July 6, 2019

I forgot to take note of the 30-year anniversary of the premiere of "Seinfeld."

That was yesterday.

I see my son John blogged the occasion by identifying his 20 favorite Seinfeld episodes. His #1 is the one I've always thought of as my favorite.

He cross-posted at Facebook here, where he says (responding to people who were surprised "The Contest" didn't make his top 10):
I wrote the list after watching each episode and thinking about the whole thing, including the weak points, which every episode has. The weakness of “The Contest” is it’s all focused on the same theme for all 4 characters, which can get boring. I mean, is Elaine crushing on John F. Kennedy Jr. one of the best things in the series? I don’t think so. While it’s one of the best episodes, I think there are at least 10 that are most consistently great overall (not just the most memorable moments)....

Also, it’s my personal reaction to the episodes, and some of them like “The Contest” have gotten a little less exciting just because they’re so famous. Some of the more obscure or off-beat ones are especially fun to watch precisely because they’re *not* quoted all the time.
So... a preference for the off-beat over the beat off.

59 comments:

Limited blogger said...

It was Seinfeld bobble-head day at Citi Field yesterday.

Jerry threw out first pitch. He threw a strike and was very excited.

Later he came into the booth for a couple of innings and it was quite funny.

Keith Hernandez is a color guy for TV, so he and Jerry jousted a little.

Jerry looks great, and is still really funny.

He said the first episode was a 'burn it' episode for NBC, not thinking the show would be picked up. The rest is history.

Curious George said...

George Answering Machine
Kenny Rogers Chicken

Limited blogger said...

Forgot to mention, if you didn't know. Jerry is a life long ardent Mets fan.

Curious George said...

Chinese Restaurant
Marine Biologist

dbzdak said...

The Contest is #13 on the list linked to. Did John change his mind?

Jeff Weimer said...

The Marine Biologist has the greatest brick-joke in the history of television.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Contest is #13 on the list linked to. Did John change his mind?"

Sorry, the criticism was that "The Contest" was not in the top 10.

It is in the top 20. My mistake. Corrected.

Birkel said...

Delores!!!

Mark said...

The Contest is infantile and moronic. What does it say about those who think it should be number one, or those that other people think a person should have as number one?

tcrosse said...

The two greatest single-episode characters were the mohel in "The Bris" and Lt. Bookman in "The Library".

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

One of my fav episodes is the one where Kramer has use of his pal's handsome cab, and he feeds the horse beef-a-reno, and the horse ends up with powerful gas.
Meanwhile, George and his weird family have dinner with the fiance's family, sex chicken talk and bread. no one serves the bread. George is so embarrassed he goes to great lengths to return the bread.

My #1 ep.

Saint Croix said...

I love "The Stall." So funny.

Can't believe he left off "The Parking Garage." That was a brilliant one.

Also I love "The Note," both because of the pure homophobia and also Joe Dimaggio.

"It moved, Jerry!"

But the best was Kramer trying to distract Joe Dimaggio while he was eating. And he started yawping and slapping the counter.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The Contest was amazing when it first aired. No one had ever broached the subject of masturbation on network television. After the initial; "OMG! Did you see what they did on Seinfeld last night!", it comes across as a well done, but fairly mediocre episode. Personally, I think 13 on the list is too high.

Saint Croix said...

he's so focused

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Who is having sex with the hen?

Yancey Ward said...

For me, "The Opposite" is the best episode.

Yancey Ward said...

I also was surprised "The Abstinence" and "The Chicken Roaster" didn't make the list.

Swede said...

I'M OUT!

stever said...

I agree about #1 on the list GEORGE: You can't break up with me. I've got hand.

NOEL: And you're going to need it.

Birches said...

I love The Pool Guy. It would have made my top twenty.

Birches said...

I like both of those too Yancey.

mrams said...

Merv Griffin episode.
Where are the cameras?

Crimso said...

Jerry : How is it a write off ?
Kramer : They just write it off .
Jerry : Write it off what ?
Kramer : Jerry all these big companies they write off everything
Jerry : You don't even know what a write off is .
Kramer : Do you ?
Jerry : No . I don't .
Kramer : But they do and they are the ones writing it off .

Sam L. said...

I never found Seinfeld funny.

Unknown said...

Peak George:

I'm going to get right to the point. It has come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office. Is that correct?

Who said that?

She did.

Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.

Rory said...

I think the most underrated episode is "The Heart Attack." The 13th episode overall, it's the first time they embrace broader humor instead of shooting for the drier side of Woody Allen.

ThunderChick said...

I love "The Airport" episode from season 4! Excellent distinction between 1st class and coach. Seinfeld is one of my all time favorite tv series - I still watch the reruns and even got my teenage boys to become fans of the show.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Elaine's epic troll-face after she delivers the classic line

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghCTZF61ey0

Robert Cook said...

"The two greatest single-episode characters were the mohel in 'The Bris' and Lt. Bookman in 'The Library'."

Yes!

grimson said...

I agree with JAC that season 3 was the best, but I would have included "The Parking Garage" among the best episodes, maybe in place of "The Limo." There isn't a weak point in "The Parking Garage," but as excellent as the "The Limo" is when with George and Jerry, it can't overcome the dud-iness of the Kramer and Elaine part.

Bilwick said...

