November 30, 2006

People seem to be enjoying the new complexity to this Kramer character.

Sales soar on the new "Seinfeld" DVD. Still, no one could think it was a deliberate publicity stunt. No. No. Life's not that weird.


Brian Doyle said...

Certainly not a deliberate publicity stunt. Richards lost much more money from future projects than he could possibly gain (if anything) from incremental DVD sales.

But is it surprising that sales went up? You can't buy "edgy," after all.

Anonymous said...

Well, Jessie Jackson has called for a boycot of the season 7 dvds.

I am buying mine today.


Troy said...

Jesse Jackson is the gift that keeps on giving. As soon as he called for boycott, I imagine orders went up. Seinfeld would've been in such trouble that his status as near-billionaire would've been in jeopardy -- until Jackson opened his mouth. Perhaps he should give Jerry $500K for the word "hymie"?

Anonymous said...

I'm often completely out of the loop on such matters entertainment.

I remember when Seinfeld was still on the air, and was quite "important". Anyway, I watched it once to see what everybody was talking about.

I found it fascinating, and mentioned to a coworker that I found it interesting that a show had a large cast where all the characters were loathesome. I thought that was original. I couldn't come up with another example. Not unintentionally loathesome, mind you: I find most TV characters unintentionally repellent. They were all intentionally creeps.

My co-worker looked at me like I had two heads. Everyone I've ever talked to about it thinks I'm nuts.

All the characters in that sitcom were repellent. Hundreds of them. They were amusing to watch, and I still rent and watch the reruns. But the idea that any of them were "lovable" and now somehow the lustre is off one of them, is absurd to me.

Kramer's a different brand of A-hole in his stand-up act. That's it.

Joe said...

SC, you are correct. They were funny because each character was entirely self centered.
Anyone see this? The lost Seinfeld episode? quite funny.;Lost_Episodequot;_Featuring_Kramers_Racist_Statements

Jennifer said...

It's my understanding that sitcom actors don't make money off DVD sales...? In fact, I specifically remember Elaine, George and Kramer (whatever their real names are) refusing to grant interviews for the DVDs because they weren't in on the profit stream. Am I wrong?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

SippicanCottage, the amusing creep is a stock figure in comedy with roots going all the way back to at least the Greeks but definitely to the commedia dell'arte. In American humor, characters like Mutt and Jeff, Wimpy, the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Bob Hope (especially!), Sgt. Bilko- the list goes on. It seems to have faded out with the rise of Norman Lear "lesson comedy" of the 70's and 80's. Self-congratulatory pc characters and sitcoms seemed to eclipse the funny creep by replacing him with unfunny scolds like Hawkeye, Maude, Alex Riger (Taxi)... bleah. Thank God for creeps like Sam on Cheers and almost everyone on WKRP to keep the creep flag flying until the Simpsons and Seinfeld could drop the hammer, making comedy safe for the triumph of creep comedy. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Jeff- You're missing my point. Everybody was repellant. There was no "amusing creep". They were all creeps.

It was like a WW2 movie where only the NAZIs showed up, and talked among themselves.

I gathered later that I was mistaken, and people thought these characters were lovable. My bad.

LarryK said...


Yes, taken in isolation, all the Seinfeld characters were creeps to varying degrees (e.g. Jerry less than others). But they nevertheless showed tremendous loyalty and dedication to each other, going to great lengths to support each others cock-eyed schemes, giving advice on doomed relationships etc. Maybe it was just an example of misery loves company, but if there hadn't been an element of real friendship between the mostly repellant characters it wouldn't have been bearable.

bill said...

No, they were creeps. They weren't lovable, just funny. Or at least the situations the creeps were in were funny. I can't believe anyone would describe these people as lovable.

Though the series finale was hated, I thought it was perfect. They wind up in jail due to their self-centered obnoxiousness and lack of any human decency AND still refuse to learn anything about themselves. Exactly the way the show should've ended.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I didn't misunderstand. The Marx brothers were only not creepy when MGM forced them to
insert support for some lame romance subplot between nicer supporting characters. Creepy characters are popular as comedic anti-heroes. Seinfeld at it's best embodied this concept with utter ruthlessness. Larry David's slogan for the show was "No hugging, no learning"!

Some of the best humor came in episodes where the cast encountered normal people who found them morally or ethically repugnant and reacted accordingly. The characters understood their selfishness, etc and regularly discussed it. Perhaps the prime example came in the "Bizarro Jerry" episode where Elaine fell in with a group of guys who were eaxt counterparts of Jerry, George, and Kramer, except they were... nice. She found this appealling and tried to switch groups and failed when she realized that her new, normal friends found her to be as rude and self-centered as the guys she tried to ditch. She found out what Jerry already knew: "Ealine, she 's just like me. I don't want to marry me- I hate myself!"

I relate in different ways to all of these creeps, especially George, and so find them amusing. And loveable, at a distance!

Icepick said...

Maybe it was just an example of misery loves company....

That's exactly what it was, asevidenced by the Bizarro Episode that Jerry just cited. Elaine was quite willing to ditch her old friends, but simply couldn't fit in with the new ones because she was such a nasty person. "No hugging! No Learning!"

PatCA said...

This whole thing is the modern equivalent of putting someone in stocks in the public square.

Bissage said...

Lovable. It's one of those words I never use. Like "topping." If I'm in a restaurant and the waiter asks if I'd like some topping on my food, well, the answer is "no." Doesn't matter what he's talking about. If it's topping, the answer is no.

So, what's so bad about lovable? It's a word that keeps its fingers crossed behind its back. If you love someone you should say so.


JERRY: "And you are so lovable."

Lovable is a word no better than edible, though it should be held to a higher standard since everyone who is lovable should be loved but not everyone who is edible should be eaten.

Not without topping, anyway.

LoafingOaf said...

I got Season 7 because in recent months Best Buy had been selling season 1-6 at a deep discount ($19.99!)...and so now I feel obliged to get the rest! Even though Seinfeld is on TV ten times per day.

It happens to be the funniest sit-com ever. The characters are repellent and lovable at the same time. I shouldn't admit this, but I sometimes relate to George.... lol

Robert Holmgren said...

Sales of the DVD probably have more to do with Richard's rant providing a boost in awareness for the 7th season. In show business even bad publicity counts for something. Of course Jess Jackson's help isn't to be discounted.