When Jerry Seinfeld came up with the idea for “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”— his unconventional internet talk show that will premiere its sixth season on Wednesday — he initially had trouble finding the right format and backers for the program.
In an interview during The Vulture Festival on Saturday, Seinfeld explained how he first went to comedian Louis C.K. for advice on how to release the show.
“I remember when I told the idea to Louis C.K., and I said, ‘I have this idea where I’ll hang out with comedians, and I’ll shoot it, and I’ll cut it together with music and coffee.’ And I asked, ‘What do I do with that?'”
“He said, ‘You should charge people a dollar to watch.’ And I didn’t like that idea. Nobody knew what to do.”
Seinfeld then went to the offices of Facebook and YouTube and consulted with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), but no one saw the show as a viable possibility at the time.
“I had this big meeting at CAA with these really smart digital people. It was like ten people in the room, people I had read about, never met: ‘This is the guy who meets with Zuckerberg every day. He’s way out there.’
And I said, ‘I have this idea, and it seems like as a person that people know, and I have an audience, people know me, so we can get people to check it out. And the internet seems like a pretty fluid medium… What do you think I could do?’ And they went, ‘I don’t know.’ No idea.”
The issue that most developers had with the show was its extended run time.
“They said, ‘If you’re over five minutes, nobody’s going to hang in there.’ Because the internet — five minutes is the maximum length of time. And we average nineteen minutes a viewer.”
After being rejected from sponsorship by Starbucks, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” eventually came together with the backing of car company Acura in a deal that allowed Seinfeld to write the featured ads himself.
And Louis C.K. even ended up being a guest on “Comedians” in January 2014.
The show’s sixth season will premiere on Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. with an episode featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Guests for the rest of the season will include Jim Carrey, Steve Harvey, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and future “Daily Show” host, Trevor Noah.
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