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|Created by|| Larry David
|Directed by|| Art Wolff
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||180 ( List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Larry David (seasons 1–7)
Benjamin Scott (seasons 3–5)
Jerry Seinfeld (seasons 8–9)
Alec Berg (season 9)
Jeff Schaffer (season 9)
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)|| Castle Rock Entertainment
Conundrum Entertainment (" The Virgin")
|Distributor|| Columbia Pictures Television (1995–1996)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996–2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
|Picture format|| 4:3 ( SDTV)
16:9 ( HDTV) (details)
|Original run||July 5, 1989– May 14, 1998|
|Related shows||Curb Your Enthusiasm|
Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. It lasted nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself. Set predominantly in an apartment block in Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York City, the show features a host of Jerry's friends and acquaintances, in particular best friend George Costanza ( Jason Alexander), former girlfriend Elaine Benes ( Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and neighbour across the hall Cosmo Kramer ( Michael Richards).
Seinfeld was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment. In syndication the series was distributed by Columbia Pictures Television and Columbia TriStar Television, but Sony Pictures Television has distributed the series since 2002. It was largely co-written by David and Seinfeld with input from numerous script writers, including Larry Charles, Peter Mehlman, Gregg Kavet, Andy Robin, Carol Leifer, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer, Steve Koren, Jennifer Crittenden, Tom Gammill, Max Pross, Charlie Rubin, Marjorie Gross, Alec Berg, Elaine Pope, and Spike Feresten.
A critical favorite, commercial blockbuster and cultural phenomenon, the show led the Nielsen ratings in its sixth and ninth seasons and finished among the top two (along with the NBC's ER) every year from 1994 to 1998. In 2002, TV Guide named Seinfeld the greatest television program of all time. In 1997, the episodes " The Boyfriend" and " The Parking Garage" were respectively ranked #4 and #33 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. And in 2009, " The Contest" was ranked #1 on the same magazine's list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time". E! named it the "number 1 reason the '90s ruled."
Seinfeld stood out from the many family and group sitcoms of its time. None of its principal characters is related by family or work connections but remain distinctively close friends throughout the series. Unlike many other sitcoms, Seinfeld focuses more on character than story; instead of resolving the story back to normal, the characters turn their storylines upside down with their own unique interpretation. It was often called "a show about nothing" by critics and its own creative personnel.
Many of the characters were based primarily on Seinfeld's and David's real-life acquaintances. Two of the most prominent recurring characters were based on well-known people: Jacopo Peterman of the J. Peterman catalog (based on John Peterman), and George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees. Many other characters were introduced as more writers got involved with Seinfeld. Other characters based on real-life individuals include the Soup Nazi and Jackie Chiles based on Johnnie Cochran.
Seinfeld follows its own structure: a story thread is presented at the beginning of each episode, which involves the characters in separate and seemingly unrelated situations. Rapid scene-shifts between plot lines bring the stories together. Even though it does not follow a pattern as other sitcoms, the character's story variously intertwines in each episode. Despite the separate plot strands, the narratives reveal the creators' "consistent efforts to maintain the intimacy" amongst the small cast of characters.
The show keeps a strong sense of continuity—characters and plots from past episodes are frequently referenced or expanded upon. Occasionally, story arcs span multiple episodes and even entire seasons. For example, Jerry's girlfriend Vanessa appears in " The Stake Out" and he ends the relationship when things do not work out in " The Stock Tip". Other examples are Kramer getting his jacket back and Elaine heading the "Peterman catalog". Larry David, the show's head writer and executive producer for the first seven seasons, was praised for keeping a close eye on minor details and making sure the main characters' lives remained consistent and believable. Curb Your Enthusiasm—David's later comedy series—further expanded on this idea by following a specific theme for all but one season in the series.
A major difference between Seinfeld and sitcoms which preceded it is that the principal characters never learn from their mistakes. In effect, they are indifferent to the outside world and can be callous towards others, indeed sometimes towards each other; a mantra of the show's producers was: "No hugging, no learning." Entertainment Weekly's television critic Ken Tucker has described theirs as "a group dynamic rooted in jealousy, rage, insecurity, despair, hopelessness, and a touching lack of faith in one's fellow human beings." This leads to very few happy endings, except when they come at someone else's expense. More often in every episode, situations resolve with characters getting a justly deserved comeuppance.
