Comedy changes over time. Most comedic elements in movies from 90 years ago would not be as funny today for one reason or another. After the civil rights movement in America, minstrel acts and blackface were not funny anymore. Well, for most people, anyway, you know, the non-racist folks.

When dated comedy acts are no longer considered funny, comedians evolve. They find better jokes that make people laugh. However, there must be a willingness to change to do that. But for older comedians who have become stuck in their ways, they don’t change their routine. Instead, they double down.

In 2024, Curb Your Enthusiasm finished its run with its final episode. The long-running comedy series, which starred Seinfeld writer Larry David, ended by referencing the final episode of Seinfeld and guest-starring Jerry Seinfeld, who played himself. Later in the year, Jerry Seinfeld was promoting his new Netflix film, Unfrosted, an attempt to evoke comedy from the origins of Pop-Tarts.

While promoting the film, Seinfeld did several interviews. In one interview, he brought up how comedic media has changed. Specifically, he brought up how there’s no central comedy show that everybody watches, akin to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, or Seinfeld. There are many reasons why this shift in media consumption has come to be. The advent of streaming, the abundance of platforms, and the tsunami of productions overwhelmed the viewer with options. But to Jerry, the culprit was…the far-left.

Perhaps Jerry was priming the pump for the criticism he was about to receive for his film. Critics and audiences generally panned Unfrosted as one of the least funny comedy films of the year. None of this criticism is because the film is politically provocative or anti-woke, it’s just plain not funny. Most of the comedy is very simplistic jokes that would’ve been scrapped from a first draft. For example, a running joke throughout the movie is that nobody at Kellogg’s can arrive at the name Pop Tart for their breakfast pastry. It is an agonizing gag.

Everything else is jokes that even grade-school kids would think were terrible. There’s a joke that the man behind Quaker products is a literal Quaker. The only joke with the German creator of sea monkeys is that he’s a secret nazi. Chef Boy Ardee creates a sentient ravioli that occupies this tiresome C-plot that goes nowhere. It’s all just bad. It also doesn’t help that the film is part of a recent sour sub-genre of corporate love letters, as with how the film Air celebrated the success of Nike and Flaimin’ Hot celebrated the origins of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. However, Unfrosted is way worse, considering it feels less like a movie and more like an extended Super Bowl commercial for Kellogg’s starring Jerry Seinfeld.

When films like this fail to impress, the cast and crew usually resort to a familiar excuse: They can say they made the movie for the fans and that critics don’t matter.

But I doubt many devout fans of Pop-Tarts were looking forward to Unfrosted. And since Jerry has already complained about how the far-left has ruined comedy, he already has his excuse baked in. He can play up how the left is trying to destroy comedy, and that THIS is the reason why his film was received so poorly. It’s not that it’s unfunny, it’s just that culture has decayed so much that we can’t appreciate a movie like Unfrosted, an unapologetic corporate boot-licking comedy featuring a slow-motion montage that is just eating Kellogg’s cereals.

If Jerry’s complaining about the left and wokeness and PC culture has somehow wooed you into believing that Jerry is the next anti-woke messiah comedian who will stand up to the elites, you need to get that image out of your head. According to Bloomberg, Jerry Seinfeld is worth over one billion dollars. He lives on a 12-acre estate with a $46 million mansion, owns over 40 Porsches, has a custom two-story garage for his Porsches in New York City, and owns multiple espresso machines, one of which costs $17,000.

Jerry Seinfeld is not fighting a war against the elites who want to control comedy. He is the wealthiest comedian on the planet. Jerry will not be canceled, and he will not be struggling for work because people didn’t like his terrible Netflix movie. Jerry is just whining that comedy isn’t how he remembered it and that people won’t willingly laugh with him like his comedian friends will. He has more than enough money to piss and moan without any of his peers telling him his jokes are not funny.

A big problem with Jerry Seinfeld is that he doesn’t play characters beyond a slightly exaggerated version of himself. The only exceptions were his roles as a returning character on Benson, an evil computer on Dilbert, Barry B. Benson from Bee Movie, a venture capitalist on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and his latest role as Bob Cabana in Unfrosted. Outside of that, every role Jerry has played has been himself. In fact, it could be argued that Jerry Seinfeld has become so engrained within pop culture that he’s incapable of playing any characters. There’s never a moment in his non-Jerry roles where you don’t hear or see Jerry Seinfeld.

