Jerry Seinfeld, a New York-born comedian, had little interest in doing a television show when he was approached by American television channel NBC in 1988 for a creative meeting. Unhappy with his small recurring role on the TV show ‘Benson’, he felt it was a limited medium and not suitable for his type of comedy. He had already appeared several times on the ‘Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson and on a Rodney Dangerfield HBO special, which gave him enough publicity to make a living on the touring comedy circuit.

However, after some negotiations with NBC, Jerry agreed that he and his good friend and fellow comedian Larry David would create a pilot for a television show that would blur the lines of fact and fiction, showing footage of Seinfeld performing his act between scenes from a fictional version. of his life, thus expanding or showing how Seinfeld got the inspiration for his act.

Initial reactions to the pilot were bad. People said he was too Jewish, too New Yorker, and ironically too attractive to young adults. However, Rick Ludwin, the Seinfeld champion on NBC got the show to handle 4 additional episodes. These episodes were highly rated as they were aired after ‘Cheers’, and the show was commissioned for a 12-episode second season, slowly becoming a cult hit with late-night television audiences and reaching the Nielsen Ratings Top 30 on the TV. season 4.

Seemingly a show about nothing aside from images of Jerry on stage, the show relied heavily on dialogue and canny observations to become the first television series since ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ to be widely described as postmodern. For example, an episode takes place at the reception of a Chinese restaurant where three of the main characters wait for a table. Set in real time, the episode’s humor is driven by the growing desperation of the characters waiting for a table as they are destined to go to the movies afterwards, as well as neurotic obsessions about their personal lives discussed while they wait. .

The main characters were four bachelors in their thirties: Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine, without roots, with vague identities and a conscious disregard for morals. They would often become involved in the lives of others, usually with disastrous results. However, despite the damage caused, they never grew up from their experiences and continued to be selfish and self-centered people. This notion was completely at odds with other American sitcoms at the time, which often ended with a moral lesson. Regardless of this, the audience was drawn to the dialogue and the somewhat absurd and neurotic approach to the everyday situations and conflicts the characters would find themselves in.

From season 4 onwards, the show reached meteoric levels of success and at the end of its 9-year run was the most-watched show in the US, with 75 million viewers tuning in to the series finale. All the actors on the show identified with their characters for the general public. This was a new level of success for hitherto unknown actors, especially Jerry, who became the first person to get a Black AmEx credit card and even appeared on the cover of Time magazine when it announced the end of production on the. Program.

Although fans and critics would have liked Seinfeld to continue, by finishing on a high note, Seinfeld avoided jumping the shark like many of his contemporaries and left an unblemished legacy that would continue to influence other successful and critically acclaimed shows like ‘Curb. Your Enthusiasm ‘and’ Arrested Development ‘.