If Seinfeld were still on the air today, Cosmo Kramer would almost certainly be a QAnon believer—but also, somehow, an antifa guy, as well. At least that’s what writer/director Larry Charles, one of the top writers on the beloved NBC series, says.
“When I thought about how Seinfeld would survive in this kind of environment and this television environment, and I look around, I think about bringing those characters to the 21st century, and… wouldn’t Kramer be… a believer in QAnon? But he might also be in antifa at the same time to cover his bets,” Charles says on the latest episode of The Daily Beast’s Fever Dreams podcast. “Elaine might’ve been married a couple of times, she’s probably developed a pill habit of some sort, she’s been in and out of rehab. And George might have committed suicide by now, quite frankly.”
Charles, who’s directed several Sacha Baron Cohen movies and also the Bob Dylan cult classic Masked and Anonymous, also chatted with Fever Dreams hosts Will Sommer and Asawin Suebsaeng about what he sees as mainstream satire and comedy’s major failures over the past few years, particularly during Donald Trump’s political rise and his presidency.
“One of the problems with comedy is the more successful it is, the more cooperative with the corporate culture it has to be,” Charles said. “I think the casts of Saturday Night Live have always been incredible… They’re great, great performers, and they’re fantastic. But again, they are working within a very, very corporate environment. And in a way, what’s symbiotic and almost perverse about this is that these shows have a relationship with Trump, or they had a relationship with Trump, in which they also benefited. Lenny Bruce once said if there was no crime or, you know, sickness, I’d be on the breadline behind the cops and the doctors. And it’s the same thing here. They are making their money by making fun of Trump. So they need Trump to keep their own brands afloat. And that’s kind of a bad arrangement for satire.”
Elsewhere on this episode, Suebsaeng and Sommer dig deeper on how Trump and his advisers have been consistently blowing off Rudy Giuliani and his allies’ requests for help as federal investigators ramp up their probe into the longtime Trump confidant and lawyer. Sommer also dishes on the exploits of a former Survivor contestant and a controversy-courting falconer, and their quixotic, bumbling efforts to take down Joe Biden, along with the Trump-accosting “deep state,” over the past few years.