Jerry Seinfeld in Israel finds bigger buzz than he got as kid
BY MATTHEW KALMAN
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS
Monday, November 26th 2007, 4:00 AM
JERUSALEM - Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, greeted like visiting royalty on his first trip to Israel in 37 years, joked Sunday that things have changed since his teenage days working on a banana farm.
"When I was here at the age of 15 and I worked in the kibbutz, nobody really was very interested in meeting me," he said.
"Every day I would be in the fields and nobody wanted my autograph. And nobody wanted to take their picture with me. They just let me hack away at those banana leaves. I didn't meet the prime minister even once back then," he said in mock shock.
But during his visit to premiere the Hebrew version of his animated film, "Bee Movie," Seinfeld was lionized.
He met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres, shopped in Tel Aviv, visited Masada and the Sea of Galilee and stopped to pray for a half-hour at the Western Wall.
"I love meeting Israeli people. They look at me like a son," he said.
Israeli reporters hit him with questions he doesn't generally get in Hollywood. He had to deny "Bee Movie" was referring to the Holocaust in a scene where a honey factory is gassed and was asked if he had any new terrorism material.
"Coming out with a movie with [Steven] Spielberg, [Jeffrey] Katzenberg and Seinfeld, a successful movie, certainly is annoying, I think, to the terrorists," he said, referring to the flick's Jewish producers.