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Gold Lame

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Internet scholars have recently either made a startling discovery, or revealed one of the most pointless coincidences in the history of bipeds:

The 1994 mid-season Seinfeld episode ‘The Suit’

And Elvis Presley’s 1959 greatest hits collection and gold lame fetishist’s dream, “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong“…

… unfurl in perfect sync, rhythmically as well as thematically.

No matter the provenance, it’s a stunning finding that overshadows any other possibly more well-known but ultimately too loosely associated attempts at this kind of multi-media cross-pollination.

The lowdown, then:

Cue up “I Need Your Love Tonight:” just as the show’s bumper music fades and George enters Jerry’s apartment.

He’s wearing a top hat and a cape and announces that he’s finally going out on a date with Wanda, whom he’s been pursuing for weeks. He’s also discovered that she’s a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera, explaining his get-up.

Note the look on Jerry’s face just as Elvis sings ‘I’ve been waiting just for tonight,’ a sign of the emotional complexity of their friendship. The song fades just as George exits and Kramer enters.

Kramer asks to borrow Jerry’s bicycle. Jerry asks why.

Kramer, shoving a brisket into Jerry’s oven, says he’s gotten a paper route.

While they discuss the pros and cons of running a paper route, Elaine enters and immediately goes into a rant about men’s watches, their exorbitant prices and Byzantine inner workings, but mostly about their chunkiness: ‘Who wants to wear a $5500 ice cube with numbers on the their wrist?’

Kramer agrees. ‘Don’t’ plays precisely over the scene, Elvis pleading with Jerry to ignore what’s going on with these two in his apartment.

Jerry meets his current dating partner, Nina, at the restaurant.

They’re in the midst of planning a getaway weekend to Belgrade that involves a wedding while “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” plays jauntily, epitomizing their carefree back and forth, despite Jerry’s ongoing concern about Nina’s apparently ‘enormous’ uvula, which he keeps glancing at while she talks or takes a bite of her meatloaf.

She, on the other hand, is secretly concerned about his insistence on eating fois gres with a spork, as her interior monologue reveals.

This tune opens as George enters Wanda’s heavily TPOTO-centric bedroom.

George remains wary, even as Wanda vamps around as Christine Daae in full Don Juan Triumphant fig (‘Let’s go past the point of no return’), finally sitting coquettishly on the bed. George approaches, still hesitant, and then is nearly crushed by the chandelier swinging down from the ceiling.

Kramer attempts to deliver his papers, which of course goes badly.

He hits people, almost gets run over, is chased by bees near Central Park, and is on the receiving end of a public dressing down by the owner of a butcher shop, who calls him ‘the hairiest teenager he’s ever seen.’ And, buoyed by the bopping ‘I Got Stung,’ we go to commercial. Pause through the ensuing ads before starting next song.

Jerry gets a call from Nina, who asks him about picking up the suit she selected for him to wear to the wedding.

He tells her he’s going down there soon, and we cut to him at ‘Bertie’s Suit and Sport Coat Emporium.’ A smooth-talking tailor brings out the suit, which is a huge, boxy white monstrosity. Jerry tries it on and sure enough, it makes him look like David Byrne in “Stop Making Sense,” even as The King finishes with a flourish: ‘The things that we two could plan / Would make my dreams come true.’

Elaine gives her boyfriend Seamus, who is flamboyantly red-headed, a smaller watch that he accepts rather reluctantly.

After putting it on, he walks around his apartment while looking at it on his wrist. After dissembling for a minute or so about how much he ‘likes’ the gift, he finally admits that it’s simply too feminine for his tastes. Elaine insists that he look at it outside on his fire escape. He tries to get a good angle with the sun to look at it, and tumbles over the railing. ‘A Big Hunk o’ Love,’ indeed.

Kramer returns Jerry’s now beat-up bicycle, explaining more of the difficulties he experienced while on his paper route…

… pummeled by a phalanx of umbrella-toting grannies, taxis veering into his path unexpectedly, his inability to accurately throw newspapers onto second or third floor balconies. A flashback reveals Kramer botching one such throw: an errant toss ends up with a rolled-up paper landing atop a flaming hibachi, causing the small group up there to scatter and employ fire extinguishers.

