Who wouldn't want to get in a car and go for coffee — with Jerry Seinfeld?
Especially if it is one of the comedian's fabulous vintage sports cars, including the 1969 Jaguar XKE E type convertible featured in the second season premiere of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
The series, consisting of 11- to 18-minute webisodes, can be seen on Crackle.com, a multi-platform, next-generation entertainment site owned by Sony Pictures Television. It's loaded with the kind of content once only found at your neighbourhood video store.
"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" is one of the original series produced for Crackle, a site available in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom and throughout Latin America.
"Comedians in Cars" is the site's most popular original series. Besides the appeal of star Seinfeld, it could not have a simpler premise. Every episode is basically the famous comedian getting into one of his cool cars and picking up another famous comedian. They go to various local diners and restaurants for a cup of coffee and sometimes a muffin or a snack.
As "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David told the comedian last season, "You finally made a show about nothing."
The second season launched Thursday with the first episode, "I'm Going to Change Your Life Forever," featuring Sarah Silverman. It's available right now on-demand for streaming at Crackle.com. In all, 24 new episodes will be released in 2013-14.
It's fun and revealing to see two comedians like Seinfeld and Silverman kick back, let their hair down and just talk about ordinary everyday things. There is little sense that Silverman, for example, in "on" or trying to audition for anything. You get a sense that you are right there, in on a private conversation between two famous and funny people.
The next episode, premiering June 20, features Seinfeld going for coffee with David Letterman. That came about after Seinfeld was a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" and asked the host to come on the series. Surprisingly, the generally wary Letterman warmed to the idea right away.
It's a rare, intimate, one-on-one as the "Late Show" host is seldom seen outside the confines of his Ed Sullivan Theatre. It helped that Letterman and Seinfeld share similar comedy club roots and that both men are big into cars.
Seinfeld has one of the world's largest private collections of Porsches. In the Silverman episode, they ride in his vintage XKE. As Silverman says, "It's so wee; it's like what Don Draper drives," referring to the fictional character on "Mad Men" played by Jon Hamm.
Seinfeld points out that famed racer Enzo Ferrari once called it "the most beautiful car ever designed."
"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" is, in fact, sponsored by an auto manufacturer. At one point, Seinfeld walks past a new Acura parked on the street and points out to Silverman that it is a "product integration."
Brief Acura ads are edited onto the beginning and end of each episode. Acura is the only sponsor. The ads will get seen. The first season of the series delivered more than 10 million streams. The series won Seinfeld a Webby Award for outstanding comedic performance.
It's not an expensive show to produce. The cars are tricked out with multiple cameras. A camera car follows Seinfeld on the street and cameras are set up inside each restaurant. The episodes are entirely spontaneous and unscripted.
The utter lack of a conventional situation formula does not take away from the enjoyment of the series. In fact, just the opposite occurs. As Seinfeld says to Silverman at one point in the season premiere, "I figured out that the non-event is the best part of life."
The first 10-episode season, which went sponsor-less, did not make any money. Season two will try to move the series forward on a more commercial level.
Seinfeld doesn't need the money — he made a fortune off the syndicated revenues from his hit NBC series — but, as he told the New York Times, he's interested in creating a new paradigm with Crackle and being part of the "TV anywhere" world of Netflix and other non-traditional, on-demand services.
Other comedians are happy to go along for the ride. In the passenger seat with Seinfeld this season are Chris Rock, Don Rickles and Seth Meyers.
David, former "Seinfeld" cast mate Michael Richards, Alec Baldwin, Mel Brooks and Ricky Gervais were among Seinfeld's passengers in season one.
Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont.