(JTA) — Jerry Seinfeld called President Donald Trump a “water gun clown” and said the president’s “happy face” is terrifying.
The Jewish comedian made the critical comments in an interview Friday with New Yorker editor David Remnick at the New Yorker Festival.
“Trump’s happy face — that’s the scariest face of all time,” Seinfeld said, attributing the observation to fellow comic Colin Quinn, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “He’s kind of a water gun clown.”
Seinfeld, 63, told Remnick that Trump did not qualify for an invitation to his web series talk show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which then-President Barack Obama appeared on in 2015.
“You have to have some comedic credential to get on that show, and Obama was always so great at those correspondents’ dinners. He was good,” Seinfeld said.
Trump in April skipped the first correspondents’ dinner of his presidency.
Most of the interview steered clear of politics and focused on comedy. Seinfeld told Remnick he still questions the divisive series finale of “Seinfeld,” the long-running 1990s sitcom he starred in and co-created.
“I sometimes think we really shouldn’t have even done it,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on us at that time to do one big last show, but big is always bad in comedy.”
Seinfeld said he had just spoken to his former “Seinfeld” co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who recently announced her diagnosis with breast cancer.
“She’s doing well,” he reported.
Asked by Remnick if he “felt responsible for the ‘alt-right’” because Steve Bannon, the head of Breitbart News and a former senior Trump adviser, invested in “Seinfeld,” the comedian said “No.”
“I mean, there are dozens and dozens of investors and people you don’t know about,” he said. “These are giant multinational corporations. NBC [and] Turner, and [NBC] got bought by Comcast.”
Bannon has called his website a “platform for the alt-right,” a movement with white supremacist and anti-Semitic elements.
Larry David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld,” and Rob Reiner, a founder of Castle Rock Entertainment, the show’s production company, have expressed displeasure with the association. In May, a New Yorker article called into question what return, if any, Bannon got from “Seinfeld.”