Jerry Seinfeld surprised the crowd at Radio City Music Hall Monday afternoon at the NBC Television Upfront Presentation, spouting reasons—including material that seemed ripped from a forthcoming Poconos set—why he’s not shown up on a hit sitcom in years. Then he teased an advertiser- and press-heavy crowd with a preview of a project he’s doing for the fall NBC lineup.
“Can you believe I’m here?” he opened to audience laughter. “It was 10 years ago—10, exactly 10—that I walked out on stage here at these NBC fall-preview Upfronts to announce that we were coming back with another season of Seinfeld. Does anyone remember me?! I had the number one show! We were the number one network on television. Those were fun times. There was no YouTube. There was UsTube!”
On the subject of why he’s not gone back to television (or movies, really, for that matter), the nasally observationist posed in typical question format: “What can I, Jerry Seinfeld, do for NBC, the network that I love? Can’t do another TV series. You remember Michael Jordan‘s last game with the Chicago Bulls? Last shot won the title … the game was over, they were champions of the world. That’s how I felt after nine seasons on NBC. But then Michael Jordan came back for two more years with the Washington Redskins [audience laughter] … I wouldn’t even know how to do the kind of TV they do today with the worms and the one-legged dancing. Sometimes I feel like the whole industry has packed up and joined the circus.”
Seinfeld did mention his newest feature-length CGI project for DreamWorks Animation called Bee Movie. During the process of making the feature, Seinfeld says, “I started making these things I call the mini-sodes. They’re like one minute or two minutes long, and they’re showing what it is to make one of these movies. We showed them to NBC, they liked it, so we’re gonna air them somewhere, somehow, sometime, in your fall schedule, and that’s how I got to come out here today, and say to you that I’m coming back to NBC in prime time.”