Jerry Seinfeld Says He Misses ‘Dominant Masculinity’ in Society


Jerry Seinfeld is sharing his thoughts on masculinity.

During the Unfrosted director-star’s May 28, appearance on The Free Press’ Honestly with Bari Weiss podcast, Seinfeld, 70, spoke to his interest in making a movie set in the nostalgia for his childhood in the 1960s.

“… There’s another element there that I think is the key element, and that is an agreed upon hierarchy, which I think is absolutely vaporized in today’s moment,” the comedian said. “I think that is why people lean on the horn and drive in the crazy way that they drive, because we have no sense of hierarchy. And as humans, we don’t really feel comfortable like that.”

“If you want to talk about nostalgia, that is part of what makes that moment attractive looking back,” Seinfeld added.

He then expressed nostalgia for figures of that time period and described President John F. Kennedy, boxer Muhammad Ali, actor Sean Connery and sports broadcaster Howard Cosell as “real” men.

Jerry Seinfeld on April 30, 2024.

Alberto Rodriguez/Getty

“You can go all the way down the line — that’s a real man — I want to be like that someday. Well, no. I never really grew up,” Seinfeld said. “I mean, you don’t want to, as a comedian, because it’s a childish pursuit, but I miss a dominant masculinity. Yeah, I get the [toxic masculinity] but still, I like a real man.” 

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Seinfeld’s movie Unfrosted, which marked the comedian’s directorial debut, takes place in 1963. The movie centers around the fictional invention of the Pop-Tart and takes inspiration from the Cold War and space era. It even features a loving homage to another piece of ’60s media, Mad Men, with notable cameos from Jon Hamm and John Slattery as advertising executives.

Jerry Seinfeld on April 24, 2024.

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Seinfeld also spoke to his interest in reading bad reviews of his own work during his appearance on the podcast. “There’s nothing funnier to me than people complaining ‘I didn’t laugh,’ because they want to laugh,” he said. “And I relate to it, I get it. I think it’s funny that you hated it because you wanted to laugh and you didn’t laugh.”

“It doesn’t matter what you think of me,” he added. “Why would I think that I’m going to make something that everyone will like? What sense does that make? You gotta be insane to think that.” 

Unfrosted is now on Netflix.

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