TV

A Very Spongeworthy Ranking Of Elaine’s Worst Boyfriends On ‘Seinfeld’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus turns 54-years old today. That might not seem like such an exceptional idea, but did you see her at the Golden Globes? This woman looks like she’s practically immortal. The star of Veep might have lost to a newcomer this year, but she is still the reigning champion of our hearts for her amazing career that has established her as one of the funniest actresses of all-time. From her short run on Saturday Night Live to her current gig as a hilariously foul-mouthed second-in-command, JLD is awesome at whatever she does, as evidenced by her antics with the equally-lovable Bryan Cranston at last year’s Emmy ceremony.

But no matter what Dreyfus does from here on out, she will always be best known for her role as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld. To honor this hilarious, beautiful and just flat out awesome woman on her birthday, I decided to rally my team of brilliant scientists and flawless fact-checkers to reconfigure our Nobel Prize-snubbed formula that delivered a perfect ranking of Jerry’s girlfriends on Seinfeld to determine which of Elaine’s boyfriends were the biggest dorks, douchebags and dipsh*ts. Go to the kitchen and get yourselves a snack or two, because this list is a doozie.

Introducing the Shiksa Appeal Scoring System

In order to determine which of Elaine’s boyfriends and sinful lovers were the worst, my scientists had to consider a number of attributes and qualities. Among them: speaking proximity, tempers, sexual orientation, hideous jacket preferences, face-punchability, smugness, how they wear their hats, last names, smile attractiveness, smoking habits, first date penis exposure, and stance on abortion, among others. And unlike the rankings for Jerry’s girlfriends, I am not going to remove her first boyfriend, Jerry, from the equation. The following male characters, however, do not count…

Dan, “The Limo” – It wasn’t clear if there was something more to Dan and Elaine than just friendship, but her familiarity with a well-known Nazi put an end to it all.
Eduardo Corrochio, “The Good Samaritan” – He was made up. But it would have been great if she’d actually met a Spanish bullfighter at some point.
JFK Jr., “The Contest” – It’s such a shame that Jerry sent Marla crying into John-boy’s arms. He could have whisked Elaine away from all of her troubles.
Ricky, “The Cigar Store Indian” – Elaine should have had a restraining order against this weirdo.
The Rabbi, “The Postponement” – Who asks a woman to go to a timeshare in Myrtle Beach for their first date?
Bob Grossberg, “The Friar’s Club” – Bob deserves a little credit for the way he used his handicap to push all of his work off on Elaine, but he was still just a perv.
Mr. Lippman and His Son, “The Serenity Now” – What if Elaine had agreed to date Mr. Lippman? That would have been awkward when his son told everyone how he Frenched his dad’s girlfriend.
Denim Vest and the Betting Parlor Guys, “The Strike” – Creeps need love, too, but Elaine is a fickle woman with 50 more boyfriends to judge.

Those losers aside, please allow a flawless scientific process to determine the very worst of Elaine’s boyfriends…

50) Robert, “The Beard”

Being gay doesn’t lose a guy points, especially since he gave the other team a whirl and decided that he was better off not dealing with Elaine anymore. Okay, maybe that wasn’t necessarily his reason, but we all saw what kind of bullets he dodged by not sticking around for the final three seasons of the show.

49) The adoption agency guy, “The Yada Yada”

It’s not his fault that he was used for the sake of securing an adoption for Elaine’s friends. Just look at that dude. Exchanging his professional services for sexual favors is just part of the fast-paced life of New York City, but that’s clearly a guy who didn’t get many opportunities for selective placement, if you catch my hidden meaning and double entendre.

48) Keith Hernandez, “The Boyfriend”

There were some who argued that Keith Hernandez could have been on Jerry’s list as well, and I could have justified it because both he and Elaine were stupid for ending this relationship over trivial matters. If Keith Hernandez needs you to help him move a couch, you help the guy move a couch. If he wants to smoke a cigarette now and then, you let the guy smoke a cigarette. He was way better than most of the other losers that Elaine spent an episode with.

47) Fred, “The Pick”

Fred had a pretty solid reason for ending things with Elaine – how do you just miss a button like that when you’re taking photographs that you’ll be sending out to everyone you know and love? He lost a few points for dating within his office, but it couldn’t have been going on that long if he was so offended that everyone else she knows saw her nipple at the same time that he did.

