From Barack Obama to Kristen Wiig, this is what guests on Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' have to say about failure, career choices - and bees

Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeNetflix

  • In the 40 years that Jerry Seinfeld has been a comedian, he's learned some valuable lessons.
  • Along with his celebrity guests, Seinfeld gives career and life advice on his current Netflix series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," usually in the form of witty banter.
  • Here are the best lines - from Seinfeld, Barack Obama, Dave Chappelle, Steve Martin, and others - on careers, failure, and bees.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jerry Seinfeld has been doing stand-up comedy since the mid-1970s, and through the ups and downs of showbiz, he's learned some valuable lessons on careers, failure - and bees.

He may be famous for his hit sitcom "Seinfeld" and his children's flick "Bee Movie," but his current Netflix show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," offers the same hilarious observational humor and witty banter, with a bit of life advice thrown in. The 11th season, which premiered July 19, features guests like Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and, for the second time, Ricky Gervais.

The show's concept, for those who didn't guess it from the title, is simple: Seinfeld takes another famous comedian out for coffee, while driving a car that perfectly suits his guest's personality. Seinfeld is a proud car nerd, and after years of resistance, has become an avid coffee drinker.

In an interview with NPR, Seinfeld explained why he loves coffee. "We want to do a lot of stuff; we're not in great shape," he said. "We didn't get a good night's sleep. We're a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup."

Here are the best tidbits of career advice from both Seinfeld and his guests.

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Jerry Seinfeld on career choices (season 5, episode 5)

Jerry Seinfeld on career choices (season 5, episode 5)

"When I was a kid, I always thought the plumber wanted to be a plumber. I thought the guy that drives the truck loves driving the truck, that's why he's doing it."

On a 1990 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Seinfeld recalled the childhood moment he realized he was destined to be a comedian. While enjoying some milk and cookies with a friend, he made the pal laugh so hard that milk came streaming out of his mouth — and right into Jerry's face.

Brian Regan on nerves (season 10, episode 5)

Brian Regan on nerves (season 10, episode 5)

"You know the butterflies, when you get the butterflies? I always say that the things you remember in life are the things that happen right after you had butterflies. So you should never avoid the butterflies, because those are the memory makers."

Regan, known for his stand-up about daily life (and UPS), must have gotten butterflies just before taking the stage.

Steve Martin on confidence (season 7, episode 2)

Steve Martin on confidence (season 7, episode 2)

"When I first started, I decided it was important to fake confidence. Because I thought it was important that [the audience] sensed I believed. If I was the slightest bit nervous about something, they could smell it, and then they would become judges. But if I was confident, it's like 'I don't care what you think.' That worked."

It's funny to look back at Martin blowing up balloon animals onstage and think that the guy was faking his confidence. Guess it really did work!

Jerry Seinfeld on bees, societal structure, and being the boss (season 5, episode 8)

Jerry Seinfeld on bees, societal structure, and being the boss (season 5, episode 8)

"The bees, the elegance of their societal structure, is, 'This is your job, ok? You get the pollen. You make the honey. You guard the door.' And nobody goes, 'All right, I don't know if I really want to do that.' But no bee says, 'I should be the boss.'"

One of Seinfeld's less critically lauded projects was "Bee Movie," the 2007 digitally animated movie about bees. Despite it being one of the lowest-grossing Dreamworks films to date, it's gained quite the cult following.

Barack Obama on stress (season 7, episode 1)

Barack Obama on stress (season 7, episode 1)

Seinfeld: What kind of language do people use —
Obama: English.
Seinfeld: Does [cursing] help with your stress level?
Obama: I curse. I curse.
Seinfeld: 'This rat bastard comes in here…' You blow off a little steam.
Obama: Yeah. Bad stuff, or stupid stuff, is happening constantly, every day. So you have to just be able to make fun of that.

The former president was likely on to something. Researchers have linked swearing to honest behavior, and humor to resilience.

Dave Chappelle on ideas (season 10, episode 2)

Dave Chappelle on ideas (season 10, episode 2)

"If I have an idea, it's the driver. The idea says, 'Get in the car,' and I'm like, 'Where am I going?' The idea says, 'I don't know. Don't worry about it. I'm driving.' Then you just get there."

Dave Chappelle is best known for his iconic sketch show, "Chappelle's Show," a prime example of letting the idea be the driver.

Kristen Wiig on her final season on "Saturday Night Live" (season 9, episode 1)

Kristen Wiig on her final season on "Saturday Night Live" (season 9, episode 1)

"I knew the moment I got comfortable there was the moment I had to leave."

Kristen Wiig stayed on "SNL" for seven seasons, then left in 2012 after starring in the hit comedy "Bridesmaids."

Jerry Seinfeld on persistence (season 2, episode 6)

Jerry Seinfeld on persistence (season 2, episode 6)

"One of the great activities is skateboarding. To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times you gotta get something wrong until you get it right … And you hurt yourself and you learn that trick, now you got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think, 'Those skateboard kids will be all right.'"

Comedy is a lot like skateboarding. In the same episode, Seinfeld and his guest, Chris Rock, talked about their early days in comedy. Rock said, "I used to go the comedy club and they would not put me on. I'd get there at 7:45. And I would wait until 1:30, 2 in the morning, and not get on."

"SNL" creator Lorne Michaels on finding comedic talent (season 8, episode 5)

"SNL" creator Lorne Michaels on finding comedic talent (season 8, episode 5)

"There will be a time when I realize that I am no longer as good as I was and things aren't coming together as they should and the quality is going down, and then three years after that I'll quit."

Lorne Michaels knows a bit about finding talent — he cast legends like Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig for most of the iconic show's 44 seasons.

Jerry Seinfeld on failure and how comedy is like baseball (season 5, episode 8)

Jerry Seinfeld on failure and how comedy is like baseball (season 5, episode 8)

"Democracy. There's a democracy of body type. Anybody can play... And comedy is a life of failure. Baseball is failure. The best hitters, .300 hitter. What does .300 mean? He gets a hit 30% of the time. He fails seven out of 10 times. And he's a killer. Because he fails seven out of 10 times. That's us! We fail almost all the time. Almost all the time. There's a couple of times we don't, and that's what you see."

Seinfeld has always been obsessed with baseball, even though he never played on an organized team.

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