When I pressed play on this week’s episode of Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee, I really wasn’t sure what I would get. Jim Carrey is a true wild card, both as a person and as a comedian, but he is very funny nonetheless. The pacing of the episode was stronger than last week, though some of Carrey’s antics got stale after a while.
From the episode’s opening frame, I knew the car was going to be special. The camera had zoomed in on a Lamborghini keychain, which automatically revealed the car and it was a beauty. That said, I’m not entirely sure how a sports car from the 1970s fits with Jim Carrey. It was a mashup that didn’t quite work as Jerry Seinfeld had hoped. Of course, Carrey can turn watching paint dry into a funny activity, so an imperfect car choice wasn’t a major deal breaker.
I am not the biggest follower of Jim Carrey, and though I wasn’t born when In Living Color went off the air or when Dumb and Dumber and The Mask premiered in theaters, I still am aware of his work and would like to believe I could be considered a fan. A younger Carrey was one of the best, and though his roles have tailed off recently, he should still be considered a great comic actor. That much was evident in Comedians in Cars as Carrey climbed over his gate instead of simply opening it once Jerry arrived. It continued when he knocked on the literal fourth wall, a gag that I really enjoyed.
A sprinkling of Carrey’s antics would have been appropriate, but they very nearly took over the episode and engulfed Seinfeld as well. Before the duo arrived at their café, Carrey mentioned that he was on day 21 of a cleanse, though I can’t tell if he was serious. He also told Jerry that he was going to take part in a silent retreat for five days, which, once again, sounds legitimate, but I couldn’t tell. Not to mention he picked up and tried on what looked to be a girls’ jacket that was on the sidewalk. If Jerry, as the host, is considered middle ground, then Carrey was more than a couple standard deviations away from the mean.
Once they got to the Killer Café, Carrey somehow stepped up his antics. Apparently, he carries some sort of sweetener that comes in a dropper. He stood up on the booth to test if he could drop his sweetener into his coffee from so high up. “This is how I keep life interesting, Jerry,” is his reasoning for doing so, and Jim Carrey is an interesting man, so I’ll believe him for the 30 seconds he does this.
My issue is that Seinfeld started encouraging Carrey’s behavior, first with the waitress, before having him do the sweetener drop again before they left. However, I will admit that the story about a 10-year-old Carrey sending a letter to Carol Burnett and getting a response is where the setup and format of this show shines.
Plenty of episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee wrap up too quickly, to the point that an episode can feel a few minutes too long. This episode almost needed to be a few minutes longer. Right before Carrey and Seinfeld left the café, Carrey says, “You know, it doesn’t take much to feel good about yourself,” a line everyone should take to heart, especially when things aren’t going as expected.
On the drive back, the pair summed up the simultaneous affinity and hatred toward low brow humor (“Stupid s*** makes me laugh. Why is that?” “It’s not stupid.”). Then, they visited Carrey’s art studio, which was fantastic, but only lasted about 2:30. I wanted more of Carrey’s home turf, maybe with some more talk about the art itself. Instead, they got off track, though their segue was to the most heartwarming moment in Field of Dreams.
In the end, Jim Carrey was a good guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, though he was a bit too “schticky” at times. Carrey is clearly a brilliant mind and, overlooking some of his typical comic behavior, there is a great episode in here. I wish that more time had been spent at the art studio because that might have shown a different, calmer, side of someone we all know for his heightened persona. Instead, we got a pretty good episode about a pretty wacky comedian. 7.5/10