I’d like to think it’s no coincidence that Seinfeld debuted the year I was born.
I don’t consciously remember watching the early seasons as they premiered on Thursday nights, but I do remember many, many evenings settled into a grey corduroy loveseat in my childhood home, laughing at situational comedy I couldn’t possibly relate to yet. Basically, I was born a Seinfeld fan, and as I grew older, consumed syndication in mass quantities, and began to relate to the lives of the Fab Four, the show’s genius only grew on me.
Fast forward 25 years or so. I think I was in the office kitchen getting coffee when the news came in from Hulu: To promote every episode coming to their site in June, they’d be taking over Milk Studios in Chelsea to re-create Jerry’s apartment and create The Seinfeld Experience. Like any Seinfeld megafan, I’d always wondered what it’d be like to burst into Jerry’s apartment like Kramer, to open his fridge and get a Snapple for Elaine, to sit on the couch and brainstorm new career ideas with George. It could finally happen! I practiced by bursting into our news director’s office to ask if I could cover the event.
On Tuesday morning, I visited Milk Studios. Here’s a list of everything I checked off my bucket list.
- I put myself in every situation I could across Jerry’s apartment 5A. I sat on the couch and read The New Yorker. I opened the fridge and offered a ghost-Elaine a Snapple. I ran into the bathroom as if Kristin Davis (aka Jenna) had just dropped something of mine in the toilet. And yes, I burst through that door like it was nobody’s business, with echoes of “Hey buddy” and “Giddy up” running through my brain.
- I assumed the position on the red velvet couch George sprawled out on during his sexy photo shoot, sans tighty whiteys.
- I stood for several minutes and stared at the Monk’s Café booth, where some of the greatest conversations in the history of the show took place (including George’s brightest monologue of the series in “The Marine Biologist”).
- George’s Frogger machine was there, and if you closed your eyes, you could feel the presence of the perfect combination of Mountain Dew and Mozzarella.
- I spoke with Yev Kassem, aka the Soup Nazi, aka Larry Thomas, about his legacy, and what happened to all those recipes Elaine got ahold of after she went to jail. (See what he said in the video below.)
- I met Patrick Warburton and gazed into David Puddy’s iconic squint as he stood in front of the New Jersey Devils jersey he wore on the show.
- I ate Muffin Tops, and now I can see what Elaine’s hype was about.
Like watching dreams come true? Watch the video to see it all happen. And if you’re in New York this weekend, check out The Seinfeld Experience, which runs June 24 through June 28, for yourself.