This month, Alec Baldwin sat down with comedian Jerry Seinfeld for his show, Here’s The Thing, which airs on WNYC. Jerry had debuted on HBO in 1981, the same year he first appeared on Johnny Carson. Jerry Seinfeld was 27 years old.
Seinfeld’s material stood out. It wasn’t about his upbringing or personal relationships. It was about our universal experience of small things. Eight years after his HBO debut, he and Larry David created a weekly series that changed both their lives. After Seinfeld ran for nine seasons, Seinfeld went back to stand-up, and to his audience. As he explains to Alec, Seinfeld feels uniquely connected to his fans: “You have this relationship with the audience that is private between you and them. Critics want to write, people want to talk. We have our own thing that nobody can break … once you build that it can’t be broken by outside forces.”
In the closing segment (last 3 minutes) Alec asks Jerry about meditation, how and when he learned it. Here’s that section of the transcript:
Alec Baldwin: Jerry Seinfeld has meditated for over four decades and it shows. He says it makes stress float away. I wanted to find out more about Jerry and meditation. So I called him.
Jerry Seinfeld: Transcendental Meditation, that’s what I do. TM.
Alec Baldwin: And how long have you been doing that?
Jerry Seinfeld: Since ’72.
Alec Baldwin: So when did that come into your life? You like saw a billboard when you were at the Long Island Railroad station?
Jerry Seinfeld: Yeah, I saw a flyer in the union at Oswego State University, where I was enrolled.
Alec Baldwin: Seriously?
Jerry Seinfeld: Because I couldn’t take senior year anymore so I left high school six months early, got into college, and left in the middle of senior year. Now I know you didn’t do that.
Alec Baldwin: No.
Jerry Seinfeld: Because you were handsome and the girls were hanging off of you, and senior year was fantastic for you. That’s what I know.
Alec Baldwin: Yeah. It was a vending machine of women. It was just endless.
Jerry Seinfeld: I know. Well it wasn’t like that for me, buddy boy. So I thought I gotta get out of here, and start a new life with people that don’t know me. So I went to Oswego and while I was there, now remember this is still in the flora and fauna of 60s experimentalism, so Transcendental Meditation, somebody told me about it, I don’t remember who. And I thought, well let me see what that’s about and I went to this thing and I learned the technique. It cleared up my acne immediately, I had this great energy and focus, and I’ve been doing it the rest of my life.
Alec Baldwin: So you sound, when you say you learned the technique, and it cleared up your acne, and your energy and focus, it sounds like you ultimately had the sex that had been evading you up until then, before you went to Oswego.
Jerry Seinfeld: That’s correct.
Alec Baldwin: So the TM was really a pathway to sex, correct?
Jerry Seinfeld: What isn’t?
Alec Baldwin: How can I do it? Like where do you do it? Can you do it anywhere? Or do you have to be in a sacred space?
Jerry Seinfeld: You can do it anywhere.
Alec Baldwin: You can do it anywhere.
Jerry Seinfeld: I’m gonna get you doing it now.
Alec Baldwin: I want you to get me doing it.
Jerry Seinfeld: You’re my next victim.
Alec Baldwin: I want more energy, more focus, I want my acne to clear up.
Jerry Seinfeld: Well you don’t need, you can’t have more energy, you can’t even dispose of the energy that you have.
Alec Baldwin: It’s true. But it’s toxic energy. It’s more like a Chernobyl than it is a kind of a babbling brook.
Jerry Seinfeld: Ok, well this is a different, this is a nice energy, really nice. Here’s how I’ll describe it to you. You know how three times a year, you wake up and you go, ‘Boy, that was a really good sleep?’
Alec Baldwin: Yes!
Jerry Seinfeld: Imagine feeling like that every day.
Alec Baldwin: Oh my god!
Jerry Seinfeld: That’s what it is.
Alec Baldwin: Meditation. I gotta try that.
(And I have a feeling he just might.)
Related clips involving Jerry Seinfeld and TM. These are funny!!!
Newly added from Issue 20 of Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine: Jerry Seinfeld Talks TM with Bob Roth, a partial transcription from the Sirius XM radio show “Success Without Stress.” Click here to listen to the complete 60-minute interview.