46) Joel Rifkin, “The Masseuse”

Being concerned that you’re dating a man with a serial killer’s exact name is one thing, and convincing a guy that he should change his name because of that coincidence is really stretching the limits of scientific relationship boundaries. However, to take control of the matter like Elaine did and try to manipulate the naming process left Joel with a very easy decision to make. She’s lucky he didn’t kill her.

45) Darryl Nelson, “The Wizard”

Far and away the most boring boyfriend that Elaine had through all nine seasons. Who goes to the GAP on a date? He gained points for always agreeing to eat at Mexican restaurants, though, because that’s just good taste in general, even if it was because he somehow thought it meant Elaine was Mexican. I’m not sure we should be talking about this.

44) Pinter Ranawat, “The Betrayal”

We never actually got to know Pinter (then-Peter) when he dated Elaine, but by agreeing to marry Sue Ellen Mischke, we know that he’s probably a wealth-driven person of superficial tastes. That’s not a terrible thing, according to science, because here he is at the bottom of the list, but he also held his wedding in a place so apparently dismal that his own parents wouldn’t attend. There’s more to meet the eye for Pintar, so he’s lucky we didn’t get the chance.

43) George’s doctor, “The Heart Attack”

Elaine always dreamed of dating and marrying a doctor, so George’s hospital visit probably seemed like a blessing (I can’t tell for sure, because she is, after all, a fictional character). But what kind of man – a doctor especially – thinks that a good date conversation includes probing a woman’s mouth and telling her how disgusting the tongue is. I mean, maybe some girls like that, but you usually find them on specific websites.

42) Jake Jarmel, “The Sniffing Accountant” and “The Opposite”

Elaine’s author boyfriend wasn’t necessarily a bad boyfriend or even person. Sure, he was a little arrogant and selfish, wanting to be the only person in the U.S. with his eyeglass frames, but he was more of a victim of Elaine’s bizarre behavior. She didn’t have to pick a fight with him over an exclamation point, nor did she have to go out of her way to buy a guy’s glasses just so she could throw it back in Jake’s face. And all Elaine had to do to avoid the JujyFruits incident was say that the usher found her after she left the concession line. It’s like TV characters don’t even think sometimes.

41) Carl, “The Smelly Car”

We don’t know much about Carl other than he was well-dressed and seemingly pleasant when he was with Elaine, but he probably earned a bad rap for ditching Elaine because her hair smelled like bad body odor. Can you blame him, though? It shouldn’t be his problem that Jerry’s car left Elaine’s hair smelling like someone’s dirty armpit. He’s sacrificing his own odor. What if he works directly with people? He’d lose all of his clients after a week. Also, how did Elaine and Jerry ever get rid of the odor? Did they just get used to it to the point that everyone around them picked it up as well? This is probably the biggest question Seinfeld left us with.

40) David Puddy, “The Fusilli Jerry” and more

I bet you thought that science would somehow have Puddy ranked in the Top 10 of this list, what with his penchant for man furs, the 8-ball leather jacket, face-painting and Jesus fish. Puddy was practically the perfect man compared to most of the dweebs and d-bags that Elaine dated through nine seasons. He had a great job, never started fights, was faithful the whole time, and when she wanted some quiet time, he’d just stare ahead. He was practically a robot. Scored a little differently, Puddy might have ended up as the best all-around male character on this entire series.

39) Vincent, “The Comeback”

He was dark, artistic, sensitive and mature. Vincent was also just a teenager, but he was way ahead of his years in terms of his movie choices, and that’s why Elaine fell for him. You know, before she found out that he was a teenager when she brought him vodka and fireworks. Vincent basically lost points for being underage and a bit too pretentious for his years. Who doesn’t want to watch Weekend at Bernie’s every now and then?

38) Kurt, “The Little Jerry”

Kurt probably could have scored a lot better, but his inability to simply tell a cop that he wasn’t George Costanza hurts his manliness. Punching that cop doesn’t help either, because that’s not cool. Also, why didn’t he go to the cockfight with Elaine? There’s something about a guy not wanting to spend time with his girlfriend that makes this guy a little suspect, even if it was at an illegal event in the back of a seedy bodega.

37) Roy, “The Junior Mint”

He was a shrewd businessman, convincing George to buy his triangle art while he recovered from his illness, and he ended up being nature’s miracle when he recovered from a surgical procedure that the doctor thought he’d never make it through. He also showed a lot of balls hitting on Elaine in front of Jerry, who was posing as Elaine’s boyfriend at the time. However, Roy loses considerable points for admitting that a woman dumping him caused him to get his life together. Keep that nonsense to yourself, pal.

