2.20.2007

"...and they threw me outside, right into a horse"

Yesterday in comments on the Little Mosque post, reader Edward Ott noted:
i think it is very funny, not sure how non-muslims get all the jokes as some off them are what i think of as inside jokes.

I thought this was great, as I often think the same thing in a similar context: Seinfeld. Allan and I often wonder how non-New Yorkers understand some of the material, especially in the earliest (and, in my opinion, best) seasons, when the material was more New York-specific. But obviously millions of people not from New York City like Seinfeld, so we're all "getting it" on different levels. I like that.

In Seinfeld, most of these references are quick throwaway lines. The excellent Subway episode is full of them.

When George is handcuffed to the bed and the female con artist is stealing his suit, he screams, "That's my only suit! It cost me $350! I got it at Moe Ginsburg!" Moe Ginsburg is a great NYC reference, and a bit of a window into George, too, but only if you get it. (Holy cow! I just found out the Seinfeld Scripts website says "I got it at Mount Kingsbrough"?!)

In that same episode, Jerry takes the D train to Coney Island with the naked man (played by the terrific New York actor Ernie Sabella). The subway doors open and Jerry says, "French Fries!" If you're not from New York, does that mean anything?

Likewise at the very beginning of the episode, Kramer details various convoluted routes by which Jerry can get to Coney Island by subway, until Elaine says, "Couldn't he just take the D straight to Coney Island?" This is so New York.

(On the other hand, there are major continuity problems with the subway cars themselves. None of the lines are right, and the markings change from scene to scene.)

Last night as I was falling asleep, I watched a great episode: "The Visa," in which Elaine doesn't give Jerry his mail promptly, which leads to Babu being deported, and in which George is dating the lawyer handling Ping's case. ("I ran across the street to apologize to a virgin" is one of my favourite lines.)

Kramer is describing how he tried to apologize to Mickey Mantle, after punching him in the face at the Yankees fantasy camp.
Kramer: Well, I just came back from Mickey Mantle's restaurant.

Jerry: How could you go in there?

Kramer: Well, I had to. I had to apologize. I mean, I punched Mickey Mantle, my idol. It was eating me up inside!

Jerry: Well, what happened?

Kramer: I got down in my knees and went, "Go ahead, Mickey. Hit me. I'm begging you, Mickey, please hit me. C'mon, hit me. I love you, Mickey, I love you!"

Elaine: So, what did he do?

Kramer: Well, the four of them, they picked me up by my pants and they threw me outside, right into a horse.

OK folks, does anyone know why Kramer gets thrown into a horse? What does a horse have to do with anything? New Yorkers and former New Yorkers are not eligible to answer.

* * * *

Allan is visiting his country of origin (Vermont) this week, and probably won't be online very much. I know when he gets back he'll have something to say on this topic, which is much discussed in our home.

41 comments:

L-girl said...

I just emailed the admin of the Seinfeld Scripts site. I assumed they already knew about that error (Moe Ginsburg - Mount Kinsborough), but it turns out they did not. He's going to correct it now. Cool!

Jere said...

Growing up an hour train ride from NYC, and having been 15 when the show started (which doesn't seem possible), I was getting the tri-state area jokes in the early years but necessarily the NYC in-jokes. I have discovered things on the show since moving to NYC, like when Jerry's making fun of Eduardo Corrochio, and in an Italian accent asks if Elaine met him at "Ray's-a-pizza."

And things like the "double R"--that subway line's been gone since before I moved here, so it's weird to hear seemingly modern-day people talking about a defunct entity as if it were still there.

I could go on all day about this--so just one more: When Elaine says, "We were practically in Monticello!" when they were trying to get rid of that dog--I wonder if non-NY-area people have any idea exactly how far away they were from NYC...

Scott M. said...

I have to admit, I'm a little worried about whether or not you and Allan are going to appreciate all of the subtle (and hilarious) references in Bon Cop, Bad Cop. Like Pepsi for instance.

James said...

Something to do with mounted police?

L-girl said...

and in an Italian accent asks if Elaine met him at "Ray's-a-pizza."

