Netflix sets Seinfeld airing of special for September 19
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Netflix sets Seinfeld airing of special for September 19

First of two hour-long shows to feature new clips of funny man's early days, as other standup acts jump on Netflix bandwagon

Yaakov Schwartz is The Times of Israel's deputy Jewish World editor.

Jerry Seinfeld performs in Tel Aviv on December 19, 2015. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Jerry Seinfeld performs in Tel Aviv on December 19, 2015. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld? If you’re talking about the deal between him and Netflix, it’s real, and it’s potentially spectacular.

This past Monday the streaming service announced Seinfeld’s Netflix debut with the September 19 release of his new standup special, “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” letting Jews celebrating Rosh Hashanah the next day ring in 5778 with a different kind of Festivus.

The hour-long segment will feature the comic in his old haunt The Comic Strip performing some of the material that helped launch his career, along with other footage of his early days, some of which is being aired for the first time.

Fans of the “Seinfeld” creator will be happy to hear that there’s more: An eventual second special was part of the contract he signed in January, along with 24 new episodes of his Emmy-nominated web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Previously aired episodes of the show, which have been shown on Sony’s Crackle service, will be available on Netflix, as well.

Among the comedians to be featured in a car getting coffee on Netflix is icon Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday at age 91.

A recent Instagram post by Seinfeld shows a photo of him with Lewis taping the episode a couple of months ago.

Jerry Seinfeld and Jerry Lewis on an episode of 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' taped months before Lewis's death.

Netflix has also released some teaser footage ahead of the premiere.

I’m only one finger away from a compliment.

A post shared by Netflix Comedy (@netflixcomedy) on

The streaming video site, long in demand in Israel, was finally made available to the Israeli public in January 2016, and with its increased Hebrew and subtitled content, is highly popular here.

A cast of other comedians are cashing in with specials of their own, including Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Amy Schumer.

Schumer reportedly took Netflix back to the negotiating table after learning that Rock and Chappelle earned more than her for their specials, which led fans to disagree whether about it was a gender income equality issue or if the two veterans are simply funnier than she is.

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