Jerry Seinfeld: I ‘Never Felt Great’ About Television Success

The seasoned comedian reflects on his discomfort with Seinfeld's reign over TV.

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More than a decade after its finale, Seinfeid remains one of America’s most adored television series, yet the show’s namesake admits he found reaching stardom a bit unnerving.

In Showtime’s new series, Inside Comedy, comedian and TV star Jerry Seinfeld explains why he stepped out of the spotlight following his exit from mainstream television.

“Acceptance is a very dangerous thing for comedians,” he told host David Steinberg. “Standup is a loud desperation. People live lives of quiet desperation, this is a life of loud desperation.”

The “show about nothing” garnered more than just a little attention. Where would the world be without Festivus, man hands, Jerry’s pirate blouse or Elaine’s dance moves? The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series continues to trickle into pop-culture dialogue, as well as the lives of its cast, who some critics consider to be doomed by the “Seinfeld Curse.”

The comedian candidly confessed he “never felt great” about the height of the show’s success. Recounting his Hollywood prospects after the TV series’ close, he said he instead opted to “break back into the middle.” While his co-stars attempted to shed their former roles, Seinfeld reverted to standup comedy and behind-the-scenes production, except for starring and producing in the 2007 animated film Bee Movie. Seinfeld fans rejoiced when the cast briefly appeared on Seinfeld co-creator Larry David’s hit show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the moment was fleeting.

Still, Seinfeld admits he prefers a life of self-loathing to celebrity status. “There’s no comedy star, you’re either a star or you’re a comic.”

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