Jerry Seinfeld dropped one fact about the movie business that sent Hollywood into a frenzy

Apr 30, 2024

The rise of streaming has brought major changes to the movie business.

Now Hollywood is struggling to adapt to the modern world. 

And Jerry Seinfeld dropped one fact about the movie business that sent Hollywood into a frenzy.

The movie business is dead according to Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld became a superstar for his run in the 1990s on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld

Since leaving television after the show’s finale in 1998, he’s mostly focused on his career as a stand-up.

At 69 years old, he’s getting ready to release the first movie he’s directed of his career: Unfrosted on Netflix, which he also wrote the script for, stared in, and produced.

Promoting the movie, he gave an interview to GQ where he gave his insights on directing his first film.

“It was totally new to me,” Seinfeld said about directing. “I thought I had done some cool stuff, but it was nothing like the way these people work. They’re so dead serious! They don’t have any idea that the movie business is over. They have no idea.”

According to Seinfeld, movies have lost their place in the cultural hierarchy. 

“Film doesn’t occupy the pinnacle in the social, cultural hierarchy that it did for most of our lives,” Seinfeld explained. “When a movie came out, if it was good, we all went to see it. We all discussed it. We quoted lines and scenes we liked. Now we’re walking through a fire hose of water, just trying to see.”

GQ asked him what replaced movies in the cultural hierarchy.

“Depression? Malaise? I would say confusion,” Seinfeld remarked. “Disorientation replaced the movie business. Everyone I know in show business, every day, is going, ‘What’s going on? How do you do this? What are we supposed to do now?’”

Movies were a shared cultural experience but with the rise of streaming and more options than ever to watch, the must-see movie isn’t the phenomenon that it once was in society.

Even on television, where Seinfeld dominated the ratings, the number of watercooler shows that bring everyone together to talk about has dwindled.

Seinfeld – which was part of NBC’s Must-See TV bloc – blows any scripted show on television today out of the water in ratings.

Stand-up comedy is still going strong

Seinfeld said that his niche of stand-up comedy is doing better than ever.

“I’ve done enough stuff that I have my own thing, which is more valuable than it’s ever been,” Seinfeld said. “Stand-up is like you’re a cabinetmaker, and everybody needs a guy who’s good with wood.”

Audiences appreciate the authenticity of stand-up comedy according to the longtime funnyman.

“There’s trees everywhere, but to make a nice table, it’s not so easy. So, the metaphor is that if you have good craft and craftsmanship, you’re kind of impervious to the whims of the industry. Audiences are now flocking to stand-up because it’s something you can’t fake. It’s like platform diving. You could say you’re a platform diver, but in two seconds we can see if you are, or you aren’t. That’s what people like about stand-up. They can trust it. Everything else is fake,” Seinfeld stated.

Culture has become more fragmented compared to the days when Jerry Seinfeld’s show dominated television.

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story. 

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