- Jerry Seinfeld ( Jerry Seinfeld) – Jerry is a "minor celebrity" stand-up comedian who is often portrayed as "the voice of reason" amidst all the insanity generated by the people in his world. His character is a slight germophobe and a neat freak, as well as an avid Superman and breakfast cereal fan. 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. Other plot lines involve his longtime nemesis Newman and his relatives whom he meets periodically. He also gets in trouble for "making out" in a theatre during Schindler's List.
- 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. He often uses the alias Art Vandelay when lying or concocting a cover story. Despite these shortcomings, George has much success in dating women and also eventually achieves a successful career as Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the New York Yankees. During the run of the show, he and Jerry work with NBC to produce a pilot episode of a TV show called Jerry. During this time, he meets Susan Ross, who works for NBC. George has an on-and-off relationship with her, eventually getting engaged, until she dies at the end of season seven.
- Elaine Benes ( Julia Louis-Dreyfus) – Elaine is Jerry's ex-girlfriend. She is attractive, intelligent and assertive, while also being playful, selfish and self-righteous. She sometimes has a tendency to be very honest with people, which often gets her into trouble. She usually gets caught up in her boyfriends' quirks, her eccentric employers' unusual tendencies and the unkindness of total strangers. She tends to pick the worst men to date and has a short fuse. She works at Pendant Publishing with Mr. Lippman and later works with the Peterman catalogue. 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. She also has a hatred for The English Patient, which makes her unpopular with her friends.
- 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. Among these are coffee table books about coffee tables (for which he appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee) and a brassiere for men called the Bro. He is longtime friends with Newman and they work well together despite their differences.
There are many recurring characters that made several appearances, either as a friend or a relative like Newman and Uncle Leo. In addition to its regularly recurring characters, Seinfeld featured numerous celebrities who appeared as themselves or as girlfriends, boyfriends, bosses and other acquaintances. Many of those who made guest appearances became household names later in their careers, or were comedians and actors already well known.
Seinfeld broke several conventions of mainstream television. The show, often described as being about "nothing", became the first television series since Monty Python's Flying Circus to be widely described as postmodern. Several elements of Seinfeld fit in with a postmodern interpretation. The show is typically driven by humor interspersed with superficial conflict and characters with strange dispositions. Many episodes revolved around the characters becoming involved in the lives of others to typically disastrous results. On the set, the notion that the characters should not develop or improve throughout the series was expressed as the "no hugging, no learning" rule. Unlike most sitcoms, there are no moments of pathos; the audience is never made to feel sorry for any of the characters. Even Susan's death in the series elicits no genuine emotions from anyone in the show.
The characters are "thirty-something singles with no roots, vague identities, and conscious indifference to morals." Usual conventions, such as isolating the characters from the actors playing them and separating the characters' world from that of the actors and audience, were broken. One such example is the story arc in which the characters promote a television sitcom series named Jerry. The show within a show, Jerry, was much like Seinfeld in that it was "about nothing" and Seinfeld played himself. The fictional Jerry was launched in the season four finale, but unlike Seinfeld, it was not picked up as a series.
Many Seinfeld episodes are based on its writers' real-life experiences, but the experiences are re-interpreted for the main characters' storyline. For example, George's storyline, " The Revenge", is based on Larry David's experience at Saturday Night Live. " The Contest" is also based on David's experiences. " The Smelly Car", for Jerry's storyline, is based on Peter Mehlman's lawyer friend, who could not get a bad smell out of his car. " The Strike" is based on Dan O'Keefe's dad, who made up his own holiday— Festivus. Other stories take on a variety of different turns. " The Chinese Restaurant" consists of the main characters (excluding Kramer) simply waiting for a table throughout the entire episode. " The Boyfriend", revolving around Keith Hernandez, extends through two episodes. " The Betrayal" is famous for using reverse chronology, and was inspired by a similar plot device in a Harold Pinter play, Betrayal. Some stories were inspired by headlines and rumors, which are explained in the DVD features "Notes About Nothing", "Inside Look", and "Audio Commentary." In " The Maestro", Kramer's lawsuit is roughly similar to the McDonald's coffee case. " The Outing" is based mainly on rumors that Larry Charles heard about Jerry Seinfeld's sexuality.
