Top 10 Highlights
Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer were the biggest characters in the world of TV in the 90’s and remain giants of the sit-com genre. Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are comic geniuses and here’s a taste of their best work.
10. The Nap
Season 8. Episode 18. Originally aired 10 April, 1997. George stays up late watching the Omen trilogy and is tired at work (the New York Yankees) the next day. He decides to take a nap underneath his desk, which is pretty typical George. The Yankees boss, George Steinbrenner (played by Larry David, who we don’t see because we only see the back of Steinbrenner’s head) is looking for George to ask him for the lyrics to Heartbreaker (Pat Benatar). It seems that George isn’t in his office so Steinbrenner decides to wait for him, chattering away madly to himself as he does. George sneaks a call to Jerry while Steinbrenner is distracted by his grandchildren and arranges for Jerry to phone in a bomb threat to try to get Steinbrenner out of his office. Of course Steinbrenner directs his grandkids to get under the desk as soon as he hears there’s a bomb threat.
Meanwhile Jerry is having his kitchen remodelled, Kramer takes up swimming in the East River and Elaine receives a mattress from her boyfriend. The East River stinks as does Jerry’s new kitchen and eventually Elaine’s mattress. Steinbrenner is brilliant as always. Great episode.
9. The Revenge
Season 2. Episode 7. Originally aired 18 April, 1991. George quits his real estate job because he’s banned from using his bosses executive toilet. He gives his boss a real ear full when he quits but regrets it and shows up on Monday morning pretending it was all just a joke. His boss promptly fires him and George decides to get revenge. He uses Elaine to divert his bosses attention while he spikes his drink. Meanwhile Jerry and Kramer decide to get revenge on the laundromat owner who they think has stolen $1,500 Jerry accidentally left in his dirty washing.
A couple of firsts in this episode. The first mention of Newman, the first episode written by Larry David without Seinfeld and what’s widely considered to be the episode in which Kramer expands his comedy repertoire into physical comedy as he tries to pour cement into a washing machine.
8. The Junior Mint
Season 4. Episode 20. Originally aired 18 March, 1993. Jerry doesn’t know the name of the woman he’s dating, only that it rhymes with part of the female anatomy. He tries Aretha, Celeste and Bovary before George suggests Mulva (which wasn’t right). Gipple and Loleola miss the mark before Jerry finally tries Dolores. Meanwhile Elaine meets an old boyfriend who’s in hospital looking very slim and attractive. Jerry and Kramer watch his operation and a Junior Mint ends up falling into the open wound. Does this save him from a deadly infection? George invests in art. Kramer decorates his apartment to look like a ski lodge.
7. Various Characters
There are a number of priceless guest characters that appear sporadically throughout Seinfeld, in particular, J. Peterman, George Steinbrenner, David Putty and Mr Bookman. The extra characters we were introduced to was one of the things that made Seinfeld so durable and interesting. This spot is for them.
6. The Soup Nazi
Season 7. Episode 6. Originally aired 2 November, 1995. Kramer raves about a new soup stand in the neighbourhood. Jerry, George and Elaine go to investigate and quickly learn the rules of the owner, the Soup Nazi. Jerry’s indulges in affectionate talk with his latest girlfriend, Sheila (schmoopy) but ditches her at the soup stand when she refuses to follow protocol. He gets back together with her after George voices his disgust at the schmoopy talk. George subsequently shows Jerry what it’s like by doing schmoopy talk with Susan at the cafe. They try to upstage each other resulting in both couples kissing passionately. Susan thinks this is the real George and continues the schmoopyness after Jerry again drops Sheila. There’s a problem with a wardrobe that Elaine buys that links back to the Soup Nazi. Elaine finds the Soup Nazi’s recipes in the wardrobe and threatens to put him out of business.
