Posted on June 10, 2015

What ‘Seinfeld’ Can Teach College Students

S.E. Cupp, NY Daily News, June 10, 2015

When one of the most famous and beloved entertainers on the planet says he won’t perform for college students–a demographic practically hardwired to fawn over celebrities of even questionable talent–it’s a little like Derek Jeter saying he hates playing in the Bronx, or Billy Graham revealing he never felt quite welcome in the South.

But that’s what comedian Jerry Seinfeld just told ESPN’s Colin Cowherd: he doesn’t play colleges, where you’d think someone of his stature and his pop culture relevance would be appreciated, if not worshiped.

If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can play Columbia, and Rand Paul can play Howard University, what keeps Jerry Seinfeld from going into far friendlier territory?

College students today are just too politically correct.

Worse, he says they don’t even understand the political things about which they are straining to be correct.

“They just want to use these words,” he said. Like, “‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the f-k they’re talking about.”

He’s not alone. According to Cowherd, Larry the Cable Guy won’t play colleges, and Chris Rock has also said he doesn’t because everything there is taken as offensive.


Indeed, it must be jarring for a boomer like Seinfeld, who went to college in the early 70s, when students were debating real issues freely, to confront today’s college campuses, where students often invent issues about which to be aggrieved, many times on behalf of other parties, and then have to find “free speech zones” in which to discuss them.


In the past few years, Seinfeld’s confronted levels of political correctness that would have likely made his show an impossibility today. Last year, he was asked why the show featured so many white men and he responded, “People think [COMEDY] is the census or something, it’s got to represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?”

His boredom for these kinds of inquiries is palpable and understandable. The genius of the show, of course, was in Seinfeld and Larry David’s obsession with crossing the arbitrary and meaningless lines of “civil society” that demarcated what you were and were not supposed to say in polite company.

But imagine the hyperventilating headlines if “Seinfeld” aired fresh today:

Jerry ‘mansplains’ feminism to Elaine!

George’s anti-Asian microaggressions!

Kramer stereotypes pimps!

Elaine slutshames braless friend!

Seinfeld’s distaste for college audiences is understandable, but lamentable. These are exactly the crowds who need to be shown how infantile their uninformed twitches at self-serious activism are.