Many terms coined, popularized, or repopularized during the series' run have become part of popular culture. Notable catchphrases include " Yada, yada, yada", " No soup for you" and " Not that there's anything wrong with that".
Other popular terms that also made the transition into slang were created by, directed at or about secondary characters, including: " Festivus", " spongeworthy" and " re-gifter".
As a body, the lexicon of Seinfeldian code words and recurring phrases that evolved around particular episodes is referred to as Seinlanguage, the title of Jerry Seinfeld's best-selling book on humor.
The show premiered as The Seinfeld Chronicles on July 5, 1989. After it aired, a pickup by NBC did not seem likely and the show was actually offered to Fox, which declined to pick it up. Rick Ludwin, head of late night and special events for NBC, however, diverted money from his budget by canceling a Bob Hope television special, and the next four episodes were filmed. These episodes were highly rated as they followed Cheers on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., and the series was finally picked up. At one point NBC considered airing these episodes on Saturdays at 10:30 p.m., but instead gave that slot to a short-lived sitcom called FM. The series was renamed Seinfeld after the failure of short-lived 1990 ABC series The Marshall Chronicles. After airing in the summer of 1990, NBC ordered 13 more episodes. Larry David believed that he and Jerry Seinfeld had no more stories to tell, and advised his partner to refuse the order, but Seinfeld agreed to the additional episodes. Season two was bumped off its scheduled premiere of January 16, 1991, due to the start of the Persian Gulf war. It settled in a regular time slot on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and eventually flipped with veteran series Night Court to 9:00.
Seinfeld was championed by television critics in its early seasons, even as it was yet to cultivate a substantial audience. For the first three seasons, Jerry's stand-up comedy act would bookend an episode, for a while even functioning as cut scenes during the show. A few episodes set a benchmark for later seasons. " The Deal" shows the only time Jerry and Elaine tried to become a couple by setting rules about sleeping together. " The Parking Garage" was the first episode shot without an audience for the entire run, as well as not showing Jerry's apartment, after " The Chinese Restaurant. " The Keys" contains a crossover to CBS show Murphy Brown, and marks the first such cooperation between rival networks. " The Busboy" introduces George, Kramer and Elaine as having their own storylines for the first time. Although Glenn Padnick thought Jerry Seinfeld was being too generous, showcasing his co-stars' comedic talent became a trademark throughout the series.
Larry Charles wrote an episode for season two, "The Bet", in which Elaine buys a gun from Kramer's friend. This episode was, however, not filmed because the content was deemed unacceptable, and was replaced by the episode " The Phone Message". " The Stranded", aired in season three, was originally intended for season two. In the beginning of this episode, Jerry clears up the continuity error over George's real estate job.
Season four marked the sitcom's entry into the Nielsen ratings Top 30, coinciding with several popular episodes, such as " The Bubble Boy", in which George and the bubble boy are arguing over Trivial Pursuit, and " The Junior Mint" in which Kramer and Jerry accidentally fumble over the mint in the operating room. This was the first season to use a story arc, in which Jerry and George try to create their own sitcom, Jerry. Also at this time, Jerry's stand-up act slowly declined, and the stand-up segment in the middle of Seinfeld episodes was cut.
Much publicity followed the controversial episode, " The Contest", an Emmy Award-winning episode written by co-creator Larry David, whose subject matter was considered inappropriate for primetime network television. To circumvent this taboo, the word " masturbation" was never used in the script itself, instead substituted by a variety of oblique references. Midway through that season, Seinfeld was moved from its original 9:00 p.m. time slot on Wednesdays to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, following Cheers again, which gave the show even more popularity. The move was also sparked by ratings, as Tim Allen's sitcom Home Improvement on ABC had aired at the same time and Improvement kept beating Seinfeld in the ratings. NBC moved the series after Ted Danson had announced the end of Cheers and Seinfeld quickly surpassed the ratings of the 9:00 p.m. Cheers reruns that spring. The show won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1993, beating out its family-oriented and time-slot competitor Home Improvement, which was only in its second season on fellow network ABC.