36) Kevin, “The Soul Mate” and “The Bizarro Jerry”

Signing up for a vasectomy to prove to a woman that you’re not interested in having kids? Good lord, man. But Kevin was also very polite and exhibited great manners with his friends. People don’t give each other enough credit for manners anymore. Science does, though, which is why Bizarro Jerry isn’t worse off on this list.

35) Aaron, “The Raincoats”

A total sweetheart who would go out of his way to make anyone happy, Aaron’s only noticeable flaw is that he leans in a little too close when he speaks to another person. Points are deducted there because of bad breath and spitting, but other than that he’s a keeper, right? Not so fast. What kind of boyfriend takes such a massive interest in the parents of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend? My theory – Aaron wanted to murder the Seinfelds and pin the blame on Jerry so he was out of Elaine’s life forever. When they left, so did his chance.

34) Ned Isakoff, “The Race”

Obviously, Ned’s score took a hit with his whole being a “pinko Commie leftist” thing. Other than that, he was pretty nice. Down-to-Earth, dressed well, incredibly loyal, and he had facial hair, but it wasn’t out of control. Too bad he hated freedom.

33) Fred Yerkes, “The Secret Code”

This f*cking guy. If he wasn’t such a dullard he might have scored even worse, but just thinking about his whiny voice as he complains about whatever makes me want to change the channel. And science also wonders why this guy was a favorite between Seinfeld and Friends, as if he was being tested for his own series. Whatever, he might have been Elaine’s worst momentary lapse of judgment. At least she caught herself and ended it.

32) Doctor, “The Conversion”

As is a sad recurring theme with Elaine, the demise of her relationship with the podiatrist was hardly his fault. After all, she got hung up on the difference between a podiatrist and a real doctor – I still don’t know or care – and that led to their minor bickering. What the podiatrist loses points for is more concerning to me as an adult who may need to see a podiatrist at some point, because this guy didn’t realize that the fungicide in Elaine’s medicine cabinet was for a cat and not her. How was this guy going to treat humans if he couldn’t even identify a type of medication? Sounds suspect to me.

31) Carl, “The Couch”

Poor Carl. He was the classic victim of the debate on abortion, seemingly perfect up to the moment that Elaine really dug into his personal beliefs. This is why men and women should never discuss politics and religion if they’re dating. Just nod and change the subject every time.

30) Billy, “The Sponge”

Like some of the others, Billy wasn’t around long enough for us to get to know him all that well, but we got a crash course when he went through his qualifications for spongeworthiness. He and Elaine “obviously have a good rapport,” he owned “a very profitable electronics distributing firm,” he ate well and exercised. Blood tests – immaculate. “And if I can speak frankly, I’m actually quite good at it.” “It” was referring to sex, in case you weren’t aware. But science sides with Elaine on this one. Those sideburns, man. They were awful.

29) Blaine, “The English Patient”

He liked The English Patient and he hung out with Carol and Gail. Those women were the worst. Also, Elaine and Blaine? A guy shouldn’t really lose points because his name rhymes with the woman’s, but science is a discriminating, heartless wench. That relationship was never going to last.

28) Robert, “The Stock Tip”

28 Robert

He was Elaine’s first boyfriend after Jerry in the series, and while we never met him, we learned that she had a hard time being around him because he owned cats. A single male owning multiple cats in New York City in the early 90s? The warning signs practically come with a siren. This man was a serial killer.

27) Hal Kitzmiller, “The Nap”

What kind of guy buys a brand new mattress for a woman he hasn’t been dating very long? I suppose, in Hal’s defense, that it could have been worse and he could have bought her a used mattress, but he went for the real deal. She was right to be offended by it, as he probably stuffed it with his own hair. That’s not my guess, as much as it’s what this scientific formula has determined.

26) Ben, “The Abstinence”

Ben could have been a lot worse off on this list, because he was essentially just using Elaine while he was trying to pass his tests, and she was just using him so she could tell people she was dating a doctor. Ideally, these two were perfect for each other, but Ben had a future planned out for himself and she was not a part of it.

