Back in 1989, one of the most cherished sitcoms of all time aired on NBC. With a few slapping notes of electric bass guitar, the world was introduced to Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David’s Seinfeld, in which the former played a fictionalised version of himself, seeing storylines concerning his relationships with his friends, George, Elaine and Kramer.
Seinfeld also featured segments of Seinfeld’s stand-up routines, in which he usually discussed the events of a given episode. The executives at NBC had seen Seinfeld perform on stage, and when they put him in contact with Larry David, the two would create one of the best comedies television has ever known.
The crux of any situational comedy worth its salt is, of course, the joke, and it’s fair to say that Seinfeld is full to the brim with them. Jerry Seinfeld once discussed his work on the show and how it was the perfect vehicle for his sense of humour. He also pointed out what he considers to be the show’s “best joke”.
Discussing the classic moment from his iconic TV show moment, the comedian and creator told Extra, “I do really like when Kramer is trying to find Elaine’s medical records on the show. He goes into the hospital and says, ‘I’m Doctor Van Nostrand from the Institute.’”
Seinfeld continued, “The receptionist says, ‘What institute?’ and he goes, ‘That’s right.’” The nuance and simplicity of the joke made it stand out for Seinfeld, and it’s clearly one of his favourite moments of the series. As for those favourite moments, there are a few others worth pointing out.
In a Reddit AMA session, Seinfeld once responded to the question of what his favourite episodes of his show are. He first named the 16th episode of season eight, ‘The Pothole’, in which Jerry finds himself in his girlfriend’s bathroom having dropped her toothbrush in the toilet.
“It was really fun to shoot, and it was fun to set Newman on fire,” Seinfeld said of the episode in which George also loses his keys down a pothole and Kramer looks to adopt some highways. “And he screamed, ‘Oh, the humanity,’ like from the Hindenburg disaster. It’s one of my favourites.”
The other episode that Seinfeld pointed out is the 11th episode of season two, ‘The Rye’, in which Jerry has to source a marbled rye as a gift for Susan and George’s respective parents. “We had this idea of a Marble Rye, and we had to shoot it in an outdoor set, and this was a very expensive thing to do,” Seinfeld said. “It’s like a movie place there at Paramount in LA.”