The 5 Best Dramatic Monologues in ‘Seinfeld’ History

The best-ever ‘Seinfeld’ speeches that shook us to our core
The 5 Best Dramatic Monologues in ‘Seinfeld’ History

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

Part of the brilliance of Seinfeld is that, as opposed to other multicam sitcoms wherein each and every character is expected to over-act their wackiness to rile up the laugh track, so many of the most hilarious moments in the show’s history came from actors playing it perfectly straight. Jerry himself is more than happy to fill the role of the show’s resident straight man, and, when the show invites serious thespians on to play guest roles, they allow dramatists to demonstrate everything they learned in theatre school through monologues delivered deep from the fathoms of their soul.

Here are the best dramatic speeches in Seinfeld history to stir your immortal being, starting with…

J. Peterman Jostles Elaine Out of Her Opium Addiction

In all fairness, just about any scene starring the eccentric fashion mogul J. Peterman could have made it onto our list, but, in “The Shower Head,” the stakes were higher than they’d ever been in Elaine’s relationship with her strange boss as he urged her to kick her poppy dependence by revealing his own dance with the devil. Elaine maintains that she never had any such drug habit — but we all know that the toll road of denial is a long and dangerous one, and she’s not ready to pay the price.

The Van Wyck Remains Unbeaten

Early in her career, Julia Louis-Dreyfus dropped out of drama school to take her short-lived job at Saturday Night Live, but her recounting of her near-victory over the Van Wyck Expressway in “The Bus Boy” is good enough to be her senior thesis. Seriously, the breathwork alone makes this monologue worthy of at least an Emmy nod, and it’s a damn shame that JLD doesn’t get nearly enough opportunities to show her dramatic chops. A five-car pileup has never felt so grave.

The Little Girl From Panama Finally Gets Her First Cashmere Sweater

Bridget Sienna’s emotional reaction to George Costanza’s attempts to buy her silence with tainted wool in “The Red Dot” was straight out of a Tennessee Williams play. This speech has everything that’s contained within the human condition — desire, heartbreak, triumph and, ultimately, disappointment. Too bad Evie’s eye was better than her taste in men, and she spotted the titular red dot within moments of putting on her dream sweater. If only Clarence Thomas met the same fate as Costanza when his own workplace sins were uncovered.

George Saves the Whale

George just wanted to be an architect, but, in “The Marine Biologist,” he was forced into the title role when he tried to trick an old crush into finding him attractive. Despite the sea’s anger and his own complete lack of experience dislodging Titleists from blowholes, George didn’t just ace the most dramatic marine biology emergency of his life — he also issued one of the most moving closing speeches in television history. A hole in one, indeed.

Joe Bookman Breaks Down the Sanctity of the Library

If the library cop’s monologue doesn’t make you want to dig out that old copy of The Grapes of Wrath that you forgot to return 20 years ago, then I feel bad for your hollow soul. The late, great Philip Baker Hall’s performance as Lieutenant Joe Bookman in the fittingly titled Season Three episode “The Library” is one of the greatest cameos in Seinfeld history for how seriously he delivers this earnest half-plea, half-warning for Jerry to start taking the publicly available written word a little more seriously himself.


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