Seinfeld Slam of 'PC' Campuses Resonates

One columnist thinks he's right, but a college student challenges him
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2015 6:04 PM CDT
Seinfeld Slam of 'PC' Campuses Resonates
Jerry Seinfeld performs on Jimmy Fallon's show in this file photo.   (AP Photo/NBC, Lloyd Bishop)

Jerry Seinfeld made some waves by telling ESPN radio this week that he doesn't do shows on college campuses anymore because students are too politically correct. He doubled down on Seth Meyers' show last night, complaining about the "creepy PC thing out there," an atmosphere in which people are more likely to take offense than laugh at a joke, reports Time. For example, he's got a line about how someone scrolling emphatically through his phone looks like a "gay French king," but he senses audience hesitation, apparently because it's offensive to suggest that gay people "move their hands in a flourishing motion.” At the Daily News, SE Cupp is sympathetic and understands why he'd shy away from colleges— but she thinks it's "lamentable" because "these are exactly the crowds who need to be shown how infantile their uninformed twitches at self-serious activism are."

Cupp complains that students today shut down debate and "often invent issues about which to be aggrieved." If not Seinfeld, "let’s hope someone else steps in to teach college students how to take themselves less seriously." One of those students, meanwhile, has penned an open letter to Seinfeld at the Huffington Post suggesting that he needs to sharpen his act. Jokes today can no longer be offensive "for the sake of being offensive"—they need to be smart and provocative, too, writes Anthony Berteaux. (He cites Amy Schumer as someone who tackles edgy subjects well.) "So, yes, Mr. Seinfeld, we college students are politically correct," he writes. "We will call out sexism and racism if we hear it. But if you're going to come to my college and perform in front of me, be prepared to write up a set that doesn't just offend me, but has something to say." (Click to see what show Seinfeld thinks is "one of the best comedies of all time.")

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