As you surely know, Seinfeld is now available to stream on Hulu, and with greater access comes a deeper appreciation for the legendary “show about nothing.” Particularly the early episodes, which some have discounted due to the fact that the show struggled to find its footing initially. But while the characters aren’t as fully developed and the conversational jazz of a Seinfeld episode is completely different in these episodes — everyone seems a little looser while the humor seems less densely packed — there is still ample value beyond mere curiosity. Which is something that these moments demonstrate.
“Be a come with guy!” – Jerry
While shared vacations, ball games, concerts, and other events stand out upon reflection, it’s the mundane adventures when one friend or the other plays the role of “come with guy” that matter most when you have a completely co-dependent relationship, as Jerry and George have. Here, Jerry is begging George to go with him to a laundromat in the pilot episode. And though he balks initially, what does he have to do that’s better than waste time with his friend while trading observations about life, love, and the impossibility of over-drying or over-wetting an article of clothing?
“You got any meat?” – Kramer
Kramer’s always been a moocher, but he seems positively feral in the pilot episode. And when Jerry comments that he hasn’t left the apartment in years, it’s really easy to believe him.
“Why even give her an option?!” – Kramer
Not just a meat foraging shut-in, but also a creep who suggests that Jerry limit a visiting female friend’s sleep options. Is it all that surprising when George seems put off by even a moment of one-on-one conversation with Kramer?
“In these matters, you never do what your instincts tell you. You always, always, do the opposite.” – George
Jerry calls George out for the hypocrisy of his wisdom, but George gets the last laugh (or, a laugh) when he eventually follows his own advice to moderate success.
The Seinfeld phone flip
Not a quote, just an awesome way to answer a phone that has been rendered useless by the rectangle that you’re probably reading this article on right now.
Art Corvelay… Vandelay
Kramer was originally Kessler and, for a brief moment, George’s alter-ego was named Art Corvelay. No idea why George went with the much more traveled sounding Vandelay, but let’s all take a moment to dream about how Art’s life would have been different with a different name.
“I spent my money on the Klapko D-29. It’s the most impenetrable lock on the market today. It has only one design flaw… the door, must be closed!” – Jerry
After Jerry’s apartment gets cleaned out, he decides to pursue a new apartment and he gets a little snippy at an apologetic and at-fault Kramer. Which is interesting, because if Jerry took the time to tally up all of the goods that Kramer has picked up off of him over the years, he’ a far more serious toast.
“I was 10! I would have been friends with Stalin if he had a ping pong table.” – Jerry
There is no disputing Jerry’s logic — when you are a child, concerns about a new friend’s annoyance trajectory don’t factor in when they have cool stuff you can play with. But while it makes sense, it’s also the gateway to an aborted escape from the friend-clutches of a weepy-SOB like the one pictured above. Someone who will be rude to waiters and insert themselves into all future NBA viewing plans.
“You shrunk it. You know you shrunk it. Just tell me you shrunk it.” – Jerry
Jerry doesn’t want his money back, he merely wants justice and, “an admission of guilt” from a cleaner who left him with a miniaturized tee shirt. This is one of the many times that Jerry righted a common wrong. Just like when he told that telemarketer that he’d call him back at home. #Hero