Why Jerry Seinfeld Hates Watching His Self-Titled Sitcom

We'll just go ahead and say it: "Seinfeld" is a treasure that will be hailed for generations to come. We don't think it's too much of a stretch to call it one of the greatest shows of all time. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld's self-titled sitcom has it all: hilarious characters that were highly modern for their time; snappy, witty humor; and situational comedy to which we can all relate. Just try going to a rental car place without thinking of that one "Seinfeld" episode. The show and its characters are often used as a reference today for what makes a sitcom funny, how to get an audience to laugh, and how to turn everyday occurrences into comedy gold. 

"Seinfeld" was, in every sense of the phrase, a show ahead of its time. When it went off the air, it was the number-one comedy on television (as Jerry Seinfeld shared during his unforgettable Larry King interview). But recently, the leading man himself made a startling statement about the show that might shock you. The comedian hates watching his own sitcom because, in his words, it reminds him of how difficult it was to put the masterpiece together.

Seinfeld struggles to watch his own show

It might be hard to believe that someone hates watching a show that could be on the list of almost-perfect sitcoms, especially considering the fact that it's their own show. When any other person turns on an episode of "Seinfeld," we only see the fictional world of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, a world created for audiences to enjoy. We laugh at the jokes and each of the characters' hilariously awkward situations. Then, as far as we know, everything's wrapped up nice and neat once the episode ends. But for the show's creator, it's a much different story. Watching his own show was a painful experience.

In an interview, Jerry Seinfeld revealed that he couldn't sit back and enjoy his own show because as much as he likes the jokes, every time he tries to watch the show, it "reminds him of how hard it was to do" (via Vulture). He said, "I can't seem to get that part out of my head and just enjoy the show, but I'm working on it because I would like to watch them more. When I watch them, I see my face and I see how I was struggling." We can only imagine how taxing it would be on a writer to make a critically acclaimed show as consistently funny and charming as "Seinfeld." 

Comedy is an art that takes hard work

Although we think it's safe to say that Jerry Seinfeld is a naturally funny guy, it would be a discredit to his and his team's hard work in "Seinfeld" if anyone were to claim that the episodes must have been easy to write. He's shared what that process was like when the New York Times invited Seinfeld to share his top-secret tips on comedy writing. As one commenter on the video notes, it felt like watching a magician give away the secret to some of his tricks.

During the sit-down, Seinfeld revealed he wrote each and every episode of "Seinfeld" in longhand, using good old-fashioned pen and paper — we can feel our hands cramping just at the thought. He went on to share his five-step process for crafting a single joke, noting it's something he doesn't usually talk about. "Comedy writing is ... a secretive thing," he said. "I've never shown anybody this stuff. I feel a little funny doing it right now, to tell you the truth."

When we take into account how jam-packed with jokes each episode of Seinfeld is, it becomes clear why watching "Seinfeld" may have the star feeling exhausted.