clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Very Best Episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’

Catch up, or get a first introduction to the show before its new season hits Netflix

Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis Dreyfus in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee returns with a new season on Netflix this Friday, July 6. The series, which, until this point, has been a web series on Crackle, is comedy giant Jerry Seinfeld’s idea of a talk show. Each episode is roughly 15 minutes, and the premise is simple: Jerry invites people he admires in the business for a day of riding around in classic automobiles and visiting restaurants and cafes. The host and his guests shoot the breeze, and conversation never gets too serious. These celebrities reveal more of the small details of their lives and personalities, as opposed to deep, dark secrets.

With a new season on the way, now’s the time to look back on the best episodes of Comedians in Cars to date — all of which are currently streaming on Netflix. Here, now, are the most memorable conversations, and a few worthy of an honorable mention.

Larry David drinking a cup of tea
Larry David.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Larry David

The comedian: Larry David was the subject of the Comedians in Cars premiere, which makes sense considering that he and Jerry got the idea for Seinfeld from just hanging out together.

The car: A 1952 VW Bug in azure blue with a four-cylinder, 25-horsepower engine. Jerry describes it as a perfect car for people who “like me, think true humility is always in short supply.”

The coffee: The friends visit John O’Groats in Los Angeles. It’s a cup of coffee for Jerry, and herbal tea for Larry. The big moment comes when Larry, who normally keeps an absurdly fastidious diet, tries a bit of pancake, seemingly for the first time in his life. “I can’t believe this is how people live, that people can do this all the time,” he says after much consideration.

Notable quotables: “It’s a miracle we ever got any work done, because nobody can waste time like you and me — just waste it.” — Seinfeld, reminiscing on the Seinfeld years

“I stopped drinking coffee, and she hated it. I said, ‘What do you care?’ I had tea in the cup. ‘We can’t even share coffee in the morning anymore.’ I said, ‘But there’s something in my cup! You can’t see what’s in my cup. I’m still sipping, there’s still steam coming out of it. What’s the difference?’” — David, on how he believes giving up coffee may have contributed to his divorce

“When am I going to let my guard down? When am I going to eat like a human? Out of control is two pieces of pizza, right? Never two. Me out of control, it’s half a bag of raw cashews.” — David, on his ridiculous diet

“There’s something contemplative about it. The cigarette is not contemplative... It’s anxiety, there’s anxiety associated with it, you know what I mean? Whereas the cigar is relaxing, and when you relax, you’re open to more thoughts. You have time to think. A cigar takes time.” — David, on the perception of smoking cigars versus cigarettes

“That cigar-cigarette thing — I love that. Here’s an analysis of something by two idiots that no one else is doing.” — Seinfeld, summarizing his friendship with Larry (and the basic premise of Seinfeld)

Tina Fey and Jerry share a cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery.
Tina Fey and Jerry share a cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Tina Fey

The comedian: Tina Fey, like several Saturday Night Live alums, started out doing improv at the Second City in Chicago. She was hired as a writer for SNL in 1997, and she made her on-screen debut as an extra in 1998. In ’99 Fey became the show’s first female head writer. She began regularly performing in 2000. She and Amy Poehler took over as Weekend Update co-anchors in 2004. In 2006, Fey left SNL and went on to create and star in 30 Rock. Her most recent work is Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Fey has won 38 industry awards for her work over the years.

The car: A 1967 Volvo 1800S, with a four-cylinder, 115-horsepower engine. As Jerry says, the car “will last forever.” He notes that Volvo is straightforward in its design, and the official color code for this car is “red.”

The coffee: Jerry and Tina first try wheat puffs milkshakes at Floridita Restaurant in Harlem, New York City. “It tastes like something my 8-year-old would say, ‘I invented this,’” Tina says. “It’s cereal made into a beverage.” Then Jerry replies, “We know what it is. The question is: ‘Why it is?’” They follow that up with a trip to Dominique Ansel Bakery for coffee, Cronuts, and other pastries. Ansel himself makes an appearance on screen.