If the only comedic character you can play is yourself, then you must also change as comedy does since that’s primarily what you’re playing and marketing. For most comedians, this is not a problem. But if you’re worth a billion dollars, why should you change? Why should you listen to anybody?

Seinfeld once wrote a book of his jokes called “Is This Anything?” The title refers to the question that all comedians ask themselves when trying out new material. The key to knowing if your joke is any good is to try it out and see how it lands, asking if it is anything.

Honestly, I don’t think anybody had the gravitas to tell Jerry that Unfrosted’s humor was more nothing than anything. Why would they? This is a massive ensemble of actors who have a chance to work with one of the biggest comedians in the world. Do you want to ruin your shot at being in that movie with so many other comedians by telling Jerry that his January 6th parody with breakfast cereal mascots is not a clever bit?

This film has to be funny to Jerry’s many fans and co-workers who draw inspiration from him. After all, it’s by Jerry Seinfeld. He must be funny. And if he isn’t funny, well, maybe there’s something wrong with the rest of the world and nothing wrong with his material. Someone has to be blamed.

This is a common defense for comedians struggling to remain relevant. Bill Maher complained all about PC culture and wokeness ruining comedy. So what does he do for his first big comedy special in his anti-woke state? It’s a tired routine of boomer humor that would’ve been dated if it had been performed in 2015. Maher perspective on comedy is as dated as his views, where far funnier comedians like Bill Burr call him out to his face.

Adam Carolla tried this ruined-comedy tactic as a marketing ploy for his adult animated sitcom, Mr. Birchum. Carolla had been trying to get this show off the ground for over a decade, but not a single network would buy his show based on a pilot he produced in 2011. The show would eventually be developed at Daily Wire and air on their streaming service Daily Wire+ in 2024, being branded as too offensive for mainstream media.

And what was so offensive in its debut episode? A bland and mean-spirited premise of “What if Hank Hill was more cruel, always right, and never grew as a character?” Carolla needs his audience to believe this show is controversial and provocative. More than likely, though, networks passed on the show because it wasn’t funny.

I watched the original 2011 pilot he developed for networks to buy, and it is just…limp. Carolla’s titular character of a woodshop teacher is just pathetic. He makes cringy boomer jokes, never learns anything, and ends it by eating a candy bar alone in a room while Freebird plays, longing for a time when he could be meaner without anybody criticizing him. It’s not funny or edgy; it’s just…sad. It’s almost as sad as the people who want to believe that this concept was just too offensive for television and could only be watched on a right-wing streaming service.

The harsh truth that these comedians don’t want to face is that comedy, even edgy comedy, is not dead on television.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the most offensive satires on television, and it’s still going strong after 16 seasons. What We Do In The Shadows has progressed for five seasons with heaps of jokes about all sorts of sex and violence. The show was revered for its raunchy comedy and garnered multiple awards nominations. Ted is a comedy series featuring episodes about renting porno, smoking weed, jerking off, and overflowing with profanity. That show was renewed for a second season. Even fucking South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons are still on the air. Curb Your Enthusiasm remained funny right up to its final episode, which Jerry Seinfeld should have known since he was in it.

I’m sorry, but if you honestly believe that comedy television is dead now than in the 1990s, you are categorically wrong and unbelievably out of touch. This is why it was no surprise that Seinfeld continued down this hole of boomer whining, crying about how he misses dominant masculinity and the “agreed upon hierarchy” of the 1960s. What hierarchy is that, Jerry? Please expand on that thought, which I’m sure won’t veer off into deeply offensive territory.

John Stewart hit the nail on the head with how annoying this mindset of comedians has been.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart stated:

“[I am] so fucking sick [of the idea of] go woke and go broke. What are you losing? ‘You can’t say anything anymore.’ What do you want to say? Shut the fuck up. And by the way, the people who talk about anti-woke are the biggest fucking pussies you would ever find. I’m just so tired of it. The woke shit, you lose nothing. I’m a comedian. I’ve lost two words in 35 years. Honestly, are you that fucking unimaginative that you can’t figure it out?”

John Stewart, interviewed for The Hollywood Reporter

That is the reality that these out-of-touch comedians have to grapple with. Their job, the thing that defines their career and legacy, is the ability to make people laugh. If you can’t make people laugh anymore, you get better material and try new stuff. You ask, “Is this anything?”

And that’s why Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy and perspective on comedy has decayed. He already made people laugh and feel no need ever to ask if his jokes are anything. He must learn the hard way or stay in his bubble of pretending that comedy died when Seinfeld went off the air.

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