Jerry Seinfeld Calls ‘Mad Men’ Finale the ‘Greatest Final Moment of a Series I’ve Ever Seen’

Jerry Seinfeld is still bothered “a little bit” by how “Seinfeld” ended. Let’s just say, it wasn’t as cinematic as his favorite finale ever: “Mad Men.”

Seinfeld, who makes his directorial debut with upcoming Netflix film “Unfrosted,” told GQ that while he doesn’t “believe in regret,” he couldn’t help but compare the “Seinfeld” finale to the “greatest” series finale of all-time with Emmy-winning AMC’s “Mad Men.”

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“I feel ‘Mad Men’ was the greatest,” Seinfeld said. “A lot of people like the ‘Bob Newhart’ one. ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ was OK. ‘Mad Men’ was the greatest final moment of a series I’ve ever seen. So satisfying. So funny.”

During the recent series finale of Larry David’s long-running meta HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” David and Seinfeld reunite onscreen to revisit the controversial “Seinfeld” final moments with the stand-up comic ending up in jail.

“I don’t believe in regret,” Seinfeld said. “It’s arrogant to think you could have done something different. You couldn’t. That’s why you did what you did. But me and Jeff Schaffer and Larry were standing around, talking about TV finales and which we thought were great.”

He added, “And they said that they had sat and watched the ‘Seinfeld’ finale, trying to figure out what went wrong. And it was obviously about the final scene, leaving them in the jail cell.”

The “Seinfeld” series finale was not as well received. But what did Seinfeld himself think about it? IndieWire asked Seinfeld and his “Unfrosted” cowriter Spike Feresten (also a “Seinfeld” writer).

“It’s never about us enjoying it, it’s about the audience enjoying it. That’s why we do it,” Seinfeld told IndieWire. “We just wanted to bring back all these great players back that made the series, and this seemed like a perfect vehicle to bring them all back and have them air their grievances.”

“That was the idea that we fell in love with,” he continued during our Zoom interview. “Let’s bring these people that were offended or in some way affronted — let’s bring them all back in a trial where they can testify against them. It just seemed funny.”

Feresten chimed in to add that “one of the little hiccups” with how the finale was received came from NBC running a clip show ahead of the finale. “That to me always kind of bit the episode a little bit,” Feresten said.

“That was my idea,” Seinfeld said. “Larry didn’t like it (either). Yes, you were both right.”

“It did ruin the finale,” Seinfeld continued, “BUT — it was a great clip show.”

Seinfeld isn’t the only TV icon pointing to other series’ top TV moments of all-time. “Game of Thrones” creator George R. R. Martin applauded the “Six Feet Under” series finale for being one of the best episodes ever.

“I liked that series well enough, though I cannot say I loved it as much as I loved ‘Rome’ or ‘Deadwood’ or ‘Fargo’ or a few other shows missing from the list, but that last episode was far and away the best finale in the entire history of television, and I cannot imagine how anyone could possibly do better,” Martin said in 2023.

Like Seinfeld on “Seinfeld,” Martin previously spoke out about his own divisive “Game of Thrones” series finale. And also like Seinfeld, Martin had to applaud “Mad Men” for its master of the TV craft itself. According to Martin, “Mad Men” episode “The Suitcase” was among his favorite TV installments.

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