Full disclosure, Seinfeld is my all time favorite show. It is not only the funniest sitcom ever - it is the most rewatchable. The fact that Seinfeld is available for streaming on Netflix, and on constant rotation via syndication, allows the show to be analyzed in interesting ways. One thing that the internet caught on to about the show is Jerry Seinfeld’s impressive sneaker rotation during the comedies run.
In honor of today being Jerry Seinfeld’s birthday, lets look at the life…and sneakers…of Jerry Seinfeld.
Jerry Seinfeld had a passion for comedy at a young age. He thrived on funny observations regarding the most mundane parts of life. By the late 1980s, the standup comic was one of the biggest comedians working. He was appearing on television regularly, including The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.
In 1988, NBC asked Seinfeld to develop a sitcom. Seinfeld hooked up with his friend and fellow comedian, Larry David, and they started working on a unique, and alternate take on the American sitcom. In the 1980s, sitcoms were a major part of the culture. The situational comedy, filmed in front of a live studio audience, or accompanied by laugh track, had certain conventions they would follow. 80’s sitcoms would traditionally focus on a family, like The Cosby Show, or a group of friends, Cheers. There was a formula that comedy shows in the 1980s followed.
Show About Nothing
David and Seinfeld wanted to do something different with their sitcom. They didn’t want to focus on a family, or make a show that focused on an extended family of friends. They wanted to make a show that was about nothing. A Show About Nothing.
Seinfeld, the show, was much like Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian, it centered on the mundane. Jerry played a comic on the show appropriately named, Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry, along with his friends Elaine, George and Kramer, would get into everyday adventures that weren’t usually the focus of TV shows. There are episodes of Seinfeld that focus on waiting for a table at a restaurant, not being able to find your car at a mall parking lot and the difficulties of dating. The stakes, especially in the early seasons of Seinfeld, were small.
The Show About Nothing concept took a while to click with audiences. But when it clicked, it clicked in a massive way. Seinfeld is one of the most successful television shows of all time. To this day, it is one of the most talked about and quoted comedies ever.
Seinfeld is such a pop culture phenomenon that the shoes that Jerry wears on the show have become a part of pop culture lure. Seinfeld has simple taste when it comes to his fashion. He usually wore simple button up shirts, and traditional blue jeans. Seinfeld usually opted for white sneakers, which went perfectly with his fashion sense.
During the 90s, before sneaker culture truly exploded, Seinfeld was introducing millions of Americans to a wide variety of sneakers. The Nike Huarache, the Air Jordan series and the Nike Air Tech Challenge were some of the models you could see Seinfeld wearing in the 1990s.
Seinfeld helped to bring fashion forward sneakers to the mainstream. He gave Nike an audience that wasn’t tied to a sporting event. It’s common now to see sneakers everywhere, whether its television shows, or movies. But when Seinfeld was on the air, from 1989-1998, sneakers, worn by adults, on television, was rare.
Jerry Seinfeld changed TV and comedy forever with his sitcom. The Show About Nothing also has had an impact on sneakerheads and sneaker culture. Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most influential figures in comedy and sneakers of all time.
- Adam C. Better
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