Love it! "And tell me, where on the Upper West Side would a girl meet a bullfighter?"

I could go on all day about this

Don't stop on my account. :)

I have to admit, I'm a little worried about whether or not you and Allan are going to appreciate all of the subtle (and hilarious) references in Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

And I have to admit, since seeing the preview, I'm unlikely to see the movie.

I'm sure the French/English references are hilarious, but since I won't get a lot of them, it will be like watching a Canadian Lethal Weapon. Not something I want to do - given that time is ticking away on Movie Season, as Baseball Season approaches.

L-girl said...

Something to do with mounted police?

Good guess, but no.

Woti-woti said...

I don't get the horse ref., but I know Mantle was from Oklahoma. Did the Mick open an NY restaurant with some kind of cowboy theme?

L-girl said...

Mantle was from Oklahoma. Did the Mick open an NY restaurant with some kind of cowboy theme?

Also a good guess! But alas, incorrect.

Honestly, I don't know how anyone outside of New York could know the answer. But we'll see who else turns up.

Scott M. said...

My guess: The restaurant is on Central Park South, an area littered with romantic carriage rides (and the horses that pull them).

Scott M. said...

Just for fun I looked up where it is... Central Park S! Yea! My guess stands.

L-girl said...

My guess: The restaurant is on Central Park South, an area littered with romantic carriage rides (and the horses that pull them).

DING DING DING DING DING!!! We have a winnah!!!

Very good, Scott! And you guessed without knowing where the restaurant is located? Impressive!

Yes, Mickey Mantle's is on Central Park South, across from Central Park. The horse-and-carriages line up on Central Park South for rides through the park.

In another Seinfeld episode, Kramer drives such a carriage, and tells his passengers that Central Park was designed by Joe Pepitone.

Joe Pepitone played for the New York Yankees. In "The Visa" episode (the one we're on here), Pepitone is at bat when Kramer is pitching, which leads to the fight in which Kramer punches Mickey Mantle.

Central Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux.

I'm sorry to say, Scott, this contest does not include a prize - but you deserve one.

Scott M. said...

I'm sorry to say, Scott, this contest does not include a prize

Aww!

When I first (and last) visited NYC (on a weekend), my girlfriend at the time contemplated going on a carriage ride through central park. We passed, but I recall that they all hang out at the south end of Central Park. Knowing that Central Park was bordered by a street called Central Park in the South and West and... I think.. 4th Ave? 5th Ave? in the East, and that (I believe) there are no commercial establishments in Central Park, I took a guess at where the restaurant was located.

Jere said...

It's bordered on the east by 5th Ave. Between 5th and 3rd Avenues are Madison, Park, and Lexington. 4th Avenue only exists for a small stretch just below Union Square. Poor 4th Ave. And let's not forget the north border of Central Park, 110th St., forever immortalized in the movie and film "Across 110th St."

A few months ago, I saw Nellie McKay play a show at this room that overlooks Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park). So we're sitting there, and she's talking about the cruelty done to those horses that pull the carriages, as she's an advocate for animal rights--and we can see the horses, literally behind her out the window.

L-girl said...

Thanks for fielding that one, Jere. :)

Continuing on the theme, Central Park is bordered on the west by Central Park West and on the south by Central Park South. There is no street in Manhattan just called Central Park.

Jere, where was the show? Jazz at Lincoln Center? Iridium isn't still there, is it? (And it wouldn't have a view anyway, would it?)

L-girl said...

and that (I believe) there are no commercial establishments in Central Park

Sadly, that is not true, and we can not thank Robert Moses for it.

There's a famous restaurant in the park called Tavern On The Green. It shouldn't be there.

Although it's in a lovely historic building, and in the winter the trees around it are strung with lights, it's beautiful.

But it still shouldn't be there.

Tavern On The Green

Jere said...

Yes, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, specifically the Allem Room. Awesome view, great idea to have shows there, with the performer in front of the window so the crowd faces outside. Iridium still exists, but the coffee shop where Travis took Betsy in Taxi Driver at Columbus Circle does not. I think the CNN building is where that was.

L-girl said...

