Jerry Seinfeld Explains Awkward Kesha Moment: ‘I Don’t Hug a Total Stranger’

Jerry Seinfeld’s now-infamous hug denial wasn’t personal. He just doesn’t know Kesha.

In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video of the awkward moment almost immediately went viral.

“I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star,” Seinfeld told “Extra” on Thursday. “I don’t know everyone.”

He confirmed that he’s not a huge fan of hugs, at least not when it’s with a “total stranger.” “I was right in the middle of an interview, it was a little off,” he added.

“When you get to be my age and you’ve done a couple things, you have your own reality,” he said. “In my reality… I don’t hug a total stranger. I have to meet someone, say hello. I gotta start somewhere. Hug isn’t first moment of a human, two humans. I never did that.”

“I got a borderline harassment case here!” he joked.

It doesn’t seem like there’s any hard feelings, however. “She was very nice about it, we laughed about it,” he said.

But did the pop star ever get her hug? “No!” Seinfeld clarified. Lesson learned.

Watch the video of Seinfeld elaborating on the moment below.

More Biz

  • PHILIP ROTHF.SCOTT FITZGERALD

    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Philip Roth Dies at 85

    Jerry Seinfeld’s now-infamous hug denial wasn’t personal. He just doesn’t know Kesha. In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video […]

  • CBS Intends to Challenge National Amusements

    CBS Intends to Challenge National Amusements Bylaw Changes

    Jerry Seinfeld’s now-infamous hug denial wasn’t personal. He just doesn’t know Kesha. In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video […]

  • R. KellyR. Kelly in concert at

    R. Kelly’s Streaming Numbers Actually Went Up After Spotify Playlist Ban

    Jerry Seinfeld’s now-infamous hug denial wasn’t personal. He just doesn’t know Kesha. In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video […]

  • Voltage Pictures

    Voltage Pictures Reaches Settlement With Chinese Metals Firm

    Jerry Seinfeld’s now-infamous hug denial wasn’t personal. He just doesn’t know Kesha. In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content