This combination of song and scene is perhaps the most incompatible, although Jerry’s feelings about his bike are well-documented.

George recounts his night with the Opera fetishist, which, after coitus, included a breakfast with Phantom-silhouetted pancakes.

Jerry, who empathizes in the most thin and shallow way possible (‘Yeah, it’s too bad… at least you had a meal and a show… maybe next time go out with a woman who likes Oklahoma and avoid any overhead lighting hazards…’), tells a story about going out with a woman who insisted that corn chips were not made of corn, but of deoxidized and flavored foam detritus.

George asks what the latter story has to do with his tale of Broadway-adjacent debauchery. Jerry replies that it doesn’t; he was just reminded of one of his own dating misfortunes.

As “Doncha’ Think It’s Time,” with its opening bass line (reflective of the show’s actual intro music) introduces the scene:

Jerry models the suit for Elaine, who responds negatively. They both reject it without reservation, and she suggests breaking up with a woman who is so obviously fashion-ignorant. She then reveals she broke up with her boyfriend because of the watch, coldly delivering the news at hospital bed-side after his unfortunate tumble off of his balcony. She offers to sell him the watch at a substantial discount; he declines, finding it too feminine. Elaine replies that his entire arm is already too feminine. Finis…

And so, the question:

Was this an intentional mashup that Seinfeld and David cooked up over a tranche of kippers and Ritz as a gift to the uber-fan, a kind of an Easter egg, if Easter was an obscure holiday celebrating the last neap tide before the next transit of Mercury, and egg a wolverine’s toe?

If so, the sheer obfuscatory nature of the enterprise obviates its own existence, a nice bit of ouroboros, but: if an invisible snake ate its own tail, would it amuse anyone, other than invisible cannibal snake aficionados.

The creators remain mum; the mystery endures.

Next time:

An exploration of the curious parallel orientation between the national anthems of Sub Saharan African nations, performed east to west, and the preparation of cinnamon-steeped blancmange according to Martha Stewart’s recipe.

Until then, sigue sigue sputnik.

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cstolliver
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cstolliver
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May 17, 2023 5:15 am

I will share this with some “Seinfeld”-loving friends, Stob. An auspicious debut!

Pauly Steyreen
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May 17, 2023 9:35 am

I never did the Dark Side of the Moon / Wizard of Oz thingy, but you’ve inspired me to give it a go, stob. I’ll probably pass on that much Elvis; I’ve already exceeded my lifetime quota of the King.

Phylum of Alexandria
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May 17, 2023 12:25 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

I have done the Dark Side of Oz sync-up many times. It’s now the only way I can watch that movie. Otherwise it’s rather wearying.

Pauly Steyreen
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May 17, 2023 7:18 pm
Reply to  stobgopper

I make an exception for “Kentucky Rain”

cstolliver
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May 17, 2023 7:31 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

To me, later Elvis is more listenable Elvis: Suspicious Minds, Kentucky Rain, Burning Love, Moody Blue, even In the Ghetto.

cappiethedog
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May 18, 2023 1:54 am
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

I think Jim Jarmusch is making a case for Eddie Cochran as being a contender to the throne in Mystery Train.

cappiethedog
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May 18, 2023 2:15 am
Reply to  cappiethedog

Oh, wait. Carl Perkins.

I like Eddie Cochran.

Phylum of Alexandria
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May 18, 2023 9:02 am
Reply to  cappiethedog

I was about to say…

JJ Live At Leeds
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May 17, 2023 9:47 am

Entertaining, inventive and educational, today I learned a new word; ouroboros.

Big Seinfeld fan but got to admit that I cannot remember The Suit. Sounds plausible though!

I like that this comes shortly after rollerboogie’s great bass lines. The Seinfeld theme came to mind straight away when I read that, not that I’d ever want to listen it removed from the show.

