“What’s to see? A woman from Norway, a guy from Kenya, and 20,000 losers.”
July 27, 2011

(another Seinfeld-in-culture note to readers before you read on to more Seinfeld-isms below)

Jerry was referring to the New York Marathon in the above comment to George and others at a party overlooking the race, in the episode “The Apartment.” The snarky attitude toward competitive races was essentially his and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David’s attitude toward the competition in television when their show first aired: What’s to see…? They were running their own race, at their own pace.

Little did they know they’d outrun every other sitcom in its time–maybe for all time–a fact showcased in Entertainment Weekly “new classics” issue released this month in 2008. Indeed, EW showcased Seinfeld‘s timeless greatness more than once in that issue, one of which we noted here last weekEW also did a reader’s poll on the favorite TV star of the past quarter of a century.

Guess who came in first.

And guess whom he beat, in winning that distinction? A woman from daytime TV (Oprah, who came in at #3). A guy from late-night TV (Johnny Carson, at #2). And maybe 20,000 other shows–all losers by comparison–in the past 20-something years.

Any show that can do that–now that’s something to see.

“You’re a great guy. I love you, but you’re a pod.”
August 30, 2010

A back-slapping shout-out to use on those people in your life who look like human beings, act like human beings, but every time they open their mouths it becomes clearer that they’re from another planet.

Thanks to Jerry, Elaine landed the chance to rent an apartment in his building–a gesture he soon regretted when he realized she’d pop in even more. After the rent deposit turned out to be more than Elaine could afford, Jerry rejoiced…until Kramer suggested Jerry lend Elaine the money. Elaine took the offer, and Jerry looked at Kramer like he was less “K-Man” than “K-Pax”–an alien being whom Jerry wasn’t sure had come in peace.

The cosmic Kramers in your life put you in Jerry’s dilemma: these people could be phenomenally brilliant or galactically stupid, you’re not sure which; you just know you’ll never really rid your world of these lovable creatures because they are your friends. Putting up with them is part of the universal pact of friendship. So is reminding them every once in a while, as Jerry did here with Kramer, that you see through their pretense of being from planet Earth.

Indeed, if any one of these people became suddenly, consistently down to Earth, you would think they’d “been replaced”: Who are you and what have you done with _________ (insert the extra-terrestrial’s name)?

From “The Apartment”
Episode 8, Season 2
Seinfeld Volume 1, Disc 3
Timecode for the scene: 13:58

“Please, a little respect…for I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots.”
July 8, 2010

A confident confession to make when you blunder so colossally that what you really want to say of yourself, as George once did, is “People this stupid shouldn’t be allowed to live.”

George wore a wedding ring to cultivate the interest of any single woman who came near him at a party. What he reaped for it was the disinterest of every woman around him—a pathetic harvest he recounted to Jerry, leading to this line (and a melodramatic bite into a potato chip, like an actor bum-rushing the after-party hors d’oeuvres after Oscar passed him by).

George didn’t say this to just anybody; he said it to Jerry—a match of comment to audience worth remembering here. Only your friends would care to hear you make this kind of pithy-ful observation about yourself. If they are decent friends, they will listen quietly while you wallow momentarily. If they are the best kind of friend though, they will laugh.

From “The Apartment”
Episode 8, Season 2
Seinfeld Volume 1, Disc 3
Timecode for the scene: 19:10

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