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Jerry Seinfeld Wants the Return of Dominant Masculinity, “I Like Real Men”

Photo Credit: Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld is not holding back about his opinion of the world these days. Joining the Honestly with Bari Weiss podcast, he discussed what he thinks has long gone in today’s society: traditional masculinity. It’s interesting, as he doesn’t seem to fit his own description of the ideal man.

He does not fit his own ideal of masculinity

Jerry Seinfeld sitting with his leg out.
Jerry Seinfeld on October 2, 1990, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Ann Summa / Getty Images)

Ironically, Jerry Seinfeld is calling for the return of traditional masculinity when he himself is not the most traditionally masculine person in the world. However, the irony is not lost on him. He admits that the profession he chose to get into played a big part in him not becoming a dominantly masculine man.

“I never really grew up,” he said. “You don’t want to, as a comedian, because it’s a childish pursuit. But I miss a dominant masculinity. Yeah, I get the toxic, I get it, I get it. But still, I like a real man.” It seems he has felt this way since he was a young boy.

The people he looked up to

Headshots of Muhammad Ali and John F. Kennedy.
Seinfeld listed Muhammad Ali and JFK as some of the men he looked up to. (Photo Credit: Stanley Weston / Getty Images and NY Daily News Archive / Getty Images)

Seinfeld reminisced about the men he looked up to when he was a child, seeing them as the icons of that dominant masculinity. “The other thing is as a man, I’ve always wanted to be a real man,” he explained. “I never made it, but I really thought when I was in that era — again, it was JFK, it was Muhammad Ali, it was Sean Connery, Howard Cosell, you can go all the way down there — that’s a real man. I want to be like that someday.”

He misses the social hierarchy of the 1960s

Jerry Seinfeld on a red carpet.
Jerry Seinfeld attends Netflix’s “Unfrosted” premiere on April 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Netflix)

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Discussing his new Netflix comedy, Unfrosted, which is inspired by the Post versus Kelloggs’ battle for best cereal in the 1960s, he pointed to his co-star as an example of manliness. His co-star? Hugh Grant. “He knows how to dress. He knows how to talk. He’s charming. He has stories. He’s comfortable at dinner parties, and knows how to get a drink. You know what I mean? That stuff,” Seinfeld said.

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Seinfeld continued by saying that he misses the way things operated back in the 1960s. “There’s another element there that I think is the key element [of the ‘60s], and that is an agreed-upon hierarchy, which I think is absolutely vaporized in today’s moment,” Seinfeld said. “I think that is why people lean on the horn and drive in the crazy way that they drive — because we have no sense of hierarchy and as humans we don’t really feel comfortable like that.”

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!