The Funniest Inanimate Objects from Seinfeld
What makes Seinfeld such a classic series is the sheer number of hilarious things found in each episode. Sure, the interaction between the main characters is foremost, but the periphery details are just as important to the central storylines. In fact, sometimes they are the central storyline.
Flawed girlfriends, food, fake names, ridiculous catchphrases, song titles, fictitious movies, parking spots, animals and inanimate objects are all integral to the madcap antics. Without these elements, Seinfeld would’ve been just another three-camera sitcom with a laugh track.
Some of my favorite moments from the show involve the aforementioned inanimate objects. Be it clothing, cars, birth control or books, the writers always managed to cull absurd laughs from an otherwise ordinary accessory. Here are some the very best examples from nine seasons of unforgettable comedy.
The Frogger Game
Being a perpetual loser the majority of his life, George didn’t have many noteworthy accomplishments to brag about. For this reason, his decision to preserve his high score on Frogger made perfect sense. However, he stupidly chose to trust a man named “Slippery Pete.” Thus his dream was shattered, quite literally, on the mean streets of New York City.
The Pee Stained Couch
Poppie never got over being arrested for hygiene issues at his restaurant. He blamed Jerry. So, when an opportunity for vengeance arose, Poppie struck by relieving himself while sitting on Jerry’s brand new couch. Kramer’s reaction to the incident is brief, but apropos.
The Today Sponge
Elaine was very particular about her choice of birth control, which is why the discontinuation of the “Today Sponge” sent her into a panic. After purchasing the last case in Manhattan, all men had to pass the dreaded “sponge-worthy” test before getting the green light for sex.
The Gortex Coat
Jackets/coats were often the butt of jokes throughout the series’ run. One of the most ridiculous of the bunch was George’s unsightly winter apparel made of Gortex. I’m not sure what the hell Gortex is, but George looked like a midget Michelin Man wrapped in the monstrosity. Warning: Stay out of liquor stores while wearing.
The Fuscilli Jerry
Being that he had no discernible means of steady employment, Kramer set aside plenty of time for hobbies. Like crafting miniature versions of his pals from dried pasta. The Fuscilli Jerry had a bright beginning, but ended up in a very dark place indeed. Just ask Frank Costanza.
The Neon Red Light
When Kenny Rogers Roasters moved in across the street from Jerry and Kramer’s building, it brought more than a menu of delicious chicken. It also brought a garish neon sign capable of penetrating walls with its obtrusive red ray. This episode also featured the famous Jerry-Kramer personality swap.
The Astronaut Pen
The pen that writes upside down is one that rules the world. Well, at least the world of the Del Boca Vista condos. Jerry’s decision to accept Jack Klompus’s pen as a gift set off a maelstrom of controversy inside the retirement community. You gotta admit, it was a pretty kick-ass pen.
The Meat Slicer
The fact that Kramer acquires a meat slicer to improve the quality of his sandwiches isn’t out of the ordinary. Neither is him using Jerry’s face towel to clean it. What is strange is him wanting to use the device to cut a cross-section from a mole on the back of George’s boss, Mr. Kruger. Dr. Van Nostrand strikes again!
The Pez Dispenser
Sometimes the simplest of things can send people into a fit of hysterical laughter. For instance, when Jerry places his Tweety Bird pez dispenser on Elaine’s lap during a piano recital, she completely loses her shit, thus ruining said recital. Who knew a pez dispenser could elicit such a response? The Seinfeld writers, that’s who.
The 8 Ball Jacket
Perhaps no other side character in the history of the series created the same comedic impact as Elaine’s dimwitted boy toy, David Puddy. The vacant stare. The face paint. The fascination with Arby’s and high-fiving. And of course the incomparable 8-Ball Jacket.
The Stinky Car
An episode built around BO. Genius. This wasn’t your garden variety BO, though. It was BOO — Beyond Body Odor. So foul even a homeless man was offended. It does beg the question: what would you do in a similar situation? Keeping a car that smells like the bottom of a locker room hamper seems impossible.
Jimmy’s Training Shoes
Not only are we introduced to Third-Person Jimmy, but we also get to witness the brilliance of the Seinfeld writing team. Basically, the episode centers on Kramer looking and behaving like a retard. However, not once is the word “retard” ever uttered. Like the masturbation storyline, the savvy scribes deftly navigate around sensitive subject matter without losing their edge.
The Ball of Oil
Solving the world’s problems, one day at a time. That’s the motto at Kramerica. Eliminating catastrophic oil tanker spills by using giant rubber bladders seemed like a capital idea on the surface. Sadly, when taken into the testing lab, things went horribly awry.
The Coffee Table Book
Kramer was a man of many interests. His coffee table book on coffee tables was so weird, it worked. Then he went and spit coffee in Kathie Lee Gifford’s face. The negative: it destroyed his writing career. The positive: he got to spit coffee in Kathie Lee’s face, making him the envy of 99.9% of the planet’s population.
The Festivus Pole
I can’t decide which is my favorite part of Festivus. The airing of grievances, the feats of strength or the aluminum pole. Hell, I like the whole damn thing. Fun fact: Festivus is a real holiday invented by writer Dan O’Keefe. His son Daniel, who wrote for the show, is responsible for making the masses aware of its existence. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.
The Cigar Store Indian
The object by itself isn’t all that funny. However, watching both Jerry and Kramer degrade the Native American culture by using it as a prop for their stereotypical gags is friggin’ awesome. It’s a no holds barred assault on “redskins” executed in glorious non-PC fashion.
Who wouldn’t want Kramer in their house permanently? Sexually depraved miscreant or manchild crying out for love? Whatever your interpretation of “The Kramer,” one thing is certain: it makes a fine addition to any art collection, and can be had for the low, low price of $5000.
The Technicolor Dreamcoat
Leave it to the K-Man to a) dress himself in the Technicolor Dreamcoat and b) get busted for being a pimp. The sight of him strutting down the sidewalk, cane in hand, Panama hat on head, makes me laugh every damn time I see it, and I’ve probably participated in over a dozen viewings of the episode. “I’m not a pimp!” Classic.
The Puffy Shirt
Hard to believe that Pirate trend never took off. Jerry trashing the “look” on the Today Show obviously didn’t help, but you’ll find much worse fashion disasters on casual Fridays. Trust me, nobody wants to see what their cubical neighbor deems as hip and happenin’ clothing.
The Bro (aka Manssiere)
I prefer Bro, but Manssiere will suffice. Man boobs. Bitch tits. Moobs. Whatever you call ‘em, they’re a growing problem among today’s male population. Of all Kramer’s wacky, hair-brained inventions, the Bro stands out for being practical, marketable and downright hilarious.