Ten Best Seinfeld Musical Moments
Who could forget that time Jerry told Elaine that War and Peace was originally called "War, What is it Good For?" Absolutely no one.
Seinfeld was a show that challenged, and it enriched (your collection of "I'm really funny, no, really" quotes, if nothing else). It sometimes did that awesome thing where you're confused for a half a second before you get the joke, so you feel smarter or more sophisticated once you do -- not that there's anything wrong with not getting it immediately.
Or you cringed a bit at times, looking around for others' reactions, feeling naughty like you were making out during Schindler's List or something. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer took your lame inner monologues, all those socially questionable queries you had, those masturbation pacts with your friends, and put it all out there, but funny-like.
We're exploring the finest musical moments the best show ever created (sorry Sopranos) has to offer weeks before Jerry comes to town for a two-day stint at Hard Rock Live Hollywood. Seinfeld purists, go to (Petula Clark's Down)town on us, and point out what we're missing in the comments.
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1. The Midnight Cowboy Ending
Formally called the "Mom and Pop Store" episode, this is one of the most defining examples of Seinfeldian perfection. About a thousand things happen in this one episode, and most relate back to the fantastic 1969 classic Midnight Cowboy.
First, George's new '89 LeBaron supposedly was previously owned by the one time hottie and Midnight Cowboy star Jon Voight. Turns out it was John Voight that chewed the pencil in the glove compartment. But Angelina Jolie's papa actually appears in the show anyway, if only to bite Kramer's arm.
The best moment though isn't even when Elaine goes deaf from a too-loud dixieland band, it's the final scene where Jerry and Kramer ride off to New Jersey in the style of Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo as the classic Harry Nilsson tune, "Everybody's Talkin'," plays on harmonica.
2. George Isn't Home
This is something you have to hear to believe (it or not). In an attempt to avoid getting dumped, George, sits by his answering machine screening her calls. This is what plays:
"Believe it or not, George isn't at home, please leave a message at the beep. I must be out, or I'd pick up the phone. Where could I be? Believe it or not, I'm not home."
3. "Witchy Woman"
This is one of the few Seinfeld episodes that focuses on one song in particular. Elaine is dating a dude whose "song" is the Eagles "Desperado." When it plays, he zones out and even hushes her. In a desperate(o) attempt to find a song they can share, Elaine choses another Eagles classic, "Witchy Woman."
4. Special Kramer Serenade
Possibly the funniest drug-related Seinfeld scene -- second only to Elaine yelling "Stella" at Jerry's parents. Kramer is mistaken for an "Able Mentally Challenged Adult" person. The special guest at the AMCA benefit, he may appear less challenged having overcome the effects of novocaine. But his drooling, drooping face is again ensured at the angry hands of the notorious Jimmy. Mel Tormé then sings "When You're Smiling" to a grinning Kramer. Never not funny.
5. Elaine Dancing
Elaine's dancing is a timeless and cherished character flaw that is impossible not to enjoy or do yourself at a boring party.
6. Hot and Heavy
Elaine's dating a young, sponge-worthy jazz musician John. Jerry tells the guy's friend that she described their relationship as "hot and heavy." He writes a song by that title.
The episode where Jerry choses to continue to say "hello" in a dorky voice over continuing to date a lady who objects to it. But first, he contemplates the situation, weighing the two against each other to the sounds of Lionel Richie on a boardwalk.
8. Rochelle, Rochelle
This episode, which features Bette Midler, is important at this particular moment in time for two reasons. First, it was a take on the Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding fiasco which took place twenty years ago yesterday (you're old). Secondly, last month, artist Jayshells plastered Rochelle, Rochelle posters all over the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Now listen to the Divine Miss M belt one out.
9. "Maria" or "Lemon Tree"
This is the second answering machine episode to make the musical list. It's here specifically because George sings a perfectly un-George-like line from the great Sound of Music.
10. Elaine and Mr. Pitt
Elaine correctly identifies "Next Stop Pottersville" so that Mr. Pitt can be one of those who hold the Woody Woodpecker balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Which brings us back to the number one musical on this list.
Costanza Bonus: "My Baby Takes The Morning Train"
Jerry Seinfeld. 8 p.m., January 31 and February 1, at Hard Rock Live, One Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost between $79 and $169 plus fees. Visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.
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