"Carpool" is a Web-based show hosted by British actor and comedian Robert Llewellyn, who drives around with famous people and talks about inane stuff. It launched on iTunes in 2009. Now American comedian Jerry Seinfeld is doing something very similar (we've written about the show before
) with his new web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." One question that has popped up since "Comedians" kicked off on July 19 is this: Did Seinfeld snag the idea from Llewellyn?
"It’s clearly exactly the same idea, shot in an almost identical way," Llewellyn said in an interview with The Daily Beast
. In "Carpool," Llewellyn picks up well-known fellow Brits and tools around the English countryside with them in his Toyota Prius
. Guests have included actors, scientists and automotive-industry experts. Llewellyn takes Sir Patrick Stewart on some errands, for instance, and the two discuss Stewart's fear of driving in snow and his disdain for squirrels.
Beetle and tool around Los Angeles. David talks about his preferences in salads, and eventually we watch him eat a pancake. With syrup. (At this point, the duo has traded in the car for a diner -- a familiar Seinfeld venue, to be sure.)
In the first webisode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," Seinfeld and his pal Larry David hop into a 1952
Other than the fact that the two shows have the same ingredients -- cars, comedians, idle chitchat -- can it be said that Seinfeld copied Llewellyn? The Brits seems to think so. “[I got] literally thousands of tweets from people going, ‘Jerry Seinfeld stole your show! Sue him! You’ll be worth millions!'” Llewellyn told The Daily Beast.
But a Seinfeld representative said the "Comedians" star wasn't even familiar with "Carpool." From a legal standpoint, it may be moot. Llewellyn says he wouldn't want to sue Seinfeld even if he could -- which, according to his attorneys, he can't. And he isn't convinced there's any reason to: "It's hard to suggest it's a ripoff," he said.