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The 6 best parenting lessons in Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Sometimes funny people have insightful things to say, too
 
Parenting can be filled with those funny ha-ha moments.
Parenting can be filled with those funny ha-ha moments. (Screenshot/Comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com)

Jerry Seinfeld's endearingly self-explanatory web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a pleasure to watch. The editors don't cut out all the awkward moments in the conversations between Seinfeld and his guest comedians — Larry David should be proud — and you get to watch two funny people drive some flavor of iconic car and chat over coffee.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, just entering its fourth season, also has some interesting insights about parenting — a topic Seinfeld, a father of three, brings up with some of his guests. Here are the six best moments about raising kids, having parents, and dealing with various bodily fluids:

Alec Baldwin

Baldwin: "What's it like being a dad for you?"

Seinfeld: "Being a dad is, you know, it's a surfboard on a rainbow: You're getting all you can handle of life. What I like about having kids is when they're on the toilet and you knock on the door, they just go, 'Come in.' Nobody else does that — nobody just invites you in when they're on the toilet, defecating."

Watch the full clip here.


Louis C.K.

Jerry: "People talk about how kids, how they grow up too fast. I feel like I can only take a year of each year: No more you as a 9-year-old — get me a 10-year-old."

Louis C.K.: "I don't know,, I sort of sometimes miss the older version.... My oldest is going to middle school. It's a real schlep now, the morning, and I thought, 'This is going to be a really tough winter.' Then, my second thought was, 'I'm going to miss this.' There's going to be a day when I'm not going to do this again."

Watch the full clip here.


Sarah Jessica Parker

Seinfeld: "I can't escape what I feel must be some narcissism. I grew up in the suburbs, didn't like it — always wanted to live in the city. Now, I want to live in the suburbs."

Parker: "You want your kids to want out the way you wanted out."

Seinfeld: "No, I just want them to live my life over. That's narcissism. Matthew [Broderick] has this great line about when you get your kid a spoon, you think, 'What a great dad I am. Look at me getting my kid a spoon.' That is what we think. Why are we such horrible parents?"

Parker: "Oh my god, are we horrible parents?"

Seinfeld: "I think so. See, look at that: Why are you so upset about it? You've already run rings around what your mother has done, and that's not good enough for your kid. This is probably a longer conversation about parenting, that we've just had, than your mother had all, told in, in her life."

Parker: "Because she never had time."

Seinfeld: "And who cared?"

Watch the full clip here.


David Letterman

Letterman: "Over the winter, [my son and I] built a little push-car. So he goes down the driveway, loses control, and goes over like this. But it was all pretty minor. Two hours later, his first baseball practice of the season. So now he says 'I can't go to baseball practice 'cause I've hurt my hand.' So, what do you do in that situation?"

Seinfeld: "I support whatever position my wife takes. That's what I do."

Letterman: "Because she knows more about parenting than you?"

Seinfeld: "Here's the answer: It doesn't matter what you do, but why have a fight with your wife?... You know, I kind of look at my family now and I think, 'Well, in 60 years, everyone's dead here, so....'"

Letterman: "Could I have the check please? Good lord! Oh my goodness."

Watch the full clip here.


Tina Fey

Fey: "Your kids — where are they on Santa Clause?"

Seinfeld: "Well, we're Jewish... I was obsessed with Christmas trees as a kid, and I would say to my mother, 'Can we get one this year?' And she'd say, 'No, we can have a Hanukkah bush.' I go, 'Oh, fantastic. When are we going to get that?' She says, 'Well, it's out front.' I go, 'Well, where?' and she opens the door and goes, 'That one. That's it.' 'Are we going to decorate it?' 'No, not this year.'"

Fey: "Not this year. I find that certain duties fall with certain parents. Like my husband is more on the barf patrol. I can do it; he's better at it. I'm in charge of feces — all the household feces are my purview."

Seinfeld: "I like feces and purview in the same sentence. I like that a lot."

Watch the full clip here.


Chris Rock

Rock: "Everybody's trying to get rid of bullying, and I'm, like, 'What are you, crazy?' Some of these kids need this. I'll go even further: Most of them need it. Who's going to cure AIDS? Who's going to invent the fuel that gets us off of fossil fuel? Who's going to do these things? Some guy that was bullied, that's who's going to do it."

Seinfeld: "I know. My wife is always trying to stop the boys from beating on each other. I'm saying, 'No, they've got to learn: This is it."

Rock: "This is life."

Seinfeld: "Does your wife do that? Trying to stop the fights all the time?"

Rock: "Wanting everything to be fair."

Seinfeld: "You hate that."

Rock: "I hate it. Lola had a basketball game — coach didn't put her in. It was a really close game, she's not the greatest. Didn't put her in. The wife's pissed off. I'm a little pissed, but my thing is, 'Hey, honey, you know there's a way to get in the game. I'm just saying: There's a way to get in the game."

Seinfeld: "Other than having your mother.... I'll tell you one of the great activities is skateboarding. To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times you've got to get something wrong until you get it right. And you hurt yourself. And you learn to do that trick, now you've got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think, 'Those kids will be all right.'"

Watch the full clip here.

 
Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

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