Seinfeld, The Marriage Ref

Mimi ON Mar 01, 2010 AT 6:56 pm

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld uses your marriage as his new comedy material  in “The Marriage Ref,” a show with a panel of celebrities discuss the trivial squabbles of married couples, which they watch on video in front of a live audience.

The celebs — which will include Alec Baldwin, Kelly Ripa, Madonna,  Larry David, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Eva Longoria Parker, Charles Barkley and Seinfeld himself — then take sides and try to convince host and final arbiter, comedian Tom Papa, that either the husband or wife is right. Once Papa makes his decision, the fight is officially over.

“The main thing about this show is that it’s a comedy show,” Seinfeld told The Post. “Any exploration [into marriage issues] is kind of inadvertent.
“The show began because me and Tom [Papa] would laugh so much about what was going on in each other’s marriages.”
“And I just thought . . . especially for guys, who don’t talk that much about what they’re really feeling in their marriage . . . it’s a funny subject of conversation.
“It always makes me laugh when people tell me about their marriage.”
On the show, cameras placed in couples’ homes will capture their bickering, with the panelists discussing who they think is right or wrong, and then making a call in favor of the husband or wife.
“It’s like when you watch a baseball game and the guy crosses first base — he’s safe or out,” Seinfeld said. “And that’s the end of it. We’ll settle marriage fights the same way — we’ll just call it.”

Tina Fey

Created by Seinfeld and executive produced by former “Oprah” EP Ellen Rakieten, “The Marriage Ref” was born after Seinfeld asked a visiting friend to referee a spat occurring in his own marriage. He has been married to his wife, Jessica, since 1999 and they have three children.
Seinfeld said the “friend” wasn’t Papa, although he’s the “friend” who interacts with Seinfeld in the show’s opening animation that sets up the show’s premise.
“Marriage to me is like a sitcom premise,” Seinfeld said. “What if two people decide to stay together despite the fact they’re completely opposite in their makeup, genetically?
“It’s like ‘The Defiant Ones’ with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier.
“The joke of marriage is that you can’t leave.”

In choosing the panelists, Seinfeld said he wanted Madonna, Ripa, Baldwin and all the others not for what they’ve been through in their marriages, but for how their minds work.
“It’s more about the people I find interesting and who have interesting things to say. I’m not really that interested in their personal resume,” he said.
“We have a standard statement on the show: ‘If you have been, just got out [of] or are getting out of a marriage, as far as we’re concerned you’re as expert as anybody.’ “
Seinfeld had especially high praise for Baldwin, whose messy divorce from Kim Basinger continues to make headlines.
Baldwin, of course, has shown nimble comedy chops on “Saturday Night Live” and in his Emmy-winning role as blowhard network exec Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock.”
Said Seinfeld, “Alec delivers what, for me, was one of the great comedic performances I’ve ever seen on ‘The Marriage Ref.’”

So when can we see this over here, with that line up, surely it’s worth an airing?

Click here to read more GOSSIP…

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