Jerry Seinfeld Holds Back Tears While Remembering Post-Oct. 7 Israel Trip: ‘Most Powerful Experience of My Life’ | Video

The comedian also weighs in on how getting picketed while touring makes him feel: “It’s so silly”

Jerry Seinfeld became visibly emotional while reflecting on his visit to Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

Speaking with Bari Weiss on her podcast “Honestly” via The Free Press, the comedian wound down the half-hour interview by touching on everything from college protests in response to Israel’s military action in Gaza and getting picketed at his own comedy shows. But Seinfeld was rendered speechless around the 25-minute mark when asked about his trip to Israel since its war with Hamas ignited.

“The most powerful experience of my life,” he said, simply.

When Weiss asked him why, Seinfeld sat back and took long pauses while holding back tears.

“Um, you know, you just,” he said before taking a nearly 10-second pause. “You know.”

“Are you thinking of anyone in particular?” Weiss asked.

To that, Seinfeld threw his hands up and nodded his way through another 10-second pause before grabbing a tissue from his pocket and apologizing.

Weiss then pivoted out of the topic of his visit and asked instead about the mob mentality she sees Seinfeld’s audience — and America at large — dividing into.

“One thing that I’ve been thinking about is how a huge part of the way you think about comedy is how the audience never lies. But what happens if a lot of people are wrong?” she asked. “In other words, there is a — I don’t think Jews do well in an age of mobs, and I feel that right now in our culture, it’s really easy to form mobs … For someone that relies on the truth-telling of the audience to tell you whether or not something is funny, does that same principal apply to a mass of people?”

“Well, you can’t act like we don’t see this every day in many realms,” Seinfeld responded. “Let’s just talk politically left and right. You’re watching mobs — they’re mobs. They’re mobs believing their own crap, right? That’s what a political party is. We’re going to make up a bunch of nonsense and we’ll all agree to it, right? Right. OK, let’s print up some bumperstickers and get out there, kids. That’s politics. So we’re tribal animals, we’re social creatures, we look for agreement and consensus. We’re driven by agreement and consensus and mob rule gives us comfort, gives us certainty. It’s all BS.”

Insofar as it relates to Seinfeld’s own experience with mob mentality of late, the comedian weighed in on how he feels about getting picketed at his own comedy shows — and in one case inspiring a student walk-out while speaking at Duke University’s graduation — amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

“It’s so dumb. In fact, when we get protesters, occasionally, I love to say to the audience [that] I love that these young people, they’re trying to get engaged with politics, we have to just correct their aim a little bit,” he said. “They don’t seem to understand that as comedians, we really don’t control anything.”

He then admitted that he’s “genuinely enjoying” himself while laughing off the pro-Palestinian protesters while onstage and being called a “genocide supporter” and “Nazi scum.”

“It’s so silly. It’s, like, you know, they want to, they want to express this, you know, sincere, intense rage — but again, a little off target. A little off target. So that’s, to me, comedic.”

Watch Seinfeld’s full interview with Weiss in the video above.

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