On Sunday, Jerry Seinfeld took the stage at Gotham. Now most days, this would not merit an article. It certainly wouldn’t be news. But yesterday, Jerry Seinfeld wasn’t up there to do stand-up.
Seinfeld joined New York Senator Chuck Schumer onstage at Gotham to push for Republicans to pass the Save Our Stages Act, which would mean $10 billion in coronavirus relief grants for live entertainment venues all around the country. This is a movement that Seinfeld has a personal invested interest in, as a touring stand-up comedian. So his presence definitely makes a lot of sense.
“This bill is so important to keep these places going,” Seinfeld told the crowd. “It makes the city exciting to walk down the street and know right inside that door, some people are on stage and doing things. It gives the city energy and electricity and it’s more than just a business, it is the spark of our culture here in this town,” Seinfeld added. “When you come into Manhattan as a performer, and you stand in front of New York audiences, you find out if you’re good enough to actually have a career in the arts.”
Speaking specifically for New York, this act would go into what’s called a Small Business Administration. This will allow venues, promoters, and producers to get a grant of up to $12 million dollars to cover expenses caused by the pandemic. Without something like this being passed, and with no telling of when everything can open back up, it could have disastrous results on entertainment venues. Some of the other artists that have supported the act include Lady Gaga, Jay Leno, Tiffany Haddish, Billy Joel, and The Foo Fighters.
“Many people, many of the artists are supporting it because they know how important this is,” said the state’s senior senator, noting that the funds will largely, but not exclusively, benefit New York venues. “And most of them got their starts in places like this.”
Something like this would definitely be a step in the right direction to making sure everything eventually comes back to the city. We hope it happens sooner rather than later!