Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

How a Show about Nothing Changed Everything


As an avid fan of Seinfeld, I was happy to discover this book. It is a detailed accounting of the creation of the show, as well as a behind-the-scenes story of the making of it. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David went out for coffee and dreamed up the show, not really thinking that it would get very far. An NBC executive took a chance and ordered up four whole episodes to be broadcast in the summer of 1989 when not many people were watching anyway. It didn’t have a lot of viewers, but the critics liked it, so they ordered another half season to start in January the following year. It built from there, with more and more people watching “a show about nothing,” which was really about everything. Seinfeld and David drew stories from their everyday lives, mundane events that were made watchable because of the universal themes that everyone could relate to, such as waiting forever for a table at a restaurant, picking up dry cleaning, or returning an overdue library book--all the myriad boring details of life. The writers were instructed to write stories based on actual events in their lives, not to write like a normal sitcom. They would only be on staff for a year or two, because they would run out of material! All in all, a good read about a show that still resonates because of the timeless quality of the stories, and the great ensemble acting of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer.  

Check our catalog for this book.


Pat P., Technical Services

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