Jerry Seinfeld decries 'creepy, P.C. thing' in comedy on 'Late Night'

Jerry Seinfeld decries 'creepy, P.C. thing' in comedy on 'Late Night'
Jerry Seinfeld discusses 'political correctness' in comedy with Seth Meyers on 'Late Night.' (By Meredith Blake)

Jerry Seinfeld is sick of political correctness in comedy, and he wants you to know.

In a conversation Tuesday on "Late Night" with host Seth Meyers and New Yorker editor David Remnick, Seinfeld complained that the lines of what is acceptable in comedy keep getting moved "for no reason."


Case in point: Seinfeld was recently performing before an audience who cringed at a joke he made about people scrolling through their cellphones with gestures reminiscent of a "gay French king."

He didn't understand why any of his fans would consider it "offensive to suggest that a gay person moves their hands in a flourishing motion."

"There's a creepy, P.C. thing out there that really bothers me," said the comedian, who last year fired back at criticism over the lack of diversity among the guests on his Web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," calling it "P.C. nonsense" and "anti-comedy."

Remnick, whose magazine recently came under fire for humor column in which human lightning rod Lena Dunham compared her Jewish boyfriend to a dog, also weighed in.

"You can also screw up," he said.

Pointing to an infamous 2008 cover depicting then-candidate Barack Obama as a Muslim terrorist and Michelle Obama as a black radical, Remnick continued, "I had to go on CNN to explain this. It's never a good moment a) when you're on television explaining a joke and b) when the guy on CNN is asking you "well that could have been on the cover of a Nazi magazine."

Remnick conceded that "sometimes we get a misfire," but said it's usually worked out in the editorial process, noting how a sketch about Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover had just been rejected for missing the mark.

At the mention of Jenner, Seinfeld asked Meyers about his declaration last week that he was not going to make jokes about the Oympian and transgender woman.

"I said that day," Meyers clarified. "Caitlyn Jenner's a person who will continue to do things in the public eye and she will be as open to jokes as everybody else but as far as that cover and that moment, I sort of thought that was a wonderful moment and that wasn't a time to make a joke.

"But Caitlyn Jenner can't go around doing whatever she wants for the rest of her life doing whatever she wants and thinking she's not going to show up in a monologue joke. I just want to be clear about that. Nobody gets a carte blanche on 'Late Night.'"

Follow @MeredithBlake on Twitter.