Oprah Talks to Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry: A comedian who has some ability to function socially is tremendously handicapped on the stage. If you have another outlet for connecting with people, you'll use it. But when stand-up comedy is your only outlet, you put all your energy into it. That's what makes a good act.
Oprah: Lightbulb moment—that's why Chris Rock is as good as he is! When you put him in a small group of people, he closes himself off.
Jerry: If Chris could function in that room, he wouldn't be the genius he is onstage. All his energy is forced through that little hole.
Oprah: Does stand-up comedy still feed you?
Jerry: I love it. I love this intimate moment with the audience—
Oprah: Who gets the most from it, you or them? I'm sorry—I interrupted you!
Jerry: That's okay. Who gets the most from it? Well, I do. What could be better than making others happy?
Oprah: Speaking of happiness, you once said that men want the same thing from women that they want from underwear: a little bit of support and a little bit of freedom. Do you get that from Jessica?
Jerry: I get a lot of support. My wife is an amazing person.
Oprah: Some people thought your marriage was sudden, but it seems you give everything you do a lot of thought.
Jerry: Marriage is a subject that does not give way to analysis, sadly. Who should I marry? You can make all the charts and have all the discussions, but it doesn't guarantee anything. I knew I felt right, and that's all you have. Marriage is a big bet. It's the only bet of its kind, one in which you say, "This feels right...I think I'll change everything."
Oprah: After you decided, were you thinking, Maybe this will work, maybe it won't?
Jerry: No. I'm fiercely determined when I make a commitment. Fiercely. And nurturing. I nurture my commitments.
Oprah: Are you as supportive of Jessica as she is of you? For years I've done shows with women who say they want romance, and they get all worked up about whether the guy remembers Valentine's Day. But that's not really the issue—it's whether the woman feels appreciated.
Jerry: What makes a woman feel that way?
Oprah: Knowing that her presence and opinion are valued.
Jerry: Thank you for that—and I'm not joking. You can know things in so many different ways, and then when someone puts it a certain way, it suddenly becomes new.
Oprah: That's exactly what you've done for me today. So, do you appreciate Jessica?
Jerry: Do I? Yes!