"...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.

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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.


BrainTwang said...

Police horse? I absolutely love that line and the whole bit.

laura k said...

There were many comments/guesses on this post, plus the answer. Blogger lost 1000s of comments posted from 2006-2019 on this blog. :(

Good guess, BrainTwang. The answer is horse-drawn carriages line up along Central Park South for carriage rides through the park. The restaurant was opposite the park.

Those carriage rides come up again in at least one other Seinfeld episode!