Season five was an even bigger ratings-hit, as it consisted of many popular episodes such as " The Puffy Shirt" in which Jerry feels embarrassed wearing the "pirate" shirt on The Today Show, " The Non-Fat Yogurt" featuring Rudy Giuliani who was the Republican mayor of New York at the time, and " The Opposite" in which George does the opposite of his instincts that lands him in the "New York Yankees" and Elaine leaves "Pendant Publishing" because of the comedy of errors that led to its demise. Another story arc has George returning to live with his parents. In the midst of the story arc, Kramer creates and promotes his coffee table book. The show was again nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, but lost to the Cheers spin-off Frasier, which was only in its first season. Seinfeld was nominated for the same award every year for the rest of its run but always lost to Frasier, which went on to win a record 39 Emmy Awards.
With season six, Andy Ackerman replaced Tom Cherones as the director of the show. The series remained well-regarded and produced some of its most famous episodes, such as " The Beard" in which Jerry is put through a lie detector test, to make him claim that he did watch Melrose Place, " The Switch", in which Kramer's mother, Babs, revealed that his first name is Cosmo and " The Understudy" in which Elaine meets J. Peterman for the first time. Story arcs used in this season were Elaine working as a personal assistant to her eccentric boss Justin Pitt, as well as George's parents' temporary separation. This was also the first season in which Seinfeld reached Number 1 in the Nielsen Ratings. Jerry's stand-up act further declined with the end stand-up segment no longer in use as the storylines for all four characters got more dense.
In season seven, a story arc involved George getting engaged to his former girlfriend, Susan Ross, after the unsuccessful pilot Jerry. He spends most of the season regretting the engagement and trying to get out of it. Along with the regular half hour episodes, two notable one-hour episodes include " The Cadillac" in which George plans to date an award winning actress Marisa Tomei and " The Bottle Deposit" with Elaine and Sue Ellen participating in a bidding war to buy JFK's golf clubs in an auction.
Following the anthrax scare of 2001, the episode, " The Invitations" was temporarily not shown in syndication due to the concern that it might seem objectionable and insensitive to portray Susan's death due to licking toxic envelopes.
The show's ratings were still going very strong in its final two seasons (8 and 9). Larry David left at the end of season seven (although he continued to voice Steinbrenner), so Seinfeld assumed David's duties as showrunner, and, under the direction of a new writing staff, Seinfeld became a more fast-paced show. The show no longer contained extracts of Jerry performing stand-up comedy (Jerry no longer has time and energy for this with his new roles), and storylines occasionally delved into fantasy and broad humor. For example, in the episode titled " The Bizarro Jerry", Elaine is torn between exact opposites of her friends and Jerry dates a woman who has the now-famed "man hands". Some notable episodes from season eight include " The Little Kicks" showing Elaine's horrible dancing, and " The Chicken Roaster" which depicts the Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurant which opened during that time. A story arc in this season involves Peterman going to Burma in " The Foundation" until he recovered from a nervous breakdown in " The Money", followed by Elaine writing Peterman's biography in " The Van Buren Boys" which leads to Kramer's parody of Kenny Kramer's Reality Tour seen in " The Muffin Tops".
The final season included episodes such as " The Merv Griffin Show" in which Kramer converts his apartment into a talk-show studio and plays the character of talk-show host, " The Betrayal" that follows in reverse chronology order of what happened to Sue Ellen's wedding in India, and " The Frogger", in which George pushes a Frogger machine across the street. The last season included a story arc in which Elaine has an on/off relationship with David Puddy. Despite the enormous popularity and willingness from the rest of the cast to return for a tenth season, Seinfeld decided he should end the show after season nine in an effort to maintain quality and "go out on top". NBC offered him $110 million but he declined the offer.
A major controversy caused in this final season was the accidental burning of a Puerto Rican flag by Kramer in " The Puerto Rican Day". This scene caused a furor amongst Puerto Ricans, and as a result, NBC showed this episode only once.
