3 Terrific Times Michigan Played into a ‘Seinfeld’ Episode
Fans of TV sitcoms are generally separated into two camps: the ones who think Seinfeld is quite probably the best comedy of all time, and then the ones who just don't get it.
For those who do, it's easy to spend hours binging season after season, laughing until your sides just can't take anymore.
During its run on NBC from 1989 to 1998, Seinfeld produced a total of 180 episodes and made television history. Its ensemble cast, featuring standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld, along with Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, skyrocketed to fame thanks to must-see Thursday nights.
Though the series was famously set in New York City, there were a handful of times that Michigan factored into a Seinfeld storyline.
"The Seinfeld Chronicles" (Season 1, Episode 1)
Not only does Michigan factor into the very first Seinfeld episode there ever was, Lansing was the very first city ever mentioned on the show.
The pilot episode opens with Jerry and George chatting at a table in the now-iconic Monk's Cafe. Jerry mentions a woman he might be seeing the following night, describing her as a political science teacher he met the night he "did the show in Lansing". Check it out for yourself, about a minute into this clip:
"The Bottle Deposit" (Season 7, Episodes 21 and 22)
Whereas the Michigan reference in Seinfeld's pilot episode was rather fleeting, the state figured prominently in the two episodes of "The Bottle Deposit". (It was an hour-long episode when it first ran; it's now split into two episodes for syndication purposes.)
Kramer and Newman hatched a scheme to collect bottles and cans in New York, and transport them to Michigan in Newman's mail truck to take advantage of the state's 10-cent refund law. Saginaw even gets a cameo mention in this one. Remember along with us here:
"The Merv Griffin Show" (Season 9, Episode 6)
Seinfeld was famous (or infamous) for having multiple storylines running in each episode, often intersecting with each other in hilarious fashion. While Kramer's acquisition of the trashed set of the old Merv Griffin Show was central to this episode, it was storyline about Jerry's infatuation with a date's classic toy collection that ultimately brought about the Michigan mention in this one.
Celia didn't want anyone to play with these collectors' items, but Jerry couldn't resist after she fell asleep. Next thing we know, he stops by again with George in tow, armed with a turkey (rife with tryptophan), a box of wine, and four hours of home movies from George's boyhood trip to -- you guessed it! -- Michigan... all designed to induce Celia's sleepiness and allow the boys free time to play while she's off to dreamland.
Next time you play a round of Seinfeld trivia, here's hoping this article makes you "master of your domain".