25) Greg, “The Wife”

Greg was a gym bro and gym bros always come with red flags. He was stringing Elaine along, but that was hardly his biggest offense. For starters, he was the kind of dude who used his gym as a dating source, which is just as bad, if not worse, than dating in the workplace. But he also refused to wipe down his seat before Elaine used it. That’s how ringworm spreads, pal. Also, quit acting like you never peed in a shower, Greg. Liar.

24) Glenn, “The Strongbox”

Poor, digging for food in a dumpster and cheating on his wife? Glenn was pretty awful. But at least he knew how to drag it out until Elaine would furnish his entire apartment. You can’t punish a guy for being opportunistic.

23) Ed, “The Busboy”

He visited Elaine from Seattle and never actually showed his face, but he was almost the worst of the men that she welcomed from far away. There’s nothing like a guest who just won’t leave, especially after he gets hurt fighting a busboy and ends up in the hospital and then on bed rest at your home. He still wasn’t Elaine’s worst guest, though.

22) John Jermaine, “The Rye”

John gains points for being officially spongeworthy, but he lost them for his inability to please her in the bedroom. That means he wasn’t satisfying Elaine sexually, in case you’re still having trouble keeping up. John’s biggest flaw, though, is that he composes his saxophone songs based on his supposed sexual conquests. That just seems really cocky.

21) Crazy Joe Davola, “The Watch”

Well, he’s a violent psychopath. Science doesn’t really need much more reason than that to rank him on this side of the list. However, he’s not as bad as…

20) Dr. Reston, “The Pitch”

What kind of therapist not only dates his patient, but runs off to Europe with her and leaves a psychopath like Crazy Joe Davola out on the streets of the city to kick people in their heads? Plus, this guy didn’t even have an espresso maker in his office! What a quack.

19) Dick, “The Red Dot”

Keep him off the sauce and Dick isn’t such a, well, dick. Get him drunk and the guy is heckling Jerry at the comedy club and terrifying people in his office by walking like a zombie. Still, I’d make the case that George was the worst guy in this episode for trying to pawn off that stained cashmere sweater on Elaine and the cleaning lady, but science keeps telling me to stick to the subject at hand.

18) Jack, “The Junk Mail”

On one hand, he was… THE WIZ! HE’S THE WIZ! THE WIZ! HE’S THE WIZ! On the other hand, he was a total douchebag about it. Also, he apparently drugged everyone around him so they’d hallucinate and become entranced by his eyes and smile. It was really bizarre.

17) Owen March, “The Alternate Side”

While science has a firm belief in the theory posed by the great American poet Aaliyah, that age is, in fact, nothing but a number, it’s pretty weird that Elaine was dating this 66-year old man. He really should have disclosed any health concerns with her first, because if she wasn’t so shallow as to leave him after he suffered a stroke, he could have caused her to change her entire life to suit his needs. That would have been really selfish of him.

16) Zach, “The Bookstore”

As if Elaine didn’t have enough to worry about after making an ass of herself by dancing at the J. Peterman company a year earlier, she made it worse when she made out with Zach like “the plane was going down.” Being the “office skank” is one thing, but telling everyone she was dating the office makeout bandit who also happened to be a heroin addict was a tall order. Zach was a real jerk for not disclosing his horrible drug secret to her before they started sucking face.

15) Lloyd Braun, “The Non-Fat Yogurt”

Guys, if you’re going to judge a woman over a few extra pounds, don’t get caught looking at her butt and making a face. Lloyd was awful as it was, but for that he was just an arrogant, insensitive prick. What’s worse, though, was that he actually pitched Elaine’s awful nametag idea to the mayor. How was that guy the top aide to the leader of the world’s greatest city, when he was stealing bad ideas and passing them off during heated campaigns? This character might have actually been a metaphor for the state of American politics at the time, but I’m not ready to dive into that deep end.

14) Russell Dalrymple, “The Pilot”

The President of NBC was mad with power, which is sometimes enviable, but he had just greenlit a pilot for a show that really didn’t look that good, and his affection for Elaine was based solely on her breast illusions. Plus, did you see that woman he had in his apartment when George came begging for him to re-offer them a deal? What happened to her? Maybe he killed her or she was an escort or both. Whatever, that dude was not firing on all cylinders, and I’m pretty sure he died in the ocean.

13) Jerry

This seems like the right place for Jerry. He certainly wasn’t on the better end of this list, as science has determined that his own sociopathic tendencies and sometimes rude behavior has him ranked among the worst of the guys that Elaine wasted her time with. Plus, he often mocked Elaine’s choice in men and then begged her for sex when she revealed that he wasn’t that good. And all the while, she loved him more than any of those men. At the very core of this series was a disturbing problem between one man and one woman.

