Jerry Seinfeld's Favorite 'Seinfeld' Gag Is A Very, Erm, Bold Choice
Welcome to ComedyNerd, Cracked's daily comedy vertical. For more ComedyNerd content, and ongoing coverage of the Iran/Contra Affair, please sign up for the ComedyNerd newsletter below.
Unlike most things in the vast hellscape known as the broader pop culture zeitgeist, it seems Seinfeld has distinguished itself as a notable outlier of ‘90s sitcoms in the digital age, a 30-something-year-old television relic upon which fans have somehow managed to reach several consensuses. “The Opposite,” “The Contest,” and “The Strike” (a.k.a the glorious Seinfeld installment that introduced us to Festivus) are among the series' best episodes. The show's finale was an absolute trash fire, although in fairness, that ending would have worked perfectly for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (presuming that show ever ends, which is looking less and less likely as Danny DeVito continually proves that immortality can, in fact, come from adoring fans). Yet more importantly than any of these aforementioned points, Seinfeld is and will always be infinitely better than its prime-time competitor, Friends, and anyone who disagrees might have a little too much chlorine in their gene pool.
Even with these generally undisputed agreements surrounding the show, it seems there are a handful of parties with really spicy takes on the beloved series. One of these notable contrarians? None other than the comedian behind the show's eponymous character himself, Jerry Seinfeld. In a recent interview with Extra, Seinfeld took a break from his busy schedule of dodging hugs from Kesha and apologizing for the weird, bee-stiality undertones in 2007's Bee Movie to reveal his favorite gag from the series' nearly decade-spanning run, which inexplicably just so happens to be a throwaway gag from season eight's “The Package." In the episode, Elaine finds herself dead-set on removing a note from her medical chart stating that she is a “difficult" patient, even employing Kramer to pose as a Belgian practitioner named Dr. Van Nostrand to attempt to swipe her paperwork, setting the backdrop for a moment Seinfeld claims is one of the funniest jokes of the entire series.
“I do really like when Kramer was trying to find Elaine’s medical records on the show and he goes into the hospital and he says, ‘I’m Doctor Van Nostrand from the Institute,'" the comedian told Extra's George Hahn in an interview promoting Seinfeld's recent return to Netflix. “And the receptionist says, ‘What institute?’ and he goes, ‘That’s right,” he continued with a laugh. “That's one of those jokes that's really, it's so simple, but it's so funny,"
Although Seinfeld cited the moment as a stand-out scene, it seems he may be entirely alone in that assertion – just like Elaine dancing after taking those painkillers after sleeping on Jerry's parent's couch. In pretty much every categorization of the show's top moments, between The Guardian, Distractify, and hell, even the official publication of people who love eating dinner at 4:30 p.m., AARP, “The Package” fails to make an appearance. However, the series does make a notable appearance in one high-profile compilation -- Vulture's comprehensive ranking of all 169 episodes (nice) in which “The Package” comes in at number 150.
“There’s some painfully funny pathos found in Elaine’s (and, eventually, Uncle Leo’s) attempts to get proper medical coverage while being labeled as a ‘difficult’ patient,” reads the blurb accompanying the title. “George’s pre-sexting-era attempt to exchange racy photos with a one-hour-photo employee, however, falls comparatively flat.”
So folks, here's to Jerry Seinfeld, and his pop culture takes that want to make us want to scream “SERENITY NOW!” into the void. We were so close to achieving peace, guys.
For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.