Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld car shows go head to head for Emmy

Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld car shows go head to head for Emmy
Jay Leno, former host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and current host of the car-centric TV show "Jay Leno's Garage," poses against an antique fire truck at his private garage of classic cars in Burbank, Calif., in May 2007. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

Comedian car collectors Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld both have been nominated for Emmys, and their car-centric TV shows will compete against each other in the same category.

The men's shows -- Leno's "Jay Leno's Garage" and Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" -- are nominated in the Short-format Nonfiction Program category.


For Leno, it's a repeat engagement. His much-admired car show has been nominated four times before, and won the category in 2011.

Seinfeld, who collected several Emmys for his role on the celebrated TV sitcom that bore his name, has now been nominated twice for his "Comedians."

(An earlier version of this story said the nomination was Seinfeld's first.)

Leno, reached by phone hours after the nomination, sounded pleased by the nod.

"Hey, any time you get nominated for something where you don't have to put on makeup and comb your hair is great," he said.

The competition is pretty strong, he noted. The two comedians are going up against a "Cosmos" National Geographic special, a documentary piece on the Boston Marathon bombings and short pieces from ESPN and actor Steve Buscemi.

In gentlemanly fashion, Leno added that he was pulling for his rival.

"I would like to see Jerry win," he said. "It's a great show, and a totally original idea. I'd like to win too, but I've got one already."

Seinfeld, equally a gentleman, said he hoped he'd win, too: "Let's be honest," he said by telephone, "I deserve it."

Also, he pointed out that Leno's previous nominations, and his win, were against weaker competition. "That's before I came on the scene," he said.

The two men appeared together two years ago as antagonists in a TV commercial for, of course, a car -- the Acura NSX.

The two also were seen together in a January 2013 episode of Seinfeld's show, which true to its name features Seinfeld going for coffee in a classic car, accompanied by a fellow comedian.

In Leno's case, the car in question was a classic Porsche, of which Seinfeld owns many.

Leno's show, which tends to feature more practical, hands-on information for collectors and grease monkeys, doesn't generally include celebrity guests. But it does feature extremely rare and unusual cars from his Burbank collection, one of the largest private car collections in the world.

The shows differ in one other key area, too. The cars featured on Leno's show are principally from his own collection. The cars on Seinfeld's are usually borrowed. Otherwise, Seinfeld said, it would get a little tedious: Everything in his garage is either a Porsche or a Volkswagen.

CORRECTION: This post originally said the cars featured on Leno's show were all from his collection, while those on Seinfeld's were always borrowed.