After nine years on the air, NBC and Jerry Seinfeld announced on December 25, 1997, that the series would end production the following spring in 1998. The announcement made the front page of all the major New York newspapers, including the New York Times. Jerry Seinfeld was even featured on the cover of Time magazine's first issue of 1998. The series ended with a 75-minute episode (cut down to 60 minutes in syndication, in two parts) written by co-creator and former executive producer Larry David, which aired on May 14, 1998. Before the finale, a 45-minute retrospective clip show, " The Chronicle", was aired. The retrospective was expanded to sixty minutes after its original airing and aired once more on NBC as an hour-long episode, which has since aired in syndication.
It was also the first episode since the finale of season seven, " The Invitations", to feature opening and closing stand-up comedy acts by Jerry Seinfeld. The finale was filmed in front of an audience of NBC executives and additional friends of the show. The press and the public were shut out of the shoot for the sake of keeping its plot secret, and all those who attended the shoot of the final episode signed written "vows of silence." The secrecy only seemed to increase speculation on how the series would end. The producers of the show tweaked the media about the hype, spreading a false rumor about Newman ending up in the hospital and Jerry and Elaine sitting in a chapel, presumably to marry.
The episode enjoyed a huge audience, estimated at 76 million viewers (58 percent of all viewers that night) making it the third most watched finale in television history, behind M*A*S*H and Cheers. However, the finale received mixed reviews from both critics and fans of the show. The actual finale poked fun at the many rumors that were circulating, seeming to move into several supposed plots before settling on its true storyline—a lengthy trial in which Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are prosecuted for violating a " Good Samaritan law" and are sentenced to jail.
According to Forbes magazine, Jerry Seinfeld's annual earning from the show in 1998 was US$267 million. He refused NBC's offer of $5 million per episode, or more than $100 million total, to continue the show into a tenth season. Seinfeld told the network that he was not married and had no children, and wished to focus on his personal life. As reported in July 2007, he was the second-highest earner in the television industry, earning at the time $60 million a year. The show itself became the first television series to command more than $1 million a minute for advertising–a mark previously attained only by the Super Bowl. According to Barry Meyer, chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Seinfeld has made $2.7 billion through June 2010.
Awards and nominations
Seinfeld has received awards and nominations in various categories throughout the mid-1990s. TV Guide has named it the greatest show of all time. It was awarded the Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy Series" in 1993, Golden Globe Award for "Best TV-Series (Comedy)" in 1994 and Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Apart from these, the show was also nominated for an Emmy award from 1992 to 1998 for "Outstanding Comedy series", Golden Globe award from 1994 to 1998 for "Best TV-Series (Comedy)", and Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" from 1995 to 1998.
|1 (1990)||Thursday at 9 30 pm|
|2 (1991)||Wednesday at 9:30 pm (January 23, 1991 - February 13, 1991, June 26, 1991)
Thursday at 9:30 pm (April 5, 1991 - May 23, 1991)
|3 (1991–1992)||Wednesday at 9:30 pm (September 18, 1991 - December 4, 1991, January 29, 1992)
Wednesday at 9:00 pm (December 11, 1991 - January 15, 1992, February 5, 1992 - May 6, 1992)
|4 (1992–1993)||Wednesday at 9:00 pm (August 12, 1992 - January 27, 1993)
Thursday at 9:30 pm (February 4, 1993 - May 13, 1993)
Thursday at 8:00 pm (May 20, 1993)
|5 (1993–1994)||Thursday at 9:00 pm|
|9 (1997–1998)||Thursday at 9:00 pm (September 25, 1997 - May 7, 1998)
Thursday at 8:00 pm (May 14, 1998)
|Season||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Season
|1||July 5, 1989||June 21, 1990||1989–90||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2||January 23, 1991||June 26, 1991||1991||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3||September 18, 1991||May 6, 1992||1991–92||#42||12.31|
|4||August 12, 1992||May 20, 1993||1992–93||#25||12.75||13.7|
|5||September 16, 1993||May 19, 1994||1993–94||#3||18.27||19.6|
|6||September 22, 1994||May 18, 1995||1994–95||#1||19.65||20.6|
|7||September 21, 1995||May 16, 1996||1995–96||#2||20.33||21.2|
|8||September 19, 1996||May 15, 1997||1996–97||#2||19.89||20.5|
|9||September 25, 1997||May 14, 1998||1997–98||#1||21.27||21.7|
Saturday Night Live
On an episode of Saturday Night Live that Jerry Seinfeld hosted on October 2, 1999, a sketch was produced that showed what life was like for Jerry behind bars after being transferred to the fictional prison portrayed on the HBO series Oz. The roughly four-minute sketch shows the opening credits for the HBO series with clips of Jerry mixed in doing various activities around the prison. The sketch continues and mixes in different story lines from both Oz and Seinfeld and has Jerry interacting with various characters from the show in his typical quick-witted, sarcastic way. The sketch however does not include any characters from Seinfeld other then Jerry.
