Holy cow. Has it really been 25 years since "Seinfeld" first graced our television screens?
The one program that has arguably stood the test of time better than any TV show in history will celebrate its silver anniversary this week.
Well, actually TBS is celebrating that anniversary with six consecutive nights featuring the best of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. TBS will showcase what it calls the 25 most popular episodes from the series' 1989-98 run on NBC and subsequent syndication. TBS officials say their list was culminated from "a broad range of criteria," including the "frequency of quoted lines and other references in pop culture, on fan sites and in social media." OK, whatever.
I'm not sure about that convoluted process TBS used to make its selections, but any true Seinfeld fan could come up with a comparable list. Almost every 30-minute episode was classic television.
Here are my choices for most memorable conversations and one-liners from the program that was the best TV has ever offered us in the form of a sitcom:
Elaine: You know what your problem is? Your standards are too high.
Jerry: I went out with you.
Elaine: That's because my standards are too low.
Elaine: Why does everything have to be so ... jokey with you?
Jerry: I'm a comedian.
Jerry: This isn't a good time.
Telemarketer: When would be a good time to call back, sir?
Jerry: I have an idea. Why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you back later?
Telemarketer: Umm, we're not allowed to do that.
Jerry: Oh, I guess because you don't want strangers calling you at home.
Telemarketer: Umm, no.
Jerry: Well, now you know how I feel.
(Jerry then hangs up the phone.)
"No soup for you!" -- Probably one of the two most iconic lines to have emerged from the show and comes from the "The Soup Nazi" episode that originally aired in November 1995. The Soup Nazi was the nickname of the character played by Larry Thomas. The term "Nazi" was an exaggeration of the demands he placed on his customers. The Canadian chain Soup Nutsy was inspired by the episode.
"Hello-o-o Newman!" -- The other equally famous line from the series. It was Jerry's usual greeting to his postman neighbor -- and friend of Kramer's -- whom he could not stand.
"Not that there's anything wrong with that." -- A student reporter overhears a conversation between Jerry and George and is convinced they are gay. They strenuously deny being gay, while adding "not that there's anything wrong with that."
"The phrase almost immediately became part of the way Americans talk about homosexuality," writes Eric Metaxas on BreakPoint.org.
Jason Alexander, who played George in the series, maintains that it is the most popular catchphrase to originate from the series.
I have seen every episode of Seinfeld, some as many as a dozen or so times -- and I'll be watching again this week.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.