The two greatest comic minds to ever come out of Long Island came together today as Jerry Seinfeld made a rare telephone call to Howard Stern’s Sirius Satellite Radio show.
It reportedly was the first time the two have spoken since at least 1994, when Stern poked fun at Seinfeld for dating Shoshanna Lonstein, who was a high school senior when Seinfeld, then 38, began their relationship after meeting her in New York’s Central Park.
At the time, Stern even produced a satirical song – sung to the tune of Janis Ian’s “Seventeen” (because Lonstein was rumored to be 17 at the time) – further angering Seinfeld.
On Monday morning, however, neither Jerry nor Howard brought up the subject of their long rift. “You go on Howard when you’re on your way up and then when you’re on your way down,” Seinfeld joked (though Jerry’s career is hardly on it’s way down these days).
How Seinfeld came to call Stern’s show this morning was also not clear, though it had something to do with Seinfeld wishing to promote a one-man comedy show being staged in lower Manhattan by a close friend, comedian Colin Quinn. Jerry told Howard that it was Spike Feresten – a friend of Jerry’s who wrote some of the best episodes of ‘Seinfeld‘ (including ‘The Soup Nazi’) – who urged him to call the Stern show.
Whether or not they are really BFFs once again, the two funnymen chatted like two people with a lot in common: They’re both fabulously wealthy, they’re both 56, they both have younger wives (Beth Stern is 37, Jessica Seinfeld is 38). and they were raised within seven miles of each other – Seinfeld in Massapequa and Stern in Roosevelt.
Stern and Seinfeld talked about a number of topics, including their marriages and their careers, according to the website Marksfriggin.com, which has chronicled every Howard Stern show for decades.
Stern observed that Seinfeld doesn’t seem like he wants to work that hard anymore and Jerry agreed, although he noted that he still does his stand-up act, and writing for his act is his principal activity. Howard said he, Howard, doesn’t feel like working so hard anymore either. When Jerry asked Howard if he plans to continue with his radio show after his contract expires in a few months, Howard was noncommittal. Stern said he would likely try to arrange a scenario where he continues to work, only less.
Stern asked Seinfeld about whether he’ll ever do another sitcom, and Jerry said he has no plans for one. Stern doesn’t seem to have asked Seinfeld about his current show, NBC’s ‘The Marriage Ref.’
Not only did Howard avoid the subject of a feud with Jerry, but Howard mentioned that he has run into Jerry at various celebrity events over the years, though it was unclear if they chatted at any of them.
Stern asked Seinfeld about his celebrity friends, such as Madonna, who Jerry insisted was more a friend of his wife, Jessica. Jerry said he and ‘Seinfeld’ co-creator Larry David are still close and talk frequently on the phone. Jerry said one of his pals is Matthew Broderick, who he sees often in the Hamptons.
Howard asked Jerry if he is as wealthy from the syndication of ‘Seinfeld’ as all the stories say he is (Seinfeld’s wealth is widely reported at well north of $500 million). Jerry merely answered that he’s about as rich as Howard, and insisted that the estimates of his wealth are “inflated.”
Always the diplomat, Jerry didn’t play along when Howard complained about Jay Leno, with whom Howard has feuded ever since Leno hired John Melendez as an announcer on ‘The Tonight Show‘ (he’s now a staff writer) without having the courtesy to call Howard and tell him before it was announced publicly. Seinfeld merely said he’s good friends with both Leno and David Letterman, and let it go at that.
It was the kind of conversation you’d expect to hear between two rich, successful entertainers who have made so much money that they’re wondering why on Earth they continue working so hard. We’ve often wondered the same thing: What is it like to be so rich?