I think that's Iridium's 3rd location.

I think the former drug coffee shop near Columbus Circle still exists, although it's just a coffee shop now. It used to be a drug supermarket. You could buy drugs there any time of day or night.

Illegal drugs only, of course. It was not like a Rite Aid (Duane Reade / Shoppers Drug Mart / Boots).

L-girl said...

the Allem Room. Awesome view, great idea to have shows there, with the performer in front of the window so the crowd faces outside.

Sounds brilliant.

Plus you can go to Whole Foods before the show. :)

James said...

Yes, Mickey Mantle's is on Central Park South, across from Central Park. The horse-and-carriages line up on Central Park South for rides through the park.

I shoulda thought of that -- I've seen those every time I've been in NYC.

M@ said...

Dang! I was going to guess a carriage too. I'm having some trouble getting Google Reader to pick up the feed (can anyone help with this?) and missed my chance.

I remember the Joe Pepitone reference -- hilarious. Believe me, part of the fun of watching Seinfeld is learning about what these references mean. (And you an Allan are invaluable resources for me!)

Diamond Jim said...

Iridium is now in the basement of Ellen's Stardust Diner--the uptown one, at Broadway & 51st. I saw Carla Bley there once. This used to be the space where Forbidden Broadway played.

It's hilarious to walk on Broadway around 112th and see tourists' mouths drop as they realize that Tom's Restaurant is the exterior of Monk's. And in case anybody doesn't, they have the painting of Kramer supposedly done by Catherine Keener. I ate at Tom's once just to say I did. The food, not unlike the decor, is 50s big-city-diner; really horrible.

L-girl said...

Iridium is now in the basement of Ellen's Stardust Diner

Oh right. Yet another move, I forgot about that.

It's hilarious to walk on Broadway around 112th and see tourists' mouths drop as they realize that Tom's Restaurant is the exterior of Monk's.

I gave M@ that tip on his last NYC trip.

Another Seinfeld location is McManus's on 7th Ave & 18th St, where Elaine breaks up with Bob Balaban (who looks exactly like the president of NBC at that time) and where the TV Elaine comes on to Jerry.

I ate at Tom's once just to say I did.

I used to eat there a lot, usually in the middle of the night. But not because it was Seinfeld-related. It wasn't even famous then.

L-girl said...

Dang! I was going to guess a carriage too.

I was wondering when you'd show up. :-)

I'm having some trouble getting Google Reader to pick up the feed

Is that because of the URL forwarding, do you think?

I remember the Joe Pepitone reference -- hilarious.

It gets me every time.

M@ said...

Is that because of the URL forwarding, do you think?

Possibly. Do you know the URL for the RSS or Atom feed for WMTC? I might be able to recover it somehow... I'll check it out.

On the Joe Pepitone thing, in a way it's always bugged me. Surely the Rosses know who designed Central Park. Why don't they protest when Kramer says Pepitone did? They might not know who Pepitone is, but surely they know who designed Central Park! Or maybe they're too caught up in the moment? (Until Beefarino hits Rusty of course!)

M@ said...

Further to my last... it seems the feed is http://wmtc.ca/atom.xml , but Google Reader was unable to find it. In case anyone else was looking, there it is.

I just switched to GReader, incidentally. Welcome to the Age of Google.

James said...

Further to my last... it seems the feed is http://wmtc.ca/atom.xml , but Google Reader was unable to find it. In case anyone else was looking, there it is.

I've been using Google Reader for month... It didn't miss a beat during the changeover.

L-girl said...

On the Joe Pepitone thing, in a way it's always bugged me. Surely the Rosses know who designed Central Park.

I have a few Seinfeld moments like that, too. I guess we have to work on our suspension of disbelief.

L-girl said...

I just switched to GReader, incidentally. Welcome to the Age of Google.

...

I've been using Google Reader for month... It didn't miss a beat during the changeover.


But that's Google for ya. Lots of people love Blogger, it works perfectly, but for those it doesn't, it's a nightmare that nothing can solve.

Google Reader has been around a long time. I wonder why so many people are switching to it now? It must be just catching on.

