This week, stand-up Sebastian Maniscalco took a ride with Jerry Seinfeld. Between a beautiful Chevrolet Camaro and a bombastic guest, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee put together a solid episode worth watching, even if it wasn’t extremely memorable.
SPOILER ALERT – WATCH THE EPISODE FIRST
First off, the 1969 Chevy Camaro Z/28 is a phenomenally beautiful car. The orange paint job, combined with a pair of white stripes, just makes it the prototypical vintage sports car. And Seinfeld’s riff on the name “Camaro” is pretty funny, as well.
Full disclosure: Until now, I had never heard of Sebastian Maniscalco. Now, I’m thinking, “Is it possible for there to be an Italian Jerry Seinfeld?” Aside from the two wearing nearly identical outfits, Seinfeld’s description of Maniscalco is “he looks funny, he moves funny, he talks funny,” which feels similar to how Jerry might describe himself.
The first conversation was about showering before it devolved into a discussion on “slob culture.” Maniscalco makes a good point about people in pajamas at airports. Then he tells a story about being at someone’s house and being forced to take off his shoes. Apparently, he cannot have a conversation with another man “looking at their golden toe,” especially when those same people have a dog making a mess around the house.
Maniscalco and Seinfeld clearly go way back. Just before the coffee portion of the episode, Maniscalco makes some observations about the host’s mannerisms. It felt like the type of observant humor that Seinfeld has become famous for. The conversation is solid, but it feels like the two are almost too similar for it to work perfectly.
The coffee portion of the show took place at Intelligentsia Coffee, albeit not before an Acura product placement. The product placements are usually funny, although this one crossed the line into weirdness when the driver of the Acura talked through a puppet.
When Seinfeld and Maniscalco walked into Intelligentsia, it felt like a scene out of Portlandia. Everyone inside was sitting with their MacBook in front of them and Jerry referred to it as the “monkey cage.” He isn’t wrong.
One of the later conversations at Intelligentsia is about mice in the house. The conversation was kind of funny, but I thought a cartoon of some sort would have made it better. Something similar to what was done during the Stephen Colbert episode might have been nice.
I wish there had been a cut straight to the penultimate coffee conversation because it was also about animals. Maniscalco talks about growing up and killing animals (“get the antifreeze”) that ate from the garden in his yard, followed by how he spray-painted a raccoon found on his property because he didn’t trust a “relocator” to properly relocate the animal to somewhere far away. Once again, his reasoning sounds like it would come from Jerry Seinfeld because he “blames” his wife for being “normal” and not just letting him kill the pesky animal.
After the coffee came a fun, quick scene at a haberdashery followed up with a higher-end meal at The Tasting Kitchen. These two scenes didn’t add much to the episode, but they were a nice break from the typical driving-coffee-driving structure of Comedians in Cars.
The episode ends on a high note as, after the break, Maniscalco acts out how he applies cologne. The “four-and-a-walk-through” method is funny in and of itself, but Maniscalco’s demonstration puts it over the top.
Considering I had never heard of Sebastian Maniscalco before watching this episode, he made a solid first impression on me. By no means was the episode phenomenal, but it was funny enough to keep me engaged for 16 minutes. Aside from the very end and the eerily similar outfits of Seinfeld and Maniscalco, nothing really stood out. I enjoyed watching the episode, but I can’t say I’m dying to watch it again. 7/10
[You can read Alex’s other recaps of Comedians in Cars here.]