Jerry Seinfeld is off promoting his Bee Movie in Israel, and while speaking with reporters in Tel Aviv, he cracked a joke about how he was much better received this time around than when he came to the country to work on a kibbutz when he was 17. “I would be in the fields, and nobody wanted my autograph and nobody wanted to take their picture with me,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “They just let me hack away at those banana leaves, and no, I didn’t meet the prime minister even once.” Oh, Jerry, you’re such a G-rated kidder. Of course they wouldn’t — hey, wait a minute. Seinfeld worked on a kibbutz? This was news to us. So we ventured out into the wilds of the Internet, only to discover that he’s been talking about his days on the farm for years now. Still, we thought the cheap joke was worth a trip down memory lane, so we dug up the relevant section of Jerry Oppenheimer’s unauthorized biography of the comedian, Seinfeld: The Making of An American Icon.
[A fellow volunteer] remembered Jerry as a “nudnick,” adding, “Seinfeld was like a cactus — not impressive and no one paid attention to him.” Jerry was constantly making jokes that no one understood, according to a woman. “But he laughed all the time at his own jokes.” But Jerry’s host family, Shoshanna and Emanuel Perreg, had fond memories. “It was really strange for me, for a teenager to give me a present,” she said, referring to [the gift of a tablecloth]. “We had many volunteers at the house and none of them ever gave me a present.” She remembered Jerry as “a really serious guy. We gave him lectures about the kibbutz, values, education.”
Oh, and also, while Seinfeld was on the kibbutz, Oppenheimer thinks he lost his virginity to a neurotic Jewish girl from Long Island. Which, if the show Seinfeld wasn’t enough to get him there, should really put him in the All-Time Jew Hall of Fame.