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    The Cultural Influence of Seinfeld

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    Category:Music and moviesPaper Title:SEINFELDText:SeinfeldTelevision has become a mirror to the cultural aspects of daily life.

    Itinfluences everyone in some way. The medias images tell us where to shop,what shampoo to use, and what brand of soda to drink. Sitcoms have becomeincreasingly popular through the 90s. Sitcoms have such a large audiencebecause they are easy to relate to, and they help us laugh at the stress ofeveryday life. Seinfeld is unique because its a show with odd characters whohave a life of their own, and it displays its comedy in a new way.

    Lets look atwhat Seinfeld has shown us about our society, the influence it has had inshaping American culture and the cultural significance it has had as atelevision show. In order to be able to look at Seinfeld for its cultural impact, we need tofirst get acquainted with the characters. First lets look at Jerry Seinfeld themain character of the show. Jerry is portrayed as a neat freak, and he dressesnice. Jerry to a lot of men is a hero.

    He has a cool job as a comedian makingappearances on shows such as Jay Leno, and the Tonight Show. He dates youngergirls, and lives in New York City, some people think of as the city. In oursociety I believe most men want to be like Jerry but feel closer to George, hisgood friend. George is a short, balding, neurotic, fat man, who is always losinghis job, and is the butt of a joke. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times describesthe George syndrome, in which hip viewers identify with a downtrodden neuroticwho never gets things right. (1) Elaine is the most normal character of thebunch.

    She is loud, opinionated and intelligent. Elaine resembles the role ofthe woman in America. Kramer is by far the most outrageous. He is nervous,impulsive and he never goes to work.

    Whatever he tries to do, it always ends ina disaster. Like the time he went to the ocean to hit golf balls into the surf. One of the balls landed in the blowhole of a whale. George happened to bewalking by with a girl who Jerry he had led to believe that George was a marinebiologist. He pulled the ball out of the whales windpipe.

    Kramer meets famouspeople, and is always in outrageous places with a story to tell. He is a friendwe would all like to have. The plot of the show is to pull humor out of the little details in everydaylife. Like Seinfelds reason for not eating fruit in cereal: trying todecide which spoonful to take the last slice of banana in is just too muchaggravation.

    (0) I have felt the frustration myself but would have never givenit much attention. The situations are normal, but the characters areextraordinary. Seinfeld is a good conversation between people I want to be–I am — friends with, living in a world I wish to live in, but never will. (3)Money is never really a problem, and the players are always equal and thedangers and triumphs are unimportant and fleeting. It gives people over the ageof 25 the feeling they can still have a life.

    The show exploits the experience of living in New York City. The trafficproblems, crime and variety of people one might encounter while in New York. Italso shows how a group of white middle class can live. The show begins to showhow Jewish people are looked at in America.

    I believe it is an easier topic tojoke about than ethnics are. The show displays Jewish people as middle or uppermiddle class, funny, and smart. The show also displays the troubles people havecommunicating with each other. Jerry parents always hear other things or justhave their own opinions about what’s really going on. Georges parents areconstantly yelling at each other.

    They can not agree on anything, similar toparents today. The show has only minorities that have very ethnic backgroundlike Babu, and the Asian delivery boy. They all have a very thick accent and arewearing some article from their native country. According to Sotirtiou Comediespick up threads of the established pattern of white superiority and blackservitude. (2) Seinfeld incorporates other figures such as Steinbrener theowner of the New York Yankees as a reference to realism.

    Seinfeld has been compared to other sitcom greats such as Cheers and TheGeorge and Gracie Burns Show. This show is the first of its kind in the way ituses its humor. In most other shows and sitcoms the experiences are actionpacked, and the one liner jokes are slipped into the dialogue. With Seinfeldthey take every day experiences and make the situation funny. They look at sometopics, which are not commonly discussed.

    One episode they had a contest to seewho could go the longest without masturbating. The show is a study of urbananxiety without having to shoot up a gas station to prove it. It displays liveslittle interactions, and problems under a microscope. The shows oddball, yetpossible incidents add to the realism of the show.

    One episode was about losingtheir car in the mall parking lot, and why you should not urinate in the parkinggarage. Seinfeld is one of the great sitcoms of all times. Its oddball charactersseem to give the show a life of its own. The show has provided many laughs forall different types of people. Seinfeld will be remembered as one of the bestcomedians of all time, due to the life of the characters.

    Works Cited0. OConner, John J. Seinfeld, A Comic As a Comic. The New YorkTimes. June 7, 1990. 1.

    Sandomir, Richard. Heres One Loser People Really Look Up To. NewYork Times. May 24, 1992. 2.

    Sotiriou, Peter Elias. Critical Thinking and Popular Cultural. Belmont,CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1998. 3. Zoglin, Richard. The Secrets Out: Seinfeld is Terrific.

    Dallas Morning News. April 13, 1993.Music and Movies

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