Updated April 8, 2023
It’s been a marathon that goes back to 2007, when an idea struck me like a piece of grapefruit to the eye (pulp can fly, baby!). After years of coping with life’s complexities by applying a choice Seinfeld quote to the person(s) or the moment or both–and finding people laughing along with me–I realized, I need to write some of this stuff down.
How to use certain lines, that is, in a manner other than the obvious Mackinaw-peaches-to-peaches match of Seinfeld line to situation. (Like faux yelling “No soup for you!” in a Panera Bread line after a friend’s order gets botched.) Several ways to more cleverly “Seinfeld-ize” many a daily-life moment have manifested themselves over the years, the first of which is to drop a line that’s not subject-specific, but that clearly commentates on the situation.
For example, for that special someone who keeps mansplaining on whatever subject, Elaine’s classic sarcastic retort to an overweening George stands quite fine verbatim: “Tell us more, Mr. Science.” He doesn’t have to be discussing science, per se; the subject could be cars or politics or sports etc. The science of any one of those subjects (e.g., “political science”) speaks for itself. As does the middle-finger-flick of Elaine’s comment at the rather bulbous forehead of that man’s ego.
Second is to strategically substitute the subject or some other part of the syntax of the Seinfeld line to nail the moment. In the above Elaine line, for example, if the mansplainer is an athletic coach, swap out science for the sport a la, “Tell us more, Mr. Soccer.” That’s a subject switch. The syntactical switch looks like this: Say you’re at the car dealership for repairs, the auto tech walks in to render the diagnosis, and you preempt her with, “Let me guess…I need a new Johnson rod.”
The original George quote is “Yeah, you’re gonna need a new Johnson rod” (sardonically mimicking what he presumed Jerry’s auto mechanic was going to walk in and say). Adapting just the “voice,” the first-person “I (need)” instead of the second-person “you (are gonna need)” can make all the hilarious, efficacious difference. To laughter all around…even if it’s only coming from you after saying the line.
Third is to replace the Seinfeld character name with that of the person in question, in an apropos line. Elaine’s “Bravo, Vincent, bravo” becomes bravo to your bro, or your boss, or that mojumbo…oh, you get the picture.
This is the stuff that a society-enhancing blog is made of, right?
Or so I thought back in 2007 and ran with it. Circa 2013, after a good jaunt, I was ready to “throw in the towel,” because by that point I didn’t think I even had a towel anymore–and not because some Ramone the Pool Guy was looting them like booty out of the locker room for vindictive shiggles. I was looking to end on a high note but had no idea what “high” looked like.
Making the New York Times in 2015 is about as high as “high” gets in this department.
So then I had to write Seinfeld-ism the book based on this blog.
Because you have to.
Here’s to ever-loving-and-suffering friends and family, disturbing delicate geniuses everywhere, giving kudos wherever they are due, and generally, happily applying to Life every Seinfeld-ism you find worthy, necessary, to survive Life–whether from among the gems showcased here or from other treasures you yourself discover in the vast seas of the show…
(c) Dave Bounds, 2010-2023. Yes, I did my research on whether I might publish commentary on an original work like Seinfeld and call the commentary my own. It’s a fascinating read, if you’ve time to Google de minimis (meaning “trifling”), Castle Rock Entertaiment, and Seinfeld. And, yes, I’ve been waiting to squeeze de minimis into a conversation.
7 thoughts on “About”
Not as much as I do! 😉 Thanks, Judy…
Thank you. I agree: the humor of Seinfeld–and its relevance to life in general–is indeed pretty awesome. 😉
There are tons of good tv shows to choose from to say it’s the best. No matter what is said though, there is no doubt that this show ranks #1 of all of them. Yes, there are shows that are a bit older but this one still has charm. There is comedy, sex, and a little darkness, easily moving it up to the top. They just don’t make them like this nowadays.
My absolute favorite is Kramer’s- ” it’s vintage, they don’t make stuff like this anymore.”
I always have something vintage on. I use this line whenever I get a compliment. No one gets it. Sad. But you do! LOVE THIS BLOG.