Jerry Seinfeld: “If I Was Younger, I’d Have Six Kids By Now”

Jerry Seinfeld, once known as the most popular bachelor in Hollywood, is now happily married with three children: Sascha, 9, Julian, 6, and Shepherd, 4. The funnyman is returning to the small screen as the executive producer of the new NBC show The Marriage Ref, which airs on March 4. Jerry opens up to Parade about his new show, his parenting philosophies and how he’d love to have an even bigger family.

On having more children: “If I was younger, I’d have six kids by now. I love it. I love having a family and kids and all the madness. There is no aspect of it I don’t like. Even when it’s horrible, I love it. I didn’t realize how tired of single life I was and how ready I was for married life.”

On his 3 rules of how-not-to-parent: “[I call them] the Poison Ps.” [The first is Praise] “We tell our kids, ‘Great job!’ too much.” [The second is Problem-solving] “We refuse to let our children have problems. Problem-solving is the most important skill to develop for success in life, and we for some reason can’t stand it if our kids have a situation that they need to ‘fix.’ Let them struggle—it’s a gift. [And the third poison is Pleasure] Giving your child too much pleasure.” At that point of the interview, a woman comes in the deli with her three young daughters and buys them all huge cookies. “Can you believe this?” Seinfeld says. “It’s 5:30 p.m.—when will they have dinner? At 8?”

On why parents do the Poison Ps: “Do you want to hear my latest theory? It’s a little far-fetched. We feel so guilty for destroying that innocence—which is what we did—so we’re now trying to repair that by creating perfect childhoods for our children. The reason we overdo it so much is because we feel so bad about it.”

On teaching kids through example: “Kids are not going to do what you tell them to do or think like you tell them to think. Kids are watching how you deal with that waiter or that handyman, and they are probably more likely to imitate you.”

On how his own father, Kalmen Seinfeld, taught him to be unselfish: “I find myself acting like my dad. My dad would never say no to anyone who needed help. He was extremely unselfish. And I don’t even think that’s my nature. But I saw him do that and, wanting to be like him, I do it too.”

On how his kids inspire his comedic act: “Kids are a great creative corridor that I didn’t have before, didn’t know existed.” For all the changes in his life, he remains focused on comedy. “I’m not that dimensional. All I’ve cared about is comedy. It’s still all I care about, other than family. It’s the only thing that absorbs me, interests me, keeps me going. When I do other things—even when we go on vacation—they don’t interest me. Comedy still tops everything else I do.”

On if his dad’s death at age 66 crushed him: “I tend to accept life as it is. I’m not one of these ‘Life isn’t fair’ people. I tend to accept whatever the limits are, whatever the rules are.”

On returning to TV: “Creating a television show is like making a fire in the center of a room and then trying to gather up all the smoke in your arms. It’s definitely a talk show, definitely a comedy show, definitely has stand-up [courtesy of Seinfeld’s handpicked “ref” comic Tom Papa], definitely has a reality element. Put them all in a blender. I can’t wait to put the show out there. It’s like I found some bizarre precious gem and want to show it to people and say, ‘Look at this thing I found in the dirt!’”

Filed under: Jerry Seinfeld

Photo credit: Bauer Griffin


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  1. Briana

    I love the poision “P”s. I couldn’t agree more, sounds like a family that has a wonderful parenting philosophy.

  2. Anonymous

    Same here, loving the Poison P’s, sounds sensible to me…

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