The Seinfeld "curse"
Louis-Dreyfus, Alexander and Richards have each attempted to launch new sitcoms as title-role characters. Despite acclaim and even some respectable ratings, almost every show was canceled quickly, usually within the first season. This gave rise to the term Seinfeld curse: the failure of a sitcom starring one of the three, despite the conventional wisdom that each person's Seinfeld popularity should almost guarantee a strong, built-in audience for the actor's new show. Shows specifically cited regarding the Seinfeld curse are Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Watching Ellie, Jason Alexander's Bob Patterson and Listen Up!, and Michael Richards' The Michael Richards Show. Larry David once said of the curse, "It's so completely idiotic. It's very hard to have a successful sitcom."
This phenomenon was mentioned throughout the second season of Larry David's HBO program Curb Your Enthusiasm. However, the Emmy award-winning success of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine led many to believe that she had broken the curse. In her acceptance speech, Louis-Dreyfus held up her award and exclaimed, "I'm not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby!" The show was on the air for five seasons starting March 13, 2006 before its cancellation on May 18, 2010; the series produced enough episodes to air in reruns in syndication for the next several years, something that the other shows did not achieve. The Saturday Night Live episode guest-hosted by Louis-Dreyfus made several references to the curse. Dreyfus went on to the 2012 HBO comedy series Veep. She won another Emmy for her role as the Vice President of the United States.
On the November 1, 2007 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld mentioned the possibility of shooting one last scene, after they leave prison. He mentioned he is far too busy to do it now, but did not announce what the scene would entail as it is still a possibility they will do it. In commentary from the final season DVD, Jerry Seinfeld outlines that he and Jason Alexander spoke about this scene being in Monk's Cafe, with George saying "That was brutal" in reference to the foursome's stint in jail.
Curb Your Enthusiasm 2009 reunion
Early in March 2009, it was announced that the Seinfeld cast would reunite for Curb Your Enthusiasm 's season seven. The entire cast first appeared in the third episode of the season, all playing themselves. The season-long story is that Larry David tries to initiate a Seinfeld reunion show as a ploy to get his ex-wife, Cheryl, back. Along with the four main characters, some of Seinfeld's supporting actors such as Wayne Knight, Estelle Harris and Steve Hytner also appeared in the ninth episode at a table read for the reunion show. Though much of the dialogue in Curb Your Enthusiasm is improvised, the plot was scripted, and the Seinfeld special that aired within the show was scripted and directed by Seinfeld regular Andy Ackerman, making this the first time since Seinfeld went off the air that the central cast appeared together in a scripted show.
A recurring feature of Seinfeld was its use of specific products, especially candy, as plot points. These might be a central feature of a plot (e.g. Junior Mints, Twix, Jujyfruits, bite size Three Musketeers, Snickers, Nestlé Chunky, Oh Henry! and PEZ), or an association of a candy with a guest character (e.g. Oh Henry! bars), or simply a conversational aside (e.g. Chuckles, Clark Bar, Twinkies). A large number of non-candy products were also featured throughout the series.