M@ said...

Google Reader has been around a long time. I wonder why so many people are switching to it now? It must be just catching on.

Maybe. My story is, I was with Bloglines for about two or three years, and then in the last couple of days it stopped sending updates. And then I found that I could export all my Bloglines feeds and import them into GReader. So I switched.

This was the only blog with a problem, because I had already entered it in GReader when I was trying it out a while ago. Then it was double-entered, and by deleting one I deleted both... hence the problem!

Glad it was resolved, of course.

L-girl said...

because I had already entered it in GReader when I was trying it out a while ago. Then it was double-entered

I'm very relieved that's all it was. Because this blog is set up a little strangely - in a way Blogger claims shouldn't work - I'm always expecting any problems to be the result of that. When you told me you couldn't get the feed, I thought, oh shit, this is it...

So I'm very glad it wasn't "it". :)

M@ said...

I think that if I'd put in wmtc.blogspot.com and told GReader to search that, it might have found the feed. I don't know if you might want to consider adding the feed address to the sidebar, though.

L-girl said...

I don't know if you might want to consider adding the feed address to the sidebar, though.

I will do. Thanks for reminding me.

redsock said...

I have a few Seinfeld moments like that, too. I guess we have to work on our suspension of disbelief.

"Keith Hernandez, the baseball player?"

L-girl said...

"Keith Hernandez, the baseball player?"

First thing I thought of, too. At least for that one, they can't assume the whole audience knows who K Hernandez is. Although they could have said, "...the Mets first basemen?" - that would have sounded more natural.

redsock said...

Actually, the last time we saw it, it kinda of made sense, in that George was surprised at hearing the name. ... But it is obviously in there to tell the audience.

Isaacs said...

@ m@ -

I realize this is an extremely old blog post and no one will probably read this comment, but I had to correct m@ on the Joe Pepitone thing. Kramer doesn't tell the Rosses that Joe Pepitone designed Central Park. The Pepitone comment came during an earlier ride when Kramer was driving some Asian tourists around. Kramer didn't mention Pepitone during his ride with the Rosses.

I have nothing better to do than to comment on a blog post that is a year and a half old...sad.

L-girl said...

Well, I'll read the comment, and you're incorrect. The Pepitone comment comes when Kramer is driving the Rosses through the Park. I'll supply proof shortly.

redsock said...

It's in "The Rye" (Season 7, Episode 120):

KRAMER: Of course, uh, this is Central Park. Uh, this was designed in 1850 by Joe Pepitone. Um, built during the Civil War so the northern armies could practice fighting on ... on grass.

***

Wow, this also has "hot and heavy" and the rye (of course) and this bit:

SUSAN: How do you like the Merlot?

ESTELLE: Merlot? I never heard of it. Did they just invent it?

MRS. ROSS: Oh, mother.

GEORGE: She's, uh, she's heard of Merlot.

FRANK: Let me understand, you got the hen, the chicken and the rooster. The rooster goes with the chicken. So, who's having sex with the hen?

GEORGE: Why don't we talk about it another time.

FRANK: But you see my point here? You only hear of a hen, a rooster and a chicken. Something's missing!

MRS. ROSS: Something's missing all right.

MR. ROSS: They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

FRANK: That's perverse.

L-girl said...

KRAMER: Of course, uh, this is Central Park. Uh, this was designed in 1850 by Joe Pepitone. Um, built during the Civil War so the northern armies could practice fighting on ... on grass.

And of course, in "The Rye", Kramer is driving the Rosses around to keep them occupied while... you know the rest.

Thanks Redsock, and thanks for stopping by, Isaacs.

redsock said...

I misunderstood the comment above. He's right. It does not happen with the Rosses. It is a very brief scene much earlier in the episode and that is the only line.

With the Rosses, he only introduces himself and says he'll take them on a tour of NY the way it once was. Then the horse starts farting....

L-girl said...

It does not happen with the Rosses. It is a very brief scene much earlier in the episode and that is the only line.

Really?? Wow, we all remember it wrong.

Thank you Isaac, and I'm sorry I said you were incorrect!