SEINFELD: My 13 Favorite Episodes
This piece was originally published November 12th, 2012.
There is nothing like viewing a great, multi season television series by having it all compiled into one big box set.
It becomes my favorite way to view the entire series, chronologically, with an episode or three every night until I make my way through the whole thing.
For such an incredible show as Seinfeld, I passed on purchasing the single season sets, knowing that at some point all 180 episodes would be available as one huge boxed collection.
Little did I know that a couple of years ago, not only would this box finally come out, but I could purchase an exclusive version that included a fun refrigerator sleeve wrapped around the box, goofy magnets of show related items as "The Fusilli Jerry," and a beautiful hardbound tribute book.
It took awhile to crack the set open, at least a year, knowing the magnitude that getting through nine seasons would involve, but finally, last Fall and into Winter, I watched each and every episode.
From the pilot of July 5, 1989 "The Seinfeld Chronicles" all the way to 179/180 May 14, 1998's "The Finale."
For anyone who is already a Seinfeld fan, has never seen the show, or for anyone that has seen a few episodes out of order and wishes they could enjoy it more than they have, well...this is really the way Seinfeld should be appreciated.
Never in the history of television had there been such astonishing writing, intersecting of plots and characters and an amazing attention to continuity that is Seinfeld. The self proclaimed "show about nothing" is truly a show worth devouring completely.
So, in anticipation of co-creator Larry David's sort of Seinfeld reunion, which will be a part of his season seven of Curb Your Enthusiasm, here then, with a brief description of one of the main plot reasons for why I love it (note, each of these episodes have much more complex intertwining plots than I mention here), are my 13 favorite episodes.
What are yours?
1) Episode 162: "The Merv Griffin Show."
Kramer finds the sparkling, colorfully glitzed out set from the old Merv Griffin Show in a dumpster and recreates the set in his apartment, then becomes host of his own variety show using the same theme song.
Fave moment: During one of his interviews with his guests/friends who happened to stop over and are completely perplexed, Kramer stops for a "commercial break" while he quickly guzzles a Diet Coke and stuffs chips into his mouth, before exclaiming "We're back!"
2) Episode 107: "The Fusilli Jerry."
Proctology played for laughs. Kramer picks up new license plates from the DMV. He gets someone elses that read ASSMAN and assumes they must belong to a Proctologist, thereby allowing him to park in doctor's assigned parking spaces at the hospital. While driving down the road, feeling like a big shot in town, approving pedestrians are heard to shout "Yo Assman! Look at the Assman!"
Fave moment: A handwritten note is left on Kramer's windshield that reads, "Call me. thirty-six, twenty-four, forty-six. I think I may have what you're looking for." Later on an extremely pleased and winking Kramer stops by Jerry's apartment with his date, the big bottomed author of the note. Jerry is, as usual, perplexed.
3) Episode 66: "The Puffy Shirt."
Another chock full gem. Jerry inadvertently agrees to wear a "puffy shirt" designed by Kramer's girlfriend (who is a "low talker") on the Tonight Show. Meanwhile, George Costanza, in search of an occupation, accidentally bangs into a woman knocking her purse out of her hand. She exclaims "Look what you've done, you've spilled my bag!" George attempts to help her, and she notices his "Exquisite hands." She gets George work as a hand model and his life is suddenly riches, happiness and success. That is, until he intersects with the puffy shirt.
4) Episode 121: "The Rye."
George's parents, Frank and Estelle Costanza, have dinner at the home of the parents of George Costanza's fiancee. They bring a loaf of marble rye. After dinner the Costanzas are upset that the rye was never served and Frank takes it home with him. George finds out and panics wanting to curry favor with his future in laws. He enlists Jerry in hopes of sneaking a new loaf into their kitchen to make it look like it never disappeared. Jerry goes to the bakery attempting to buy the last loaf but it is bought by an elderly woman first. He offers her fifty dollars but she refuses to sell the bread.
Fave moment: Out on the sidewalk Jerry decides to just steal the marble rye. He sneaks up behind her and tries to grab the bread. While struggling with the elderly woman, she shouts for help. Jerry grabs the loaf, says "Shut up you old bag!" and escapes down the street.
5) Episode 137: "Bizarro Jerry."
Jerry is dating a beautiful woman, Jillian, with only one flaw, she has "man hands." Elaine, breaks up with her boyfriend Kevin but decides to stay friends with him and his circle of friends. Kevin, Gene and Feldman, are "Bizarro" opposite versions of Jerry, George and Kramer. This episode has many reversal Bizarro touches to it.
Fave moment: Elaine is in the middle of a sidewalk where approaching from one side are her new friends, and from the other side Jerry, George and Kramer. they surround Elaine to create a bizarre mirroring. There is an awkward exchange of introductions, Jerry says "This is really weird..." and then Elaine chooses to go along with the Bizarros. George sadly asks, "Elaine, can I come?" Elaine responds with "I'm, I'm sorry...we've already got a George."