The show's creators claim that they were not engaging in a product placement strategy for commercial gain. One of the motivations for the use of real-world products, quite unrelated to commercial considerations, is the comedy value of funny-sounding phrases and words. "I knew I wanted Kramer to think of watching the operation like going to see a movie", explained Seinfeld writer/producer Andy Robin in an interview published in the Hollywood Reporter. "At first, I thought maybe a piece of popcorn falls into the patient. I ran that by my brother, and he said, 'No, Junior Mints are just funnier.'"
Many advertisers capitalized on the popularity of Seinfeld. American Express created a webisode in which Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman (voiced by Patrick Warburton, who played the role of David Puddy) starred in its commercial. The makers of the Today Sponge created the "Spongeworthy" game, on their website, inspired by the episode " The Sponge". Another advertisement featured Jason Alexander in a Chrysler commercial. In this, Alexander behaves much like his character George, and his relationship with Lee Iacocca plays on his George's relationship with Steinbrenner. Similarly, Michael Richards was the focus of a series of advertisements for Vodafone which ran in Australia where he dressed and behaved exactly like Kramer, including the trademark bumbling pratfalls.
In addition, the show occassionally incorporated fictional products such as a Scotch brand called "Hennigan's" (a portmanteau of " Hennessy" and " Brannigans") and a canned meat product called "Beef-a-reeno" (a parody of " Beef-a-roni").
Seinfeld in HD
There are two high-definition versions of Seinfeld. The first is that of the network television (unsyndicated) versions in the original aspect ratio of 4:3 that were downscaled for the DVD releases. Syndicated broadcast stations and the cable network TBS have begun airing the syndicated version of Seinfeld in HD. Unlike the version used for the DVD, Sony Pictures cropped out the top and bottom parts of the frame, while restoring previously cropped images on the sides, from the 35 mm film source, to use the entire 16:9 frame. The TBS airings were edited to reduce running time, cutting out certain lines—even rearranging the position of the stand-up scenes—as well as showing the credits earlier during the last scenes.
Elizabeth Magnotta and Alexandra Strohl analyze the success of Seinfeld with recourse to the incongruity theory of humor: "The Incongruity Theory claims that humor is created out of a violation of an expectation. For humor to result from this unexpected result, the event must have an appropriate emotional climate, comprised of the setting, characters, prior discourse, relationships of the characters, and the topic." Specifically, Magnotta and Strohl focus on The Marine Biologist, in which George becomes embroiled in yet another lie, and on The Red Dot in which George tries to save a few dollars at Elaine's expense by giving her a marked-down cashmere sweater.
David P. Pierson treats Seinfeld as a comedy of manners: "[T]he popular TV sitcom can best be associated with the modern comedy of manners dramatic genre. ... These dramas are distinguished by their emphasis on a strong sense of style, deportment, and a witty repartee that is used to conceal the raw emotions which lie just beneath the surfaces of the dramatic lives of its characters."
Nod Miller, of the University of East London, has discussed the self-referential qualities of the show:
Seinfeld is suffused with postmodern themes. To begin with, the boundary between reality and fiction is frequently blurred: this is illustrated in the central device of having Jerry Seinfeld play the character Jerry Seinfeld. In the show's fourth season, several episodes revolved around the narrative of Jerry and George (whose character is co-creator Larry David's alter ego) pitching 'a show about nothing' based on the everyday life of a stand-up comedian to NBC. The reaction of the fictional NBC executives, by all accounts, mirrored the initial responses of those who eventually commissioned Seinfeld. The fourth season ends with 'The Pilot', an episode focusing on the casting, taping and screening of the show-within-the-show, Jerry. This episode also illustrates neatly the self-referential quality which is one of Seinfeld's hallmarks. The series finale was so replete with references to earlier shows as to render it largely incomprehensible to those not already well-versed in the personae and preoccupations of the Seinfeld universe.
William Irwin has edited an anthology of scholarly essays on philosophy in Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing. Some entries include "The Jerry Problem and the Socratic Problem," "George's Failed Zest for Happiness: An Aristotelian Analysis," "Elaine's Moral Character," "Kramer the 'Seducer'," "Making Something Out of Nothing: Seinfeld, Sophistry and the Tao," "Seinfeld, Subjectivity, and Sartre," "Mr. Peterman, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Me," and "Minimally Decent Samaritans and Uncommon Law."