Jerry Seinfeld

“I am so busy doing nothing… that the idea of doing anything, which as you know, always leads to something, cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.”

One of my favorite comedies during the 1990s had to be Seinfeld. Watching the reruns in syndication today, I have an even greater appreciation for this “show about nothing,” even if Jerry Seinfeld isn’t exactly the greatest actor. The “observation” style humor really appealed to me then and it still appeals to me now. Silly remarks — like how he couldn’t see how a helmet could save a skydiver should an accident befall him and how that skydiver may as well be wearing a bonnet — were decidedly silly, but that’s almost what was so smart about the show.

It is from Seinfeld that we get all sorts of iconic pop culture references. People who watched the show will immediately know what you mean when you talk about the Elaine dance, the chocolate babka or shrinkage. We all know about the feats of strength and the airing of grievances for Festivus. And how George Costanza came up with the “Human Fund” to get out of giving Christmas presents.

And yes, it may have absolutely been a show about nothing, but that nothing was definitely worth something. If nothing else, it demonstrated to us how the mundane daily aspects of our lives could be entertaining, interesting and wortwhile, even if they may ultimately be lacking in any sort of real meaning. We are reminded to enjoy the ride, even if it might mean trying to return a bus full of cans and bottles to a neighboring state or visiting someone’s “breathtaking” baby. Sometimes, doing nothing isn’t all that bad.

“Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.”

Life can be serious business. We can get burdened with bills and heartbroken with relationships, but Seinfeld reminds us to take these challenges in stride with a little sense of humor… particularly if you have a girlfriend whose name rhymes with a female body part.

What is the deal with that?

Photo by Alan Light