It’s the sitcom that shaped a generation & proved not every comedian has to be able to act to be hilarious. Steele Saunders opens his life and proffers evidence on his devout love for the infamous show about nothing.
There was a time when a DVD sounded like something you’d be scared of catching, the best thing computer could do was play one preloaded Weezer clip and having an entire collection of your favorite television series was about as likely as Star Wars episode 7.
So when Foxtel’s TV1 announced they were having a “Marathon About Nothing” hosted by Tony Barber over a long weekend I was both elated (EVERY SEINDELD EPISODE!) and confused (TONY BARBER?). I now had a mission, a quest, no a calling! Capturing all 180 episodes onto long play video cassette! This would not be easy. I would be required to return home every 8 hours over the course of the long weekend to change tapes. Alarms were set, lunches were left, couches were slept on.
Things got tricky midway through this brave odyssey (yeah you heard) when I was attending quite a good party and meeting quite a good girl. By 1am we were many drinks deep and getting along swimmingly, she was definitely date worthy, I got the feeling I may have even been sponge worthy. Drama strikes as my alarm alerts me that in under 60 minutes my current tape will reach it’s end. If 24 wasn’t years away from screening, I would have felt exactly like Jack Bauer.
I announce that I must leave the party but will be back within the hour, she asks why, I mysteriously reply “I’ll tell you when I get back”. Safe in the knowledge that a girl this cool will love this story! I grab a cab from the city to my then home in Prahran, inform the cabbie to “leave the meter running” as I bolt up 3 flights of stairs to make the change, of course waiting for the Castle Rock logo to appear at the end of the current episode before switching the tape and hurling myself back down the stairs to the still waiting taxi.
“Oh your back! Tell me where did you go?” my new friend happily demands. “I had to change the tapes that are recording the Seinfeld marathon” I reply with a huge grin. That statement alone should get me a pash that’s way more impressive than saying I’m an architect! “Oh you like that show? I don’t get it”.
With that everything changes. The life that will never happen flashes before my eyes… no ending our wedding vows with yada yada yada… no first born daughter with the middle name of Soup Nazi… no having anything to do with this girl again!
I’m a non-Seinfeldaphobe! Yes, those people scare me. I don’t want any part of their bizarre sick lifestyle. I see a friend across the room and politely excuse myself to go chat to them. A chat that consists of “I’ve got to get out of here”. And I did.
Arriving again back home, Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George are concluding another episode in the booth at Monks coffee shop. A place I’ve since made several pilgrimages too, my huge tourist yokel grin never budged by the cold fact that the interior bares no resemblance to where the “New York Four” are currently seated.
George begins his infamous monologue; “The sea was angry that day my friends…” as he describes his deceit ridden accent to “becoming” a marine biologist. A landmark scene in television comedy that never fails to produce my obnoxiously loud cackle. It’s topped off when Costanza produces Kramer’s blow hole blocking Titleist golf ball in one of the most perfectly set up 23 minutes jokes of all time, credits role, I contently smile, “what a perfect eppy”.
In the fashion of a true master comedian, the episode ensures it has milked the audience for all the laughter they’ve got. Whilst credits flash up over the diner, Elaine calls back to the opening scene quizzing Jerry about his cherished yet perishing “Golden Boy” t-shirt. Jerry, the most entertainingly terrible actor of all time, remoursivly announces the yellow t-shirt’s death. Then gets in one final line “this is his son, baby blue”. Cue the iconic Seinfeld theme bass-line that’s only to be drowned out by another of my bellowing cackles. I know I’ve done the right thing.
As the next episode beings it’s 4am. I’m home alone looking like I’ve clearly had a little too much Hennigan’s, whilst my state of the art video player that I picked up for the tidy sum of $899.95 from Brashes builds up my holy grail of VHS cassette long play beauty.
Those tapes captivated me for years to come, to the point where my frequent viewings actually wore them out… wait for it… “not that there’s anything wrong with that”.Steele Saunders is a Melbourne-based Comedian and host of the I Love Green Guide Letters Podcast. These days he watches his Seinfeld DVD box set frequently with his girlfriend (that got each every little Seinfeld reference in the article) and their cat Jerry. Steele is only recently met Steve Molk and is confident he’s the best Molk he’ll ever meet.
Follow Steele on Twitter: @steelesaunders
Check out his podcast: www.ilovegreenguideletters.com
See Steele at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!
I Love Green Guide Letters Live! AND
The Steele Saunders’ Venue Got Demolished Late Show