Jerry Seinfeld goes back to his comedy roots, and favorite park bench, in new special

PHOTO: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld discusses his new Netflix special in an interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.PlayABC News
WATCH Inside the mind of Jerry Seinfeld and his latest project

Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld said he is returning to his roots in is new Netflix special, and admitted that he had to relearn "all" of his old jokes.

Seinfeld opened up about his new venture in an interview with ABC News' chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, from a specific bench in Central Park, where he said he made two of the most important decisions in his professional life.

"When I was 21 years old, and I had left my parents' house," said Seinfeld, who skyrocketed to fame after starring in the 1990's sitcom "Seinfeld." "I sat here with my parents and I said ... 'I'm going to be a comedian.'"

"I actually have not sat here since the other time I sat here, when I sat with my managers George Shapiro and Howard West, and we decided that this was the right time to end the TV series," he added.

PHOTO: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld discusses his new Netflix special in an interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.ABC News
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld discusses his new Netflix special in an interview with ABC News' chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

For the new Netflix special, "Jerry Before Seinfeld," the comedian admitted that he had to relearn how to perform his old jokes.

"There's a little joke in there about the cotton balls," he said. "I couldn't find the funny. Why was it funny? It was a certain timing, and ... there's, like, a move with your hand, and there's a look on your face. ... All those things have to be there, or it doesn't work."

Seinfeld said that when it comes to comedy, what's on the paper is "2 percent of it."

"Ninety-eight percent is the way you do it," he added.

As the title suggests, the new special revisits who Seinfeld was before the massive success of his long-running TV show.

Seinfeld said he never imagined that the TV series would take off the way it did.

"I know how Columbus felt," he said. "You know, 'We're gonna go to India, we're going to get some spices, some nice fabrics.' He hit on a bigger thing."

Seinfeld added that he saved nearly all of the successful jokes he has ever written, all handwritten on yellow notepads.

"What else did I have?" he asked. "I don't have jewels. I don't have nice clothes. ... But the material, the hardest thing in all of entertainment is to write stand-up comedy. It is harder than anything else."

"Jerry Before Seinfeld" is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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