Jerry Seinfeld’s passionate defense of New York City’s vibrant future has made him the target of his own takedown — for picking on Florida.
Tampa Bay Times columnist Stephanie Hayes, a self-confessed lover of the Big Apple, initially praised the comedian for his “flamethrower” burn of James Altucher’s Post column calling Gotham “dead forever” — but stopped short when Seinfeld dragged the Sunshine State into the back-and-forth.
“He made some cogent and funny points, then dragged Florida into it, screaming from her dunes,” Hayes complained of Seinfeld’s op-ed, which she claimed painted Altucher as having “given up” by moving to Miami.
Acknowledging that she was writing “a column responding to a column responding to a column” — and joking that it made it a “portal to hell” — Hayes said using Florida as the butt of the joke was predictable and tired.
“For the 9,000th time. Picking on Florida is punching down. It’s pantsing the kid at school whose only friend is an oddly smooth rock,” Hayes said of her own home state.
She noted many of Florida’s most obvious foibles, including being “a phallic shape” and being “saddled with the ‘Florida Man’ trope” — most notably, new resident Tom Brady.
“We are being pranked by God, 24/7,” Hayes wrote.
“What I don’t get is why provincial ping-pong has to come at the expense of other states,” she added, noting that “Seinfeld also dunks on Maine, Vermont, Tennessee and Indiana.
“Why does New York get to be a place where dog crap is a celebrated quirk, but Florida is perpetually a punchline? There’s tons of dog crap in my yard,” she said, joking of the explanation Seinfeld gave for first falling in love with the city.
“Is it too much to ask that outliers reach past the caricature of Florida?” she asked.
“In turn, we will not bring up the guy in the Elmo suit outside TKTS,” she joked of Times Square’s infamous booth for discounted Broadway tickets.
As well as Hayes’ critique, Seinfeld also got a return takedown from Altucher, accusing him of denying reality.
“Failing to address problems won’t save Gotham,” he wrote in a follow-up piece in The Post.