12) James, “The Wink”

One thing is for sure – Elaine dealt with a lot of creepy guys. But worse than a pervy teen who spies on her video rental choices to win her heart and a therapist who preys on her mental and emotional weaknesses is a random guy who starts personal conversations with women he wakes up by phone. James was practically a phone gigolo.

11) David, “The Wait Out”

What kind of man ends his marriage and immediately turns to another woman for a shoulder to cry on? Also, knowing what kind of racist woman that Beth turned out to be in “The Yada Yada,” what didn’t we know about David for him to have been so in love with her? Blond hair and a European accent? The guy was practically the poster man for the Aryan Nation.

10) Bob Cobb, “The Maestro”

The ego on this guy, making everyone from his closest friends and colleagues to the women he dated call him The Maestro. That’s like me telling all of you to call me The Scientist all because I invented this incredible formula that delivers flawless television character rankings.

9) Jimmy, “The Jimmy”

And then there’s a guy with a Napoleon complex who refers to himself in the third person. Jimmy’s biggest problem wasn’t that he was violent or confusing, though. It was that he sold those jumping shoes that I bought with my allowance when I was in middle school because I thought they would turn me into a basketball god. I never jumped higher than four inches. It was humiliating, and guys like Jimmy were all to blame for Burnsy not being good at sports.

8) Alan, “The Andrea Doria”

When women want to stab you in the face with forks and splash you with boiling water, you can’t really argue your spot in the Top 10 of Elaine’s douchebags. On top of that, he stole George’s apartment, which didn’t really make him lose science points, but it was still a pretty dick move.

7) Craig, “The Wig Master”

There are few people worse than the salesman who mocks customers who need more time to think about something, but the guy who also barters dresses for sex is the lowest of the low. Also, he scored second-to-last in the hair department for that ponytail. Elaine actually did him a favor by cutting it off, but do you think he thanked her? My scientific theory is no.

6) Tim Whatley, “The Label Maker”

We could make a case that Elaine refusing to take the next step and share a bed with him for the Super Bowl sent Tim into a downward spiral that ended with him molesting his drugged patients while swapping sexy dental assistants like they were trading cards. But that’s unfair to Elaine. After all, Tim basically expected sex for those tickets that he didn’t even buy. Surprisingly, he didn’t lose points for re-gifting the label maker. That gift was awful, so he was justified in giving it away.

5) Simon, “The Soup”

This wanker takes the cake for the worst houseguest that ever visited Elaine, although there were only two, so it could have gone either way. Simon not only came and went as he pleased, but he also took money from Elaine so he could buy beer and get drunk, and he was completely pretentious about all of it. The thing that he lost the biggest amount of points for was actually how he ran away from Kenny Bania. No man should have been afraid of the Ovaltine guy.

4) Brett, the Karl Farbman guy “The Checks”

Plain and simple, the most punchable male character from the entire series. Bad things should have happened to this A-hole. Really bad things, man.

3) Tony, the male bimbo “The Stall”

If this had been a personal ranking, Tony would have been No. 1 on the flip side, because he’s possibly the coolest male character that ever appeared on the series, partially because he was played by Dan Cortese, but also because STEP OFF, BRO. However, this list is dictated by a very serious scientific process, so Tony’s macho douchebaggery, backwards adjustable hat over long hair, and loose use of the Spanglish language made him a terrible match for someone as professional as Elaine. I mean, is she supposed to make visiting him in the hospital a habit?

2) Todd Gack, “The Calzone”

First and foremost, Gack is a terrible name. It pairs well with nothing, let alone Todd. It sounds like a porn star gagging. But what makes ol’ Todd Gack here far worse than his last name is his parasitic nature. Sure, a regular bro’s bro could commend GACK for the sly way that he tricked Elaine and eventually Nicki into dating him without ever really asking either of them out, but that kind of diabolical power is good for no one, not even GACK. If we ever get to revisit this series in a new TV special, I hope to learn that something awful happened to GACK.

1) Phil Totola, “The Stand In”

What kind of depraved monster takes *ha, ha* it out? Forget that it was the first date, this guy should be on a watch list and introducing himself to people in his neighborhood. He is, far and away, the worst man that Elaine ever dated on Seinfeld.

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