January 7, 2014

"And that, to this day, so blows my mind that not only was he NOT SURPRISED that i was in this town, population 115..."

"... but that I just walked by him, he recognized me and he felt [no] need to say anything more than 'hi.' Not 'what the hell are you doing here.'"

Surrealism, in the Midwest, for Jerry Seinfeld.

22 comments:

Kelly said...

I can attest to small towns being like that. My mom married a funeral director and we moved to the small town where we moved into the funeral home my new step dad had just bought. To my amazement, people use to "tattle" on me because I didn't return their wave. This, it seemed, was bad for business. I found myself waving at complete strangers so they'd quit getting me in trouble.

Lord Ben said...

It's people from the big cities that think the most amazing thing that must happen all year long is Seinfeld stops to get gas at your town... "Celebrity from New York City and everything, we sure did finally make it big Ma!"

Everyone is famous in a small town. I go to the store and recognize everyone there practically. And everyone recognizes me. Seinfeld is no different.

Unknown said...

He was perhaps expecting the mayor to show up with the key to the city while Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn and her interpretive dance troupe entertained him with their interpretation of the figures on Grecian urns.

This is not much done these days, even in nameless, forgettable towns in flyover country.

Dale Light said...

Not just in small towns. I have an apartment in a building that used to attract LOTS of big name celebrities. We would frequently encounter them in hallways, the lobby, or in elevators. My longest conversation with an actor was when he started to get off an elevator on the wrong floor. I said "You want the next floor". He replied "Thanks". Then we went our separate ways.

bandmeeting said...

Seinfeld used to come into a certain store where I worked (I'm sure he still does) to buy Porsche magazines. He's s pretty nice guy but I'm not real sure the conversation would have been much longer had the small town dude attempted to start a conversation.

The Godfather said...

I don't get it. Instead of saying Hi Jerry the guy should have kissed his ring?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

That was hilarious.

I laughed often, but the loudest was after J.S. had stated his show wasn't about "nothing" but in fact social norms and comedy of errors, a question from out of the country asks "if you did another TV show would it be about nothing again this time?" and he replies "Yes. It would."

Very polite, kind man based on the interview and the kid with the pics from the early days of the show whose mom was boom op.

Splendid link.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I might say to the "show about nothing" label No that was just the shrinkage episode.

Rim shot.

Bob Ellison said...

I was walking in Manhattan a few years ago, and David Gregory walked by, talking to a very pretty woman. I didn't poke him in the chest and say "Wow! You're tall!"

But he was.

Robert Cook said...

"I don't get it. Instead of saying Hi Jerry the guy should have kissed his ring?"

That's not the point. Seinfeld isn't saying the guy should have done anything. He was just surprised that the guy greeted him casually as if it were normal that he would be in this small town in the middle of nowhere...as if he were a resident that the local saw and greeted everyday.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, right.

Celebrities have reason to examine their effect on non-celebrities. It must be pretty weird to walk down a small town with a face as recognizable as Seinfeld's and have someone recognize you and not make a big deal about it. Seinfeld is obviously an observer of human behavior, and he's aware of his status.

I, myself, am astounded at how many people fail to bow down in admiration every time I sip from my tea cup on the patio. There aren't lots of people going by, but even the few could be assumed to be driven to bow down.

Larry J said...

Maybe the guy knew who Seinfeld was but didn't give a damn about him or his show. Not everyone cares about celebrities.

Robert Cook said...

Such persistent and willful obtuseness.

Seinfeld's surprise has not so much to do with his celebrity or how he expects he will (or "should") be treated, or whether the people he encounters give a damn about him or his show or about celebrities in general, but with the way one would expect someone to act when encountering someone known to them in an unlikely setting.

For example: when my parents were young newlweds, my dad was in the Navy and was stationed in Delware, several states and many miles away from their small hometown in southern Indiana. One night they were in Washington D.C. and decided to go see a movie. When they approached the ticket booth, the woman inside greeted my mother by name. It turns out they had been high school classmates back in Indiana, (in a class with perhaps only a few dozen graduating students). Wow! How unlikely, right?

Inside, the theater was jammed and few seats remained available. My parents went up to the balcony and spied two seats together in the middle of a long row. They made their way to the seats and sat down. Immediately upon being seated, my father felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned and saw it was a fraternity brother of his from his hometown college (University of Evansville). Double wow!!

Another time, my retired grandparents were traveling in Egypt and they decided to take a boat tour. As they seated themselves, my grandfather heard a voice call out, "Hey, Smitty!" It was a married couple my grandparents knew from back home,(same small southern Indiana area), also in Egypt and by chance taking the same boat tour. Triple wow!!!

Now, would it have been customary or usual for my parents or grandparents to have encountered these hometown acquaintances in these unexpected and unlikely settings and taken them in stride as if they were to be expected, or would we assume that such encounters would arouse reactions of astonishment?


Seinfeld is not expressing expectations of special treatment, simply amazement that someone would have such a surprising encounter and behave as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

tim maguire said...

Wow, a thread where Robert Cook makes the most sense! (That's weird, right? Or am I just remembering things wrong?)

Somebody asked Seinfeld about the oddest place he'd been recognized. Seinfeld's answer was not quite responsive, he told about his oddest experience being recognized.

You can hate celebrities all you want, they're still celebrities. Most people are going to be surprised seeing one on the sidewalk of a small mid-western town (they don't call it fly-over country for nothing). Most people would think the reaction he got was really weird. "Hi Jerry" and that's it.

You can say, that's just the mid-western mindset. Fine (which actually it isn't--Mr. Seinfeld, maybe, but not Jerry). So what? So Seinfeld is wrong for being really surprised by that response?

Titus said...

I moved from a small town to a large city in order to not be recognized.
tits.

lorentjd said...

Robert Cook is spot on.

John Scott said...

Maybe the guy was just showing some respect for Seinfeld's privacy. Granted, I'm comparing apple and oranges here. But I own a retail shop in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Over the years I have had my share of celebrity customers. Of course I'm friendly to them, but I never acknowledge them by name for that same reason.

John Scott said...

Or you can sorta look at like running into a friend who is hobbling around in a cast. You want to show your empathy by asking what happened, but at the same time you know that the guy is probably tired of answering the same question over and over.

CatherineM said...

I am so surprised that anyone on this board would think that Seinfeld's remark about his interaction in a small town was Diva behavior. I think he genuinely appreciated it.

In comedians in cars getting coffee with Brian Regan, an older woman passed their booth and said warmly, "you look nice in that pink colored shirt," or something close to that and kept walking. He said, "thank you!" and then he and Brian looked at each other and said, "that was nice, right out of central casting."

For him it must be odd to be treated like a normal human and he appreciates it.

Brent said...

The movie "Notting Hill" explains all of this.

Brent said...

The movie "Notting Hill" explains all of this.

Robert Cook said...

"Wow, a thread where Robert Cook makes the most sense! (That's weird, right? Or am I just remembering things wrong?"

Tim...thanks, but pay attention. I make the most sense in every thread in which I comment.