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How ‘Seinfeld’ Heralded Today’s Obsessive, Neurotic, and Inescapable TV Culture

Aug 24, 2016

Television | By  | August 17, 2016

Some TV shows blur the line between fiction and reality so acutely it’s hard to know where one stops and the other begins. In many ways, Seinfeld is the apex of this phenomenon, which Jennifer Keishin Armstrong documents in her new book Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything. The author got an object lesson in her own argument last month when Kenny Kramer — Seinfeld co-creator Larry David’s former neighbor and the real-life inspiration for the same-named character on the show — crashed her book party.

Armstrong had interviewed Kramer for her book, published last month. When she invited him to the launch party and didn’t hear back, she didn’t think much of it. At the event, held in the basement of a Brooklyn bookstore, Armstrong introduced a Seinfeld clip in which Kramer gives a bus tour, explaining that the plot was based on Kenny Kramer’s Seinfeld-themed New York City bus tours. Then she heard a noise.