Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time, but having YouTube sensation Miranda Sings on Jerry Seinfeld’s Crackle show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is a culture clash that is neither funny nor particularly insightful.
As a solo act, Miranda Sings, played with brilliance by comedian and actress Colleen Ballinger, is the perfect millennial persona: She’s self-possessed, with a short attention span. Miranda has more than 2.5 million YouTube followers that attest to her popularity. Paired with Seinfeld, the net result is awkward and comes off like a father and daughter who hate each other yet are forced to occasionally see each other.
A number of reports state that Seinfeld became aware of Miranda through one of his daughters, who is a huge fan of the 28-year-old star. Thinking it would be a great way to introduce her to a wider audience, Seinfeld decided to put her in season five of his popular webseries. Season five also features Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, and Fred Armisen. Yes, this is the SAT question that asks, “Which of these people do not belong here?”
The episode gets off to a tepid start when Miranda pretends to not know Seinfeld. She then launches into a tirade about the car he’s driving (an Aston Martin) and argues about her homeschooling, makeup, Los Angeles traffic, and, at the restaurant, the waitress. Even stranger, she spews a series of oddly mispronounced words that are no doubt charming and humorous in other settings, but bewildering to a 60-year-old. (Yes, Seinfeld is 60.)
Seinfeld’s style of joking continually falls flat. As Miranda adjusts her lipstick, the billionaire sitcom legend says, “It’s your face, not a dead body at a crime scene.”
As the “comedy” part of the episode winds down, Miranda selects a souvenir at a Hollywood shopping mall to remember the special day. Seinfeld thinks it’s a good idea because, “I don’t think we’ll be seeing a lot of each other after this.”
After the perfunctory Acura commercial, the episode returns with a 40- second interaction between Seinfeld and Ballinger as herself. To her credit, someone looking over my shoulder as I was watching the episode was stunned and said, “Is that the same person as in the show?”
You do have to give some props to Crackle and Seinfeld for attempting to extend the footprint of his relatively older viewing audience. No doubt banter with comedians like Jay Leno, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks is of little interest to audiences younger than 35. This shot was a misfire, but by no means should the brains behind Comedians in Cars give up on this quest.
Screengrab via Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee