7:25 pm - 05/06/2014

The sounds of Seinfeld: when cult comedy and music collides

Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig has covered the iconic Seinfeld theme for a game called The Junior Mint. But it's not the first time musicians have paid tribute to the cult sitcom

The iconic Seinfeld "slap bass" – a sound which is in fact played on a keyboard – has been recreated by Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig. The frontman's vocal-only version of the TV sitcom theme will be used, rather bizarrely, in a video game version of the episode The Junior Mint, in which players must pick either Jerry Seinfeld or Kramer to throw mints into a patient's open-surgery wound. You can listen to Koenig's theme here, but understand that if you leave the track on a loop for long enough you will almost certainly loose all sense of sanity.

While this might be the most recent musical tribute to the cult sitcom, it's not the first time Seinfeld has found a precious place in musicians' hearts. Take alt-rock group Yo La Tengo. In 2011, the band embarked on a tour, during which each night they invited an audience member to spin a giant wheel and the band would play whatever set the wheel instructed them to. One of the options was for members of the band to act out "a classic sitcom". The crowd at the Metro in Chicago was treated/subjected to a reading of the entire script from the Seinfeld episode The Chinese Restaurant. A snippet of which is below:

That was back in 2011, however, before it became much, much easier to simply create a video mashup to show your appreciation. A year later, the video below – featuring the music of pale-faced producer Skrillex and clips from Larry David's creation – became especially popular. Although it was not commissioned by the musician, the vision of Kramer jerking to this skull-crushing sample is symbiotic enough to suggest that Skrillex has based his career on a pursuit of the perfect soundtrack to such a spasm.

Perhaps the most direct and committed show of love, however, has come from rapper Wale, who put out The Mixtape About Nothing in 2008. Inspired by Seinfeld, it samples dialogue from famous episodes of the show and features an appearance by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as she divinely and dorkily chimes: "Don't you think my kids are gonna think I'm so cool that I'm on this mixtape?? Mothafucka! Word up."

The cultural crossover continued. According to Jerry himself, the comedian once approached Puff Daddy about working together on material. "I said to him, 'Hip-hop's words, right? Why don't you take my words and do something with it?' I didn't know how to do it but I thought, 'Just take the words!'," Seinfeld explained.

I have my fingers tightly crossed for some slap bass-heavy Seinfeld sampling on Puffy's forthcoming album MMM.


Who will cover this iconic song of the 90's, I wonder:

xpirate_queenx 6th-May-2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Jerry's face is freaking me out in that pic.
oh_sailor 6th-May-2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
adagsly 6th-May-2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
i still listen to this on a regular basis
tx5mym5 6th-May-2014 06:41 pm (UTC)
/end post

Good shit.
zyuranger Not music, but...6th-May-2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
prophecypro 6th-May-2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
I always think of the Wale tapes back in the day. It really made young Folorian more of an interesting MC than he is
snowweisz 6th-May-2014 05:54 pm (UTC)

And Idk if it's a generational thing but not even Friends could pull off the genius that was Seinfeld's show about nothing
x_spinfaster 6th-May-2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
They're just different shows imo; Seinfeld is more out there and sarcastic, while Friends is much more of a feel-good sitcom

I think they've have both held up pretty well with time
adagsly 6th-May-2014 06:24 pm (UTC)

shame i never liked anything else wale did tho
montag_heidi 6th-May-2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
the best sitcom of all time
direfaces 6th-May-2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
fromxthexdamage 6th-May-2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
The older I get, the more I appreciate this show.
dannyupshaw 6th-May-2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
lipkinlip 6th-May-2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
my favorite episode is the merv griffen show
modern_toilet 6th-May-2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
elaine is seriously the best female sitcom character of all time. sad that you have to go back to the 90's to find a decent feminist character. i'll never forget the episode where a guy is perfect except he's not pro-choice and therefore she doesn't like him. i never really appreciated what a statement that was until recently.
freeze_i_say 6th-May-2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
elaine and spinelli from recess have gotten me through some dark times idec
direfaces 6th-May-2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
seinfeld is the fucking best
dannyupshaw 6th-May-2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
vicvinegar 6th-May-2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
sigh elaine benes is a fashion and LIFE idol of mine
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