One of our rituals from the time we met is watching Seinfeld reruns around dinner time. The Seinfeld reruns start around 3pm, and are broadcast at various time through the afternoon and evening until 11pm. I think by now, that we have seen all of the episodes. Just for good measure, Sheri bought the entire set of Seinfeld when we were in Penang for about $10. We try to watch the 7:30 episode on Fox.
Everyone has their favorite character. Sheri likes Elaine, and I lean toward George, since he is so obnoxious. Sheri always comments when Elaine’s clothes hide her pregnancy while she was taping the show. Her facial expressions are also unique. And her dancing is catatonic!! George is just one of a kind. We all know a George in our life. A close second is Kramer, but after his comedy meltdown, I have lost interest in him.
While they were not the best of actors, I thought Newman did his bit the best. On the female side, Estelle Costanza is a classic. On the irregulars, I enjoyed Terri Hatcher, and the ambulance chasing attorney, Jackie Chiles. Other perfect casting calls were Mickey, the short friend of Kramer, and the doctor who got the “Assman” license plates from Kramer. Another good one was the “Soup Nazi” since he was so real. One of the worst performances was by none other than Bette Midler when she played softball against George.
My two or three favorite episodes are: 1) George as a Marine Biologist, 2) Mel Torme, the Velvet Fog, singing to a “disabled” Kramer, and 3) George Isn’t at Home, played on his answering machine. I actually had a recording of that on my old answering machine. Many of you thought you had reached the wrong number!!
The Marine Biologist is so good because of the way George describes his encounter with the whale. He starts with something like, “it was an angry sea my friends, like an old man sending back soup in a deli”. I could never figure that one out. Then when he pulls the obstruction from the whale’s blow hole, he produces a Titleist golf ball, which belongs to Kramer.
The Mel Torme thing is mostly politically incorrect, since it makes fun of Kramer being mistaken for a disabled person, when he walks out of the dentist’s office. He is asked by a generous benefactor, Arnold Diensfrey, to come to a dinner with Mel, and gets to sit at the front table. Just before sitting, he is busted on the chops by “Jimmy”. and again appears to have a serious speech impediment. Mel sings to him, Kramer oggles him, and tries to sing the last few words of Mel’s ballad. Hilarious.
In the third story, George is trying to avoid his girlfriend Allison. He is sitting at home and screening his calls. Allison calls, and the message starts. He makes some silly gestures as the words are sung by George on tape: “George isn’t at home, please leave a message, etc”.
I know we all have our favorite episodes, and some that we cannot stand. I do not like the one where they are waiting for their seats in the Chinese restaurant. I also do not like the one with the red headed comedienne, Kathy Griffin. And the unique try to go backwards during their trip to India to attend Sue Ellen Mischke’s wedding to Elaine’s one night stand.
I also like the fact that dentist, Tim Watley became Jewish. That gave me the idea to “convert”, if for nothing but the extra holidays. I also like the Terri Hatcher line, “they are real and spectacular”. What in the world is she talking about? I like the Karl Fargman episode with the large furniture and the inspirational song, “Desperado”. Newman’s tirades are also legendary, and he seems to have done as well as anyone after the show ended. He seems to fit the stereotype of a government employee perfectly.
Yes, it was the most successful sit com of all time. Some episodes got down right nasty, like the saxophone player expanding his repertoire. Or his date’s name that rhymes with a female body part (Dolores). But for the most part, it is the Ozzie and Harriet of our times. It was the antithesis of Star Trek. It was the reality that Archie Bunker could not match. When will another one come along? Maybe never.