DAILY DIRT: ‘Haven’t we had this conversation before?’

The-Seinfeld-Chronicles

The opening conversation of "The Seinfeld Chronicles," the pilot episode of Seinfeld. — NBC

Daily Dirt for Monday, May 12, 2024

You’ll probably be wondering in the not-too-distant future about how old Tom Selleck and Micky Dolenz are. The answer is 79 … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 946 of The Daily Dirt.

1. There’s a lot of new interest in the old “Seinfeld” TV show with the recent release of Jerry Seinfeld’s movie about Pop-Tarts, “Unfrosted”.

Two things immediately come to my mind:

1. I have not seen it, and judging by the awful reviews the film is getting I probably won’t.

2. The movie has, however, rekindled a lot of fond memories about the “Seinfeld” show itself. That program ran for nine years (1989-98), and the majority of episodes, particularly over the final two-thirds of that run, are hands-down classics.

That said, there are some little-known (or remembered) items concerning the legendary comedy. Such as:

“Elaine,” played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was not in the original cast that appeared in the pilot episode. She was added immediately afterward when critics felt the program was too male-centered. The rest, as they say, is history. For the record, Louis-Dreyfus was chosen for the role over Rosie O’Donnell, Patricia Heaton and Megan Mullaley. 

For the first seven seasons, every episode started with Seinfeld doing a stand-up routine (remember?). But only true fanatics would have ever noticed that the theme music was different each week, constructed to best match Seinfeld’s monologues. Composer Jonathan Wolff used instruments like the bass — plus his fingers and mouth to improvise the sounds — and synced them to Seinfeld’s stand-up timing to build a simple melody that could easily start and stop for jokes.

The first and last conversations between Jerry and George Costanza (Jason Alexander) were the same. In a full-circle moment, the first scene of the series started in a coffee shop with Jerry telling George that a button on his shirt was too high and that it “makes or breaks” the shirt since it’s in “no man’s land.” And in the very last scene of the finale, when they’re all sitting in a jail cell, he alludes to it again, saying: “The second button is the key button. It literally makes or breaks the shirt.” As the camera pans back, George says, “Haven’t we had this conversation before?” to which Jerry ends the series with “Maybe we have.”

And I, for one, will be forever grateful they did.

2. Did you know (Part 13) …

  • That actors Tom Selleck (“Blue Bloods”) and Micky Dolenz ( “The Monkees”) went to high school together? They were both in the class of 1962 at Grant High School in Van Nuys, Calif.
  • That among the songs turning 40 years old this year are “Jump” by Van Halen, “Magic” by the Cars, “Like A Virgin” by Madonna, “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen and “Pride” by U2.
  • That McDonald’s has plans to launch a “larger satiating burger,” according to media reports. Whatever this creation winds up being will first be tested in selected (but currently unknown markets) to gauge the public’s response.
  • That Nate Thurmond was first of four players in NBA history to record a quadruple double, collecting 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks Alvin Robinson (1986) is the only guard to manage the feat, getting 20 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and 11 steals. Hakeem Olajuwon had 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks in 1990. David Robinson was the last player, getting 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks in 1994 — 30 years ago.
  • That there are 19 letters in the world’s longest palindrome, the Finnish word “saippuakivikauppias,” which means “suaostone vendor”.

3. Here are five things we owe to the 1970s that I miss:

  • Shag carpets.
  • Platform shoes.
  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.
  • Bell-bottom jeans.
  • The “Pong” game.

And here are five things from the ’70s I don’t miss:

  • 8-track tapes.
  • Lava lamps.
  • Pet rocks.
  • Leisure suits.
  • “The Brady Bunch”

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Relationship tip: Never date anyone who preheats the microwave.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Who preheats a microwave?

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