Phylum of Alexandria
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May 17, 2023 12:28 pm

Either I can’t make heads or tails of a reference, ouroboro some wisdom from the ancients.

mt58
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May 17, 2023 3:05 pm
Reply to  stobgopper

As ever!

dutchg8r
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May 18, 2023 3:00 pm

Ouroboro sounds like the perfect name for a SE PA town.

“Get outta here, you Jersey rat, this is Ouroboro, and don’t you forget it.

Same goes for youse Wilmington folks too.”

Virgindog
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May 17, 2023 10:08 am

stobgopper! It’s so great to have you over here, and with a beut debut, too.

I know the Pink Floyd/Wizard Of Oz mashup is available on YouTube, so I went looking for the Seinfeld/Elvis mix. I didn’t find it but I did stumble on this, which is worth 51 seconds of your time.

https://youtu.be/HjZyT4YfIiY

Virgindog
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May 17, 2023 2:13 pm
Reply to  stobgopper

Not until just now. It’s genius.

LinkCrawford
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May 17, 2023 10:08 am

Oh, man, stob…you do not disappoint. I mean, I don’t think that I’ve ever watched a full episode of Seinfeld, though I have listened to the Elvis album featured hundreds of times since I was like 2 years old.

Nope, I’m just happy you’re here and I love reading your writing.

mt58
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May 17, 2023 3:08 pm
Reply to  stobgopper

Delighted that you took the plunge. Many thanks for a terrific inaugural article.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think you’re gonna like it here…

LinkCrawford
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Virgindog
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Virgindog
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May 17, 2023 2:37 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

Not nice at all. But let’s give him a second chance and if he tries tricking us again, well, um, we’ll probably fall for it.

Aaron3000
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May 18, 2023 9:16 pm
Reply to  Virgindog
JJ Live At Leeds
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May 17, 2023 2:53 pm
Reply to  stobgopper

At least you owned up before I started trying to hunt down the episode. My daughter keeps telling me how ancient I am and pointing it out every time I forget something. I thought the fact I couldn’t remember the episode was further evidence for her taunts.

Think I’m even more impressed now that I know you invented it! Nicely done sir.

cappiethedog
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May 17, 2023 4:06 pm

stobgopper, are you a Seinfeld-phile? I have a question about the last great network sitcom. This detail is so obscure, Google doesn’t know.

One of my favorite films is Leolo, directed by Jean Claude Lauzon, whose career was tragically cut short by a plane crash.

I was amazed to see Leolo as part of Newman’s VHS collection. It was a quick cutaway shot. The thought of Newman being a film buff floored me.

Do you know which episode Newman’s VHS collection was featured in?

mt58
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May 18, 2023 8:57 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Who loves ya, cappie? Here ya go:

The Bottle Deposit (S7 E21/22)

The Princess Bride (1987)
Leolo (1992)
Needful Things (1993)
City Slickers (1991)
Three of Hearts (1993)
The (LOL) Baby-Sitters Club (1995)
Wide Sargasso Sea (1993)
Ulterior Motives (1992)
Secrets & Lies (1996)

Newman VHS.png
cappiethedog
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May 19, 2023 5:12 pm
Reply to  mt58

Thank you, mt58. This is truly astonishing.

I thought I dreamt this.

Wide Sargasso Sea is the other film that makes me laugh. No real person on earth likes both Wide Sargasso Sea and The Babysitters Club enough to buy them.

Leolo.

Canadians know.

Maybe Newman is originally from Canada.

dutchg8r
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May 18, 2023 2:52 pm

The Gopper of Stob has arrived in tnocs.com country!!! [Waves like Elaine entering a room]

So someone got burned out on the whole Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon theory, eh? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of this alignment before, but it is quite amusing. Makes you wonder how many things these people watch with a particular album cued up, waiting to stumble on some random serendipitous alignment of watchable media to albums.

Thank goodness for college kids trying every possible way to kill time, doing all this vital research for us! 😉

Edith G
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May 19, 2023 6:36 pm

Welcome aboard ! Good article, sometimes I think that kind of subjects comes from the minds of people who don’t have nothing to do, but ended up finding interesting stuff.

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