Notable quotables: “One of the things I like about you, besides everything, is, like myself, you enjoy eating things you’re not supposed to eat, because it’s like little mini-vacations in your stressful day, right?” — Seinfeld, on Fey’s dining habits

“The back nine was the backbreaker for us, right? You could kind of figure out the first 10 over the summer, you pull three more out of nowhere, and then the back nine is just — you’re Sandra Bullock in Gravity.” — Seinfeld, on writing 22-episode television seasons

“I always wish I could be a stand-up. I tried it three times in Chicago. I remember, compared to improv, it was so much scarier and so much more thrilling, because if you did get a laugh, it was all yours. But then when you were flop-sweaty, that was also all you too.” — Fey, on her comedy career

“I find that certain duties fall with certain parents. Like, my husband is more on the barf patrol. I can do it; he’s better at it. I’m in charge of feces. All the household feces are my purview.” — Fey, on family life at home

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The comedian: Currently starring in the HBO comedy hit Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus came up on the improv stage in the early ’80s at the Second City in Chicago. She was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 1982 to ’85, and her impressive television and film resume includes an 88-episode run as actor and producer on ABC’s The New Adventures of Old Christine in the late aughts. She also notably played Elaine on Seinfeld from 1990 to 1998.

The car: A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in silver birch, with an all-aluminum, 280-horsepower straight six engine. “No other car could have possibly been exactly what James Bond needed when it was time to save the world,” Jerry says. “It’s dapper, it’s dashing, it’s distinguished, it’s deadly.”

The coffee: They each order a latte at Cafe Luxxe in Santa Monica, California. The beverages look good, but, alas, they “could be a little hotter,” as Jerry laments. “It’s so good, it just needs a little more heat.” After sipping the lukewarm coffee, Jerry and Julia head to Art’s Table for some bacon and eggs.

Notable quotables: “Today I like any sentence that starts with, ‘Do you remember?’” — Seinfeld, on looking back at the good times from the Seinfeld days with Louis-Dreyfus

“So there are two things I have to say about that: One is that you have no interpersonal communication skills. The second thing is, it was a great idea and we should have done it. It would have been a great storyline. I actually regret it.” — Louis-Dreyfus, on rejecting the pitch for a plotline in which, while she was pregnant during the Seinfeld era, Elaine just “got fat”

“The breadth of quality in the humor that you appreciate is the widest of anyone I’ve ever met.” — Seinfeld, on what Louis-Dreyfus finds funny

“I find that fights for us start with something absolutely minute. Like, ‘Why are there coffee grounds here?’ I can’t help myself, you understand?” — Louis-Dreyfus, on marital arguments

“Nothing had ever been written like that before, like it was just a conversation, as opposed to a set up-punchline, set up-punchline. And I just remember thinking, ‘This is so nice and relaxed. It’s got such a different vibe. It’ll never go.’” — Louis-Dreyfus, on her first reaction to the Seinfeld dialogue

“Oh yeah, and by the way, thank you for training him to become a human being. ‘Cause what I was dealing with was, um... well, anyway.” — Louis-Dreyfus, talking on the phone to Jerry’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld and Barack Obama.
Jerry Seinfeld and Barack Obama.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Barack Obama

The comedian: Barack Obama isn’t really a comedian, but Jerry says America’s 44th president “has gotten off just enough funny lines to qualify for getting on this show.” Before he was the commander in chief, Obama was the junior senator from Illinois, and prior to that, he served in the Illinois State Senate.

The car: A 1963 Corvette Stingray in silver blue with a blue interior and “kind of a dark, purplish upholstery.” It has a 327-cubic-inch V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, and “proper knock-off wheels.” “Are there cooler Corvettes?” Jerry contemplates in his narration. “I don’t think so.”

The coffee: This episode was released on December 30, 2015, during Obama’s seventh year in office. Jerry brews a pot from a bag of ground Starbucks beans in the White House mess because security won’t let the president go out on a jaunt to some cafe.

