What’s so special about Seinfeld? What about that show makes it so different?
“No hugging, no learning.”
This was the rule, the mantra of Seinfeld writers, started by Larry David.
No matter what happened, the characters did not hug, and they did not learn.
It takes a special kinda show and a special group of people to commit to that. I’ve always felt that Seinfeld’s success came from being very funny, and because it was different from so many other shows in that the characters are reprehensible. Seriously, you would never want to be their friends (with the possible exception of Kramer if you’re someone who likes to be on the periphery of a wacky scheme and doesn’t mind eating a salad that was made in the shower).
The best parts of this book told some of the stories behind the stories, which turned out to be quite close to the finished product in a lot of cases. If you remember “The Jacket,” the episode where Jerry meets Elaine’s father, a gruff, frightening man, you might be interested to know that the story came from Larry David’s real life. I won’t spoil all the details, but I was surprised to find out the gruff father was based on writer Richard Yates!
I also really enjoyed that this book tells some of the backstories of the writers on Seinfeld. I’m always on a soapbox about this shit, so I’ll keep it brief, but we give far too little credit to writing staffs out there. This book definitely gives a large number of writers a little ink, which is really nice.