counsel the heckler instead of fighting them. Instead of fighting them, I would say “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem” and the audience would find it funny and it would really discombobulate the heckler too, because I wouldn’t go against them, I would take their side.
According to Seinfeld, “Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.”
Modern-day Seinfeld accounts
“As you can probably imagine, over the 9 years of doing the show, Larry David and I sat through hundreds of ideas that people wanted to do on the show,” Seinfeld wrote. “And most of the ideas are not good. Which I saw Larry say the other day on some show, somebody asked him the same question and he said ‘I know you think it’s funny, but it’s really hard.’ The ideas that Larry and I would respond to, I don’t even know, they just need to be very unique. It’s just a lot harder than it seems to come up with. And particularly for that show, where we tried to do things that were unusual, and you had to go through a lot of ideas to find the ones you like.”
Seinfeld was co-created between Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. The makeup of the show is inseparable between those two. If you’ve ever watched Curb Your Enthusiasm, David’s HBO show, you see that the tiniest social faux pas bother him.
It seems when he and Seinfeld get together, things are no different. When they first met in the 70s, they didn’t stop talking for hours. “We were both obsessed with the smallest possible issue,” Seinfeld said.
The smallest possible issue bothering them lately: intentional mumbling.
“We never obsess over anything that isn’t mundane,” Seinfeld revealed. “Most recent was intentional mumbling. We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can’t reveal what it is at this time.
Larry David had a strict “no hugging, no learning” policy for Seinfeld. The show wouldn’t veer into sentimentality or cause situations where the characters would grow into greater versions of themselves. This is sort of why people believe this is a show about nothing.
“A lot of people don’t understand that Seinfeld is a dark show,” David once said. “If you examine the premises, terrible things happen to people. They lose jobs; somebody breaks up with a stroke victim; somebody’s told they need a nose job. That’s my sensibility.”
If Kesha was a real fan, maybe she would’ve known about the “no hugging” rule.