Notable quotables: “I thought the coolest car, American made, for the coolest guy to ever hold this office.” — Jerry, on choosing the Stingray for Obama

“I do really well with the zero-to-8 demographic. They love me, partly because, I think, my ears are big, and so I look a little like a cartoon character. And then little kids love saying my name, but it’s all one big name: It’s ‘Barackobama.’ It’s like a Nickelodeon thing.” — Obama, on why he does well with kids

“Teddy Roosevelt is a cool character. In fact, he may be the guy who would be the most fun to hang out with. He just does crazy stuff. Teddy Roosevelt would go up to Yellowstone Park for, like, a month, and nobody knew where he was, nobody could get in touch with him. Can you imagine that? In office. Sounds pretty good to me.” — Obama, on his favorite president

“Nachos. That’s one of those things where I have to have it taken away. I’ll have guacamole coming out of my eyeballs.” — Obama, on his favorite culinary indulgence

“I’ll give you the real answer, which, it’s got to be similar to your life. I fell in love with the work, and the work was joyful and difficult and interesting, and that was my focus.” — Seinfeld, with a rare sincere comment, on how he stayed grounded in his career despite his fame and fortune

“Bad stuff or stupid stuff is happening constantly, right, every day. So you have to be able to just make fun of — ‘Wow, that was even dumber and more annoying than usual.’ That’s when cursing is really valuable, right?” — Obama, on the need for adult language in his job

“Harry, don’t shoot him. He’s a very funny guy. We all like him. My poll numbers would go down if you did harm to Jerry Seinfeld.” — Obama, talking to security in an outtake before Jerry’s arrival at the Oval Office

Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.
Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee/Netflix

Chris Rock

The comedian: Chris Rock is one of the biggest comedians in the history of joke telling. He got his start at New York City’s Catch a Rising Star comedy club chain in 1984, and in the 34 years since, his work has won Grammys, Emmys, and, despite his often crass material, Kids’ Choice awards. Aside from his work on the stage, Rock has starred in and directed television shows and movies.

The car: An “eyebrow-fizzing, retina-melting, absurdly gorgeous” 1969 Lamborghini P400S Miura in arancio borealis. Jerry says it’s “incredibly masculine and incredibly feminine at the same time” and “the most beautiful car ever designed.”

The coffee: Jerry orders coffee, and Chris orders coffee with cream at Allendale Eats! in Allendale, New Jersey. Chris orders chicken salad and a basket of fries for lunch. It’s unclear what Jerry has to eat. Sadly, this restaurant closed in May.

Notable quotable: “When this car came on the scene in ’66, it was so shocking and so different, it blew everybody else away, so it reminds me of you.” — Seinfeld, on choosing the right car to represent Chris Rock

“A gourmet meal with an asshole is a horrible meal. A hot dog with an interesting person is an amazing meal. It’s all about the company. If we were in a cab, we’d probably be having the same conversation.” — Rock, on what makes life’s good experiences

“People ask me for $5,000 like it’s asking, ‘When’s the next bus coming?’ ‘Uh, hey, man, you got $5,000?’ No one sits me down. No one even tells me a story anymore. They just ask me for $5,000 like it’s the time. You can always tell when people are calling you up for money. Like ‘Hey we need to talk.’ Aren’t you talking now? You need to corner me, is that what you’re suggesting? ‘Uh, I need to corner you later.’” — Rock, on his exorbitant wealth

“Popeyes is too good. After you’ve had Popeyes, you need one of those Men in Black memory sticks to erase your memory, or else you will come back to this place every day.” — Rock, on fast-food fried chicken

“I remember years ago, I guess Prince was married. I was hanging out with Prince, and he was like, ‘Ah man, I gotta go make that call.’ Prince, calling his wife: “Yeah, okay, yeah, yeah.’ He made the most routine call to his wife you could ever see.” — Rock, on Prince’s relationship with his wife

“If you walked in one day, and you went to your kid’s school, and there were 500 kids listening to your kid, you’d think your kid was the devil or something — my kid’s possessed!” — Rock, on comedians’ “freakish” ability to get up on stage and talk to a large group of people

Honorable mention: Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, two comedy legends who, in their 90s, still hang out and eat deli every week. Norm MacDonald, the former Weekend Update host who now boasts an impressive vocabulary of old-man phrases such as “holy crow,” and “good Christ.” Will Ferrell, another Saturday Night Live superstar who may be funnier in conversation than his is in movies. Sarah Jessica Parker, who is an enthusiast of old station wagons and suburban nostalgia, and seems to bring out Jerry’s funniest side. J.B. Smoove, the SNL alum and former Def Jam comic who enlightens Jerry on the “bowtie exchange program.”
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee [Netflix]
All Food TV Coverage [E]
All Pop Culture Coverage [E]