6) Episode 150: "The Pothole."
Kramer adopts a one mile stretch of highway and decides to repaint the lines on the four lane mile into a more luxurious two laner. This causes mass confusion as cars immediately go from four lanes to two. When he is reprimanded for this he tries to repaint the lines and spills paint thinner all over the road.
Fave moment: Elaine, posing as a janitor to have Chinese food delivered to a janitor's closet on her apartment's floor, is trying to get rid of carload of trash and upon hitting the Kramer mile, starts swerving and an old Singer sewing falls into the middle of the highway. Later on, while using his post office truck to deliver crates of fish, Jerry's neighbor Newman, who is cheerfully singing along to the radio that is playing "Three Times A Lady," hits the sewing machine, drags it under the truck which causes sparks that ignite the entire truck into flames while Newman screams. Believe me, it's funny.
7) Episode 47: "The Bubble Boy."
Jerry and Elaine in one car, with George and Susan in another, are all traveling to stay at George's fiancee Susan's family lakeside vacation cabin. Enroute, Jerry meets a sad trucker with a tale of his son, Donald who has a rare immune deficiency and must live quarantined in a giant plastic bubble in their home. Jerry, at the father's pleading, agrees to go to the trucker's home to cheer up Donald. He gets lost, and meanwhile George and Susan arrive first at the bubble boy's home. The Bubble Boy is a far from sympathetic character.Fave moment: George is playing Trivial Pursuit with the rude and lecherous Donald. When George asks Donald the question "Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?" the boy correctly answers "The Moors" but a misprint on the card reads "The Moops" and George refuses to give Donald credit. A struggle results in a puncture of the bubble...
8) Episodes 35 and 36: "The Boyfriend" parts 1&2.
Jerry befriends former New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez. Jerry later feels jilted in a manner that almost seems like he was dating Hernandez when he starts to date Elaine.
Fave moment: Kramer and Newman tell a story of when they were once at a Mets game where Hernandez had lost the game on an error he made, and afterwards, while heckling him, Hernandez spat at them and managed to hit both of them with one spit. Jerry claims Hernandez is innocent and that there was a "second spitter." This is later proved true via an account of the spitting played out in a manner that resembles the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination.
9) Episode 152: "The Nap."
I love all the episodes that involve George Costanza working for owner George Steinbrenner and his New York Yankees baseball team. In this particular episode, George gets a carpenter, who has been working at Jerry's apartment making new cabinets, to do some modifications to his wooden office desk at work after he realizes that when he sneaks a nap under there he is unnoticed. The modifications include a shelf for an alarm clock. I have always been fascinated and thought it was hilarious to imagine these "modifications."
10) Episode 49: "The Opera."
An homage to Pagliacci as well as the creepiness of clowns. Elaine's boyfriend, "Crazy" Joe Davola, tells Jerry he is going to put the "kibosh" on him. Everyone is going to the opera to see Pagliacci. Joe, obviously an unstable stalker of Elaine who insists on calling her Nedda, the doomed character from the play, tries to trap her at his apartment which is filled with her photos and a shrine to her. She sprays him with Binaca and flees. Joe later becomes Pagliacci and a terrified Kramer encounters him. A classic.
11) Episode 74: "The Cigar Store Indian."
Yet another loaded episode that involves Frank Costanza's TV Guide collection; Jerry giving a wooden cigar store Indian to a horrified Native American girl that he is interested in; Kramer authoring a coffee table book about coffee tables, and a truly memorable appearance by Al Roker.
12) Episode 56: "The Shoes."
The infamous Pasta Primavera episode. Elaine accidentally gives head of NBC Russell Dalrymple the flu meanwhile Jerry and George have been pitching their tv show about nothing to NBC and decide to pay the sick Dalrymple a visit at his townhouse in order to persuade him to consider picking up the show.Fave moment: The art of poking and peeking. While waiting on the couch for Dalrymple, who left the room briefly, George stares at the breasts of his 15 year old daughter played by actress Denise Richards, not knowing that her father has returned. He catches George and says, "Get a good look Costanza?" Dalrymple is played brilliantly by Bob Balaban.
13) Episode 86: "The Opposite."
George Costanza decides that every decision he has made has been wrong and decides to operate on the theory of doing the complete opposite of whatever his instinct tells him to do. Advice that he had given to Jerry back in the very first episode. George immediately lands a beautiful girlfriend, moves out of his parents house and lands a fantastic job with the New York Yankees which begins a great series of episodes involving the inimitable character of George Steinbrenner, Yankee's team owner.
Seinfeld will always be mentioned as one—if not the greatest—of all television shows in history. The combination of continuity, connecting storylines, memorable characters and an incredible cast of not only the main actors but a huge
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