Gee, usually when there's a SEINFELD thread on a blog, at least one person checks in with a superior-souding "I never watched it" or "I watched it once. Meh." So far, no.

Anyway, although I realize that there are fans who prefer th early episodes, because they're truer to the original "show about nothing" concept, I much prefer the later episodes. (And by "later" I'm thinking of the episodes after Kramer returns from his brief Hollywood sojourn.) That said, I do enjoy the very first episode, when it was "The Seinfeld Chronicles."

dreams said...

Yeah, but what about that strike right over the plate when he threw out the first pitch at the baseball game. Not bad for a 65 year old.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

The Contest was a single premise that sustained dozens of punch lines over an entire episode. One of the top 3 episodes of episodic comedy in episodic comedy history.

When I first watched it was hard for me to take in air for 25 minutes

rcocean said...

I'm glad he included "The Library". Philip Baker Hall is one of my favorite actors.

Nichevo said...

Bilwick said...
Gee, usually when there's a SEINFELD thread on a blog, at least one person checks in with a superior-souding "I never watched it" or "I watched it once. Meh." So far, no.


We were leaving you alone. Happy now? In fairness, though it sounds like an essentially malign concept, I will probably find it funnier as I get older.

rcocean said...

But he left off the "The jacket" which would be in my Top 20. Love Lawrence Tierney as Elaine's father. Seems he was supposed to be a recurring character, but he was a little too crazy - even for people like Larry David.

Beasts of England said...

Seinfeld is one of three TV series I own on DVD. I'll go months without viewing an episode, but at least one a year I'll watch dozens of episodes over a single week.

On a personal note, I was recently listening to my Mom tell stories from her youth. She mentioned that when she was a teenager a local jewelry store hired her to model their rings for newspaper ads - she was a hand model!! Sadly she hadn't seen that episode, but she was familiar with the series. I explained the plot and she thought it was clever - especially the iron incident. :)

Doug said...

The Roommate Switch is my personal favorite, a nice no pictures.d to car

Unknown said...

The Opera and the Airport are my two favorite from the best season (4)

James K said...

I don’t know all the episode titles. My favorites include the one with the punchline “It all evens out!”; the one where Jerry is mortified that the cute reporter thinks he’s gay (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”); and the one where Kramer is pressured by to wear the AIDS ribbon. Also the one where George lies to Susan’s parents about having a house in the Hamptons. And unlike many, I thought the finale was brilliant.

Temujin said...

There's a bagful of phrases and descriptors that came out of Seinfeld and became part of everyday speak around America. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Close talker.
High talker.
Breathtaking (as in, "That baby is just breathtaking".)
Shrinkage (I don't know how you walk around with those things.)
Master of your domain.
Man Hands.
Sponge-worthy.

And on and on. One could make up a huge list. No soup for you!

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Scott Patton said...

From "The Soup Nazi", one of the funniest things I've ever seen...
"Do I know you"?

Right up there with, "You just need a nose job".

traditionalguy said...

I vote for everything Elaine is in. The re-runs are the funniest thing on TV today. That says a lot.

Rory said...

Susan: I just want you to know that I love your son very much.
Mrs. Costanza: You do?
Susan: Yes.
Mrs. C: Really?
Susan: Yes.
Mrs. C: May I ask why?

n.n said...

Serenity now, insanity later.

Happy Festivus!

Josephbleau said...

The main thing that the show convinced me of is that there can be no guy girl platonic friendships, you will get it on or break up. Or was that a Meg Ryan movie?

Josephbleau said...

Goose you big stud! Take me to bed or loose me forever.

Josephbleau said...

Or alternately , in Alien II, " Who do I have to Fu** to get some answers around here!"

Josephbleau said...

So... a preference for the off-beat over the beat off.

Ann,you sly devil you.

Todd Roberson said...

My favorite is the episode where George is simultaneously having a deep meaningful relationship with a woman he can't stand and a torrid love affair with a woman who won't have sex with him.



Gold!

Todd Roberson said...

It's like South Park. Whenever Randy Marsh is the focus you're gonna shitting yourself laughing. Same applies to George on Seinfeld.

Unknown said...

Cosmo Kramer:
I was returning some pants. I took a short cut in a subway tunnel and fell in some mud, ruining my pants. The very pants I was returning.

Elaine:
I don't understand - you were wearing the pants you were returning?

Cosmo Kramer:
Well, I guess I was.

Elaine:
What were you going to wear home?

Cosmo Kramer:
Elaine, are you listening? I never even got there.

Black Bellamy said...

I used to like the show and was a fan, but then I realized that the characters were thoroughly despicable. They constantly lie to each other, scheme, and almost always chose the most selfish option. They harm pretty much every one they come in contact with. I mean yeah, sometimes it's pretty funny, but in the end I have to find some redeeming qualities to continue to be involved in a show but these guys had zero. By the time the finale rolled around I was like oh really, they are bad people? Who would have known!

James K said...

then I realized that the characters were thoroughly despicable. They constantly lie to each other, scheme, and almost always chose the most selfish option.

That was kind of the point. And why the finale kind of capped it off--they got their punishment in the end.

Wince said...

“Feels like an Arby’s night.”

Skippy Tisdale said...

What? No love for Keith Hernandez?

Rory said...

"Santa is not a commie."