Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comparing Seinfeld and the Beatles

A good friend of mine, who is a very creative and artistic fellow, and also a huge “Seinfeld fan, once told me that the series was to TV what the Beatles were to music. This is quite true. The Beatles took the existing format of rock & roll and basically reinvented it, giving the music a freshness that it had not had since its beginnings and has not had since. Seinfeld did the same thing for television, taking the concept of “a show about nothing” to a point where its half-hour segments were better than all the other shows that were actually about something, both before and since. Also, as the Beatles did not invent rock & roll, Seinfeld did not originate the idea of a show about nothing. It had been done before by George Burns and Gracie Allen, back inThe comedy show Seinfeld becomes popular.Image via Wikipedia the 1950's. Seinfeld, however, put this concept on “steroids,” with episodes like “The Soup Nazi,” which turned simple visits to a takeout soup kitchen into a hilarious idea, just by having the owner be a soup-making genius with a set of rules that needed to be followed to the absolute letter or else it was “No soup for you!”


This Beatles/Seinfeld analogy continues when you consider the fact that the greatness of the musical group was also a result of the personalities of the “Fab Four.” Paul was the good-looking one who had a super voice and played one heck of a mean bass. John was outspoken and outrageous one, and also a fine song writer. George was young and cute and a good “ rockabilly” guitarist. The young Ringo was like a cute and lovable puppy dog who also always managed to play a great beat to the group’s innovative songs. Our “small screen” lineup of four is equally great in a television casting and directing kind of a way, although the distinction of who is playing who varies according to the moment. Jerry spends some of his time as our TV “Paul,” the handsome bachelor who goes out with a lot of great-looking women, but our Jerome can turn on a dime to become a TV” John,” the sarcastic quipster. Elaine is usually our George, turning in consistently humorous performances, but sometimes breaks into a John type of character when she is sufficiently angered or outraged. George is our unscrupulous but somehow lovable television “Ringo,” who also give us segments of John-like insanity and times of George-like consistency. Kramer is most always like John, with his wild perspectives, wacky facial expressions and great body humor, but does the occasional Paul when he sometimes comes up with a really pretty date, and when you put them all together, they spell S-E-I-N-F-E-L-D, the show about nothing that is really something!