5. The Pitch/The Ticket
Season 4. Episodes 3 & 4. Originally aired 16 September, 1992. Twin episodes. In The Pitch, Jerry and George pitch a ‘show about nothing’ to NBC. Kramer and Newman swap a bike helmut and a radar detector. Crazy Joe Davola gets upset when he learns he hasn’t been invited to a party that Kramer is having. George dismisses NBC when they question the ‘show about nothing’ but does manage to make a date with one of the executives, Susan Ross. Kramer later vomits on her at Jerry’s apartment after drinking off milk, Newman gets a speeding ticket because the radar detector doesn’t work properly and Joe Davola kicks Kramer in the head but luckily Kramer was wearing the helmut. However he isn’t quite right…
The Ticket picks up with Kramer suffering from the kick in the head, talking gibberish (YoYoMa, Italian) and only able to look after half of his body. On the way to another meeting with NBC Jerry throws out a watch his parents gave him and his Uncle Leo finds it. Kramer goes to court to help Newman with his speeding ticket, testifying that Newman was speeding to Kramers aid as Kramer was going to commit suicide because he was depressed that he hadn’t become a banker. Jerry and George get the go ahead for a pilot with NBC. The two are trapped in the cafe after George thinks he sees Crazy Joe Davola outside. A policeman eating a sandwich won’t help them until he’s finished eating. Elaine is in Europe with her Psychiatrist who remembers that he forgot to leave one of his patients (Davola) with a script for medication.
4. The Summer Of George
Season 8. Episode 22. Originally aired 15 May, 1997. George loses his job at the New York Yankees but gets a three month payout. He decides to make the most of the three months and declares that the coming summer will be the ‘Summer of George’. As it turns out he lounges around his apartment doing nothing. Kramer is a ‘seat filler’ at the Tony Awards, filling seats when actors are called up to receive an award. He mistakenly gets taken up to receive a Tony, which he gratefully accepts. He subsequently must fire Rachel Welsh if he wants to keep the Tony. Elaine ridicules one of her co-workers at J. Peterman, Sam, who walks without swinging her arms, causing a number of cat fights at the office. Jerry’s girlfriend is running him off his feet. He and George come to the realisation that they are both ‘half men’, unable to carry out the relationship duties of a normal man.
3. The Pez Dispenser
Season 3. Episode 14. Originally aired 15 January, 1992. Jerry puts a Pez dispenser on Elaine’s lap during a piano recital that Georges girlfriend is giving causing Elaine to laugh, distracting George’s girlfriend. George is given a hard time by his girlfriend but Kramer tells George how to get some ‘hand’ in the relationship. Jerry hosts an intervention for an old friend, Richie Appel, who has a drug problem because Kramer told him to pour Gatorade on Marty Benson who subsequently develops pneumonia and dies. Kramer comes up with an idea for a cologne that smells like the beach and takes it to Calvin Klein who rejects it (but subsequently releases a cologne called ‘Ocean’). The Polar Bear Club talk to Elaine about male kangaroos having ‘pouch envy’. A classic episode.
2. The Marine Biologist
Season 5. Episode 14. Originally aired 10 February, 1994. Jerry’s favourite t-shirt, ‘Golden Boy’ is nearing its used by date, Kramer gives Elaine an electronic organiser and takes up golf after getting 600 Titleist golf balls from a driving range. To have some ‘fun’ he suggests to Jerry and George that they go and hit them all into the sea. Jerry tells one of George’s old girlfriends that he’s a marine biologist, much to George’s dismay who would rather be an architect. Elaine, who is working at Pendant Publishing, is tasked with looking after a famous Russian author but problems occur with the electronic organiser. George has to put his non-existent marine biology skills to use while walking with his girlfriend along the beach. People getting hit on the head when things are thrown out windows. Sand in Jerry’s apartment. A fantastic intertwining of story lines.
1. The Opposite
Season 5. Episode 22. 19 May, 1994. George comes to the realisation that every decision he’s made in his life has been wrong, that he has turned out to be the opposite of everything he wanted to be, that every aspect of his life has been wrong. He orders the complete opposite of his normal lunch, tuna salad, and there is no turning back for George. He approaches a beautiful woman at the cafe telling her that he’s unemployed and lives with his parents. She immediately takes an interest in him. He tells George Steinbrenner what he thinks of him and is immediately hired for a job at the New York Yankees.
Elaine gets a pay rise at Pendant Publishing which is going to publish a coffee table book by Kramer. She also meets up with an old boyfriend, Jake Jarmel, but buys Jujyfruits before going to see him in hospital, putting the relationship at risk. Jerry loses a gig and gets another one straight away and Kramer realises that Jerry is ‘Even Steven’. Subsequent events prove this to be the case. Elaine upsets the sale of Pendant Publishing.
Full of classic lines and a beautifully intricate plot, this is about as good as it gets.