Karl Puschmann is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

What's the deal with Seinfeld? His Top 5 Moments

It's the news that's bigger than a big salad. For the first time, ever, Jerry Seinfeld will perform in New Zealand. With this exciting news in mind let's look at Seinfeld's Top 5 moments, baby!

Comedian (the movie)

In 1998's stand-up tour I'm Telling You for the Last Time, Seinfeld retired all the material he'd painstakingly crafted over many years.

Comedian, made in 2002, follows Seinfeld as he begins his comedy comeback. It's an amazingly revelatory doco that shows the usually unflappable Seinfeld sweating over writing just five minutes of material and getting nervous before performing at small dive venues.

Where he bombs. Badly.

Through adding, tweaking, refining, agonising, then tweaking again he transforms his nervy five minutes into a slick, confident hour of all new stand-up material.

It's a fascinating journey showing the craft and perfectionism Seinfeld dedicates to his comedy. Little wonder Rolling Stone headlined a live review this year with: "Seinfeld kills it".

Curb Your Enthusiasm

This may be his pal - and Seinfeld co-creator - Larry David's show but Curb's seventh season is pure Seinfeld, baby!

The season arc has the fictional David staging a Seinfeld reunion special in a last-ditch attempt to win back his estranged wife.

This means viewers get an actual Seinfeld reunion as Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards all star, playing both their famous characters and fictionalised versions of themselves.

Jerry Seinfeld returns to the stand-up stage to introduce a retrospective of Seinfeld, one of the most popular sitcoms in the 1990.
Jerry Seinfeld returns to the stand-up stage to introduce a retrospective of Seinfeld, one of the most popular sitcoms in the 1990.

From table read to rehearsal to full production, all the pieces of a final bonus Seinfeld episode play out over the season. It's a brilliantly inventive display of meta-comedy mastery and a real joy seeing the gang all back together.

Obama

Seinfeld launched the seventh season of his popular web series with something a little different, a little bigger...

The webisode saw Seinfeld rolling up to the White House in a 1963 Corvette Stingray to take President Barack Obama out for coffee. A request politely declined. But not by the Pres...

Instead, a burly security guard tells the pair they aren't going nowhere, so instead they retreat to the White House cafeteria.

It's an incredibly funny episode with Obama pulling a burn-out in the 'vette, discussing his underwear preferences, and going full Seinfeld when ruminating on his morning routine of shave-then-work out, a system that leaves Seinfeld visibly perplexed...

Yada-Yada-Yada

Without Seinfeld our language would be very different. If a show's lucky it might slip a catchphrase into the lexicon, Mr T's famous, "I pity the fool," or our own Nurse Burton's, "You're not in Guatemala now Dr. Ropata," spring to mind.

Seinfeld, however, dropped word bombs all over the culture.

Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards.
Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards.

Re-gifter, anti-dentite, baldist, close-talker, high talker, double dipper, I don't wanna be a pirate! I'm back, baby!, No soup for you! I can't spare a square, Master of your domain, in the vault, sponge-worthy, not that there's anything wrong with that, the jerk store called, and, of course, yada-yada-yada...

They're all gold, Jerry, gold! But really, the list is as long as there are episodes. Hell, the show even got three different memes going with the simple greeting "Hello".

The show's impact on language was so tremendous it got its own catchphrase; Seinfeldian.

Nothing

For a show famously about nothing there was a lot going on. Seinfeld broke so many rules of television, trailblazing its own utterly bizarre and unique path that it's incredible it got as popular as it did. And, lest we remind you, it remains the biggest sitcom of all time.

Jerry Seinfeld's web series sees him take a comedian out for coffee each week.
Jerry Seinfeld's web series sees him take a comedian out for coffee each week.

It mixed observations on minutiae with cantankerous nitpicking, disguised low-brow humour behind dexterous word play and even went so far as to have a serial killer plotline play out against the backdrop of the opera Pagliacci.

But perhaps the greatest nothing it gave us was the holiday tradition of Festivus, an anti-celebration which sees family gather around an unadorned aluminum pole for the "Airing of Grievances", followed after dinner with combative "Feats of Strength".

It's anti-commercial spirit and curmudgeonly attitude have been embraced around the world, making its motto "A Festivus for the rest of us" become a true "Festivus miracle".

- NZ Herald

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