Very few shows in the history of television have had the same cultural impact as Seinfeld. Created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, the wildly popular sitcom stars Seinfeld as a minor comedian who exists in a world that is absolutely batshit crazy. It was even voted by the Writers Guild of America as the second greatest television show of all time, coming in after The Sopranos.
In an interview, David recalled: “That was also part of the whole initial concept. The premise of the show was going to be ‘how a comedian gets his material.’ So, we would follow Jerry around throughout his day or week, and whatever he experienced in the episode, he would do a stand-up routine about it at the end. And it would also open with his stand-up thing. So really, it was going to be called Seinfeld, or, parenthesis, (How a Comedian Gets His Material).“
Adding, “I knew that people liked the show from the beginning. In fact, I was kind of shocked when I went into one of the comedy clubs after the pilot aired and one of the comedians went, ‘I really like the show,’ because I didn’t think anything of it. I went, ‘Oh, the comedienne liked the show,’ and she went on about it to some length. I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this is good.'”
Although David is unsure of the cultural significance of Seinfeld, the show’s fans insist that it is an indispensable cultural artefact that is firmly embedded in the framework of popular culture. That’s one of the major reasons why newer generations of audiences continue to discover the magic of the sitcom years after it finished airing.
David said: “I was in a bit of a bubble because I was working — I was just going to the office all the time. During the hiatus, Jerry would go out and do stand-up and he’d go, ‘You can’t believe what’s going on out there.’ He said, ‘This thing is huge.’ I didn’t quite get it: I was living in L.A., I didn’t go anywhere, I was just working. So, I didn’t really pick up on it to that degree. But in terms of its impact on culture — I don’t know. There’s always great shows that come along, but it’s left its mark, for sure.”
A Seinfeld fan recently released a video montage of all the film references throughout the course of the show, including homages to films like Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane and The Godfather, among others. Watch the video below.