Seinfeld (TV series 1989-1998)
Created by: Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld
The cast includes:
- Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld) – Jerry is a stand-up comedian who is often portrayed as “the voice of reason” amidst all the insanity generated by the people in his world. Jerry’s apartment is the centre of a world visited by his eccentric friends. Plot lines often involve Jerry’s romantic relationships. He typically finds silly reasons to break up with women, including a habit of eating peas one at a time, over-sized “man hands” and an annoying laugh.
- George Costanza (Jason Alexander) – George is Jerry’s best friend. He is cheap, dishonest, petty and often envious of others’ achievements. He is portrayed as a loser who is insecure about his capabilities. He complains and lies about his profession, relationships and almost everything else, which usually creates trouble for him later.
- Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) – Elaine is Jerry’s ex-girlfriend. She sometimes has a tendency to be very honest with people, which often gets her into trouble. She tends to pick the worst men to date and has a short fuse. One of Elaine’s trademark moves is her forceful shove while exclaiming “get out” when she receives good or shocking news. Another is her memorable “Little Kicks” dance moves.
- Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) – Kramer is Jerry’s “wacky neighbour”. His trademarks include his humorous upright pompadour hairstyle, vintage clothing and energetic sliding bursts through Jerry’s apartment door. At times, he appears naive, dense and almost childlike, yet he shows astonishing insight into human behaviour; likewise, he makes friends with people very easily with his charm and easygoing manner and has almost effortless success with women. Although he never holds a steady job, he often invents wacky schemes that usually work at first but then eventually fail. (Source:Wikipedia)
So what’s it about?
The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York friends. (Source: IMDB.com)
Award-winning comedy gold that stands the test of time.
In the ongoing saga to find truly great TV to watch, there has only been one stalwart to which I come back to again and again. ‘Seinfeld’ ran for nine seasons back in the dim and distant 1990’s but the writing, acting and subject matter is still razor sharp today. [Okay, so Jerry’s short observational standup routines at the very beginning of each episode haven’t aged well, but that’s observational comedy for you.] The rest of the show, depicting four, let’s face it, fairly unpleasant Manhattanites doing nothing, discussing nothing, achieving…. well, nothing – that, my friend, is the hallmark of comedy genius. Who’d have thought it?
That genius was Larry David, the ‘Saturday Night Live’ alumni, who came up with the idea alongside standup comic pal, Jerry Seinfeld, and brought in his other ‘Saturday Night Live’ alumni, Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Jerry’s horrendous ex-girlfriend, Elaine Benes. Throw in the neurotic mess that is George Costanza (Jason Alexander), essentially playing Larry David every week and you have what Ricky Gervais has called the greatest sitcom character of all time completing the trio. All you need now is the wacky, slapstick of Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) and you have four VERY individual friends united against the world.
I’m watching the whole thing in order and am now five seasons in. There are pearls of comedy in every episode; moments of exquisite comedy timing which keep you chuckling for days, weeks, months afterwards. Would that other comedy shows tickled the funnybone in such a way. There are, it has to be said, occasional dips in form, notably in season two and three, but overall this shows stands heads and shoulders over others and remains to cast its shadow over modern efforts to this day. Happily, Larry David got his chance to shine ‘front of house’ in the equally good, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
If you haven’t seen ‘Seinfeld’ before then I urge you to start now. It’s not too late. If you are a diehard fan like me, then I would just like to share with you my new favourite scene:
The episode is in Season 5 and Cosmo Kramer has come up with the brilliant idea of taking some newly discovered Titleist golf balls to the beach. The reason? He wants Jerry and George to accompany him with the idea being that they will use his golf clubs to knock the balls out into the sea – what could be finer than that? Jerry and George decline sensibly. Meanwhile, Jerry has encountered an old friend of George’s and told a little white lie about what George is now doing for a living for his own amusement. George, forever seizing any opportunity for love (how come all the characters seem to have a new love interest every week?) now has to lie about being a marine biologist. I’ll say no more. Quite an involved setup but the payoff is exquisite. Watch it in full (or just the payoff if you prefer) in the clips at the bottom of this page.
If you have any more fave storylines/clips then please share them below. I’d love to hear about what episode you’ve enjoyed. I’m pretty sure Elaine’s ‘Little Kicks’ dance routine must be there or thereabouts. But that’s the beauty of ‘Seinfeld’ – consistently good comedy over so many years has produced so many terrifically funny moments. That is hard to find. Even harder to recreate. *wipes tear of laughter from eye*
IN SHORT: Brilliantly written, brilliantly executed, laugh-out-loud comedy at its honed finest.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
And it’s about nothing too. Even more brilliant.
What do you think? Did you enjoy “Seinfeld”? Do you continue to enjoy it now? Rate it using the star rating below and/or leave a comment at the foot of the page.
- Read about Seinfeld on Wikipedia
- Read about Seinfeld on IMDB.com
- Check out the Seinfeld website at Sonypictures.com
Watch the punchline part of ‘Whale Story’ (2 mins 36 secs) here:
Watch the best of Elaine Benes ‘The Little Kicks’ here: