"I’m offended by reality television on many levels," comedian, dad of three and legendary TV star Jerry Seinfeld tells MR PORTER

By Jen Juneau
June 09, 2017 10:25 AM
Mr. Mark Seliger

Fans of Jerry Seinfeld probably associated him pretty heavily with his Seinfeld character of the same name, who was known for his zany antics and sometimes over-the-top reactions to pretty everyday situations.

But in real life, the 63-year-old father of three says he “never” loses his temper around sons Shepherd Kellen, 12, and Julian Kal, 14, or daughter Sascha, 16 — although there is one exception.

“The one time I really, really got upset was when my daughter was watching the Kardashians on her phone in her bed and I could not take that scene,” the legendary comedian tells MR PORTER in a new in-depth interview. “For someone who for their whole life, television was the Olympics of being a comedian. It was only for the very best.”

“You had to go through all the different hierarchies of your career to get to television,” he continues. “I’m offended by reality television on many levels and that show of course is the premier example of reality television. These people are not doing anything interesting. I lost my temper with that one.”

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Mr. Mark Seliger

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Luckily for Seinfeld, his kids dig his brand of humor just fine — with some caveats. “They can be a tough audience,” he explains. “I had this joke the other day that I tried on them that I thought was really funny which was: ‘Here’s a statement never heard in the history of New York City: ‘Hey why don’t we get a new awning?’ ”

“They just looked at me and they went, ‘Dad, that’s not funny at all,’ ” he recalls. “They were wrong. I tried it at a nightclub and it got a huge laugh.”

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But have his kids ever seen Seinfeld?

“My daughter did and I’d watch her watching it, but I don’t know what she thought of it,” he says. “And I don’t know if my sons have watched it. I’m really trying to give them just a little bit of the privacy that I had as a child.”

Explains the star, “My parents had no idea what I was up to, ever. I think that’s good. They should have their own life that I don’t know anything about.”

He continues, “I’m not that involved in their school stuff. I’m not involved in their social stuff. I am just always around them and I’m very good at drawing them out, you know? I think some fathers struggle with, ‘My kid doesn’t want to talk to me,’ or, ‘I can’t get them to engage with me in conversations,’ especially as they get into the teen years. I’m always able to get that conversation going.”

You won’t see Seinfeld dressed super down anytime soon, as the father and husband (he’s been married to wife Jessica for 17 years) doesn’t really connect with the style standards he sees many other dads adhering to.

“[Dads sometimes] think they’re off the market and it doesn’t matter anymore, and they couldn’t be more wrong. [What you’re wearing] always matters,” he says.

“Flip-flops and tank tops on planes, for example, are just so offensive. I always wear a sports jacket on a plane. Always. And I cannot walk into a hotel lobby without a sports jacket. I just don’t feel good.”