Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars vs. UK's Carpool


Let’s get ready to rumble….

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s newest web series about nothing seems to be causing quite a stir in the UK. Seems even web series aren’t safe any longer from a bit of format copying these days. According to The Daily Beast, this has been a lifelong ambition of Seinfeld’s….to make a show about nothing. Personally, I thought he had already done that but maybe that’s just me.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee recently premiered on the web with Jerry and Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David heading over to John O’Groats in a 1952 Volkswagen Bug, during which time they discuss everything from their laziness to the difference between cigars and cigarettes. Wow. Many in the UK seem to think this is a blatant rip-off of the brilliant Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) series, Carpool, which has been tooling around London in a Toyota Prius since 2009. Llewellyn has 105 Carpool episodes in the can with guests ranging from Stephen Fry to Patrick Stewart to physicist, Brian Cox.

Llewellyn did comment recently that he had watched Seinfeld’s new web series and then told The Daily Beast he found it “very funny”—but, in a true British way of being in total command of the English language, that “while it’s clearly exactly the same idea, shot in an almost identical way, it’s hard to suggest it’s a rip off.”. Interestingly, Seinfeld admitted to being ‘not at all familiar with’ Carpool. Really.

Soraya Roberts of The Daily Beast summed up a comparison of Seinfeld’s Comedy in Cars and Llewellyn’s Carpool by saying, “…therein lies the main difference between Seinfeld’s and Llewellyn’s series. While the former is designed to give viewers outside a brief peek into an elite world, the latter is about drawing them into a discussion about the world.“. Personally, I’m not sure there are any ‘new’ ideas out there anymore so, rip-off or not, it’s all about the execution and Llewellyn’s Carpool is the clear winner. To prove it, Jerry’s August guest is Ricky Gervais and here’s the Patrick Stewart episode of Carpool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvNMYqWZ4BM

I rest my case. How about you?

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  • Tony Cowards

    Not sure that Robert Llewellyn can claim to be the first with this particular format, stand up comedian Kevin Shepherd took the show “Comics Die in Hot Cars” to the Edinburgh festival in 2006… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSpoTlNNJks

  • Tony Cowards

    Not sure that Robert Llewellyn can claim to be the first with this particular format, stand up comedian Kevin Shepherd took the show “Comics Die in Hot Cars” to the Edinburgh festival in 2006… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSpoTlNNJks

  • “To prove it…” here is no actual proof of one show an an entire segment from the other. Y’know…’ours’. Xenophobic much?

  • “To prove it…” here is no actual proof of one show an an entire segment from the other. Y’know…’ours’. Xenophobic much?

  • Bill Young

    @Paul: Unfortunately, when I wrote this, the August edition of Jerry Seinfeld’s series was not online yet. My mistake, but after seeing, I stand by just my personal opinion that there is much more substance to the Carpool series than there is to Comedians in Cars….  FYI, so that everyone can make their own decision as to which show they like, here’s the link to the Ricky Gervais episode.  http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/

  • Bill Young

    @Paul: Unfortunately, when I wrote this, the August edition of Jerry Seinfeld’s series was not online yet. My mistake, but after seeing, I stand by just my personal opinion that there is much more substance to the Carpool series than there is to Comedians in Cars….  FYI, so that everyone can make their own decision as to which show they like, here’s the link to the Ricky Gervais episode.  http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/