The subway advertisements have caught your attention. You’ve noticed it listed over and over again on your digital cable box guide. You’ve seen the DVDs both in houses and left on stoops, just in case anyone wants to take them. Of course, you saw the Super Bowl thing. Now it’s time to finally talk about it: Seinfeld! Here to take us through it is music’s (world’s?) biggest Seinfeld fan, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino.
KELLY: Your love of Seinfeld is pretty well known at this point. Do you remember when and why you started watching it?
BETHANY: My dad is a musician and he stayed at home when I was growing up while my mom worked, so he was always watching TV and Seinfeld was his favorite show. It was just always on in my house, so it just became this show that my family started watching together. I think I was in like maybe middle school? I remember not always understanding the sexual jokes because I was pretty young, haha, but I still loved the characters and just thought it was hilarious.
KELLY: Oh god, yeah, it’s always very funny to re-watch things like Seinfeld and Friends and, like, Clueless, and hear things that were just nonsense as a kid. Do you recall anything specific that you remember not getting?
BETHANY: I fully remember the episode where Elaine dates John Jermaine, the jazz musician, and she tells Jerry that the relationship is great but that he doesn’t “do everything” -I had like NO clue what that meant- and then when I got older and I realized that was a reference to oral sex I was like, ohhhhhh! And then also was like, ew, weird, I watched that with my mom and dad, hahaha.
KELLY: Hahah, ahhh, yeah I wonder what they’re thinking in that situation. “Don’t make eye contact, don’t look uncomfortable, don’t make eye contact, don’t look uncomfortable.”
BETHANY: I know, like I’m a grown woman but I still feel awkward whenever I am watching something with my parents that has something sexual in it.
KELLY: Is Seinfeld still a big thing with your family?
BETHANY: Yeah my dad is a huge Seinfeld fan still, he references the show pretty much every single time we hang out. I mean, since it’s on TV like all the time it’s become this thing where you can so easily memorize the episodes because they’re just always there, and it’s the type of show that just never gets old. I’ve seen every episode SO many times + I still watch it all the time. My mom knows less about Seinfeld than my dad and I but she’s still pretty Seinfeld smart.
KELLY: Yeah, it’s hard to imagine that there was a time when it wasn’t on constantly. Is there anything in life that will always remind you of Seinfeld? Like, for example, literally any salad reminds me of Seinfeld.
BETHANY: Haha, dude, salad always reminds me of Seinfeld too! It’s funny because I basically feel like I can relate every situation in my life in one way or another back to an episode of Seinfeld. Like, I am constantly doing things or saying things and then realizing like, whoa wait, this literally happened to George in Seinfeld. Like, the other day my neighbor’s dog was barking for soooo long and I was so annoyed and then I realized that the dog sounds like the really shitty sound effect they use for Farfel in the episode where Jerry has to watch the guys dog he meets on the plane. Like wow, I am such a freak, I am relating dogs barking back to my favorite TV show.
BETHANY: Also whenever someone I know has a baby I’m always like, “awwww I gotta meet the bayyyybeeeee,” because of that lady with the ugly baby on Seinfeld.
KELLY: Hahah, “Do you think they’re just having babies so people will visit them?” I love that. Do you have a favorite quote from the show, or a most frequently quoted quote?
BETHANY: I think my favorite is when Elaine + Jerry are talking in his apartment and she says “I will never understand people” and Jerry says “They’re the worst” — like that statement is just so funny and perfect to me, I feel like I say it all the time. I’m also really into referencing the one where Elaine + Jerry are talking and Jerry is like barely paying attention to her so she just goes “So, uh, I got chosen to go on the space shuttle. We’re going to Mars.” Hahaha, and Jerry is just like “oh, uh huh…” It’s just so funny to me because it’s such a real life situation.
KELLY: Yes, that is perfect. There are so many quotes from Seinfeld that feel like they’ve escaped the context of the show and have just become their own expressions. Like, “these pretzels are making me thirsty.” “Here’s to feeling good all the time.” I’m sure there are better ones.
BETHANY: Yeah exactly! Like, the amount of times I say “serenity now” to myself on a daily basis is hilarious.
KELLY: “Serenity now” is a perfect example.
BETHANY: I got a shirt on eBay a while ago that just has SERENITY NOW across the front of it. I never really wear it, but it was just too important to not buy because it’s like my mantra. I’ve considered getting it tattooed, actually. I have “As If” tattooed on my wrist because I’m such a Clueless fan + that’s such an important phrase to me, I feel like “serenity now” is just as important. So I will probably end up getting it tattooed some day.
KELLY: YES, “As If” and “Serenity Now” would be a great set of tattoos.
BETHANY: The only phrases in life you really need in order to survive. I honestly know maybe 2 people who don’t like Seinfeld and I’m very weary of them. I’m like, what? How can you NOT like Seinfeld? It’s just the most likable thing in the entire world.
KELLY: It is a very relatable show for humans, hard to imagine why one would not enjoy it.
BETHANY: Haha, exactly.
KELLY: One last question: do you have a favorite episode?
BETHANY: Ok, so this is probably the hardest question in the world for me to answer, haha, but I feel like my favorite (at least right now) is “The Glasses.”
BETHANY: I feel like every character has such a good story going on — Elaine getting bit by the dog and thinking she has rabies and saying “irritable? I’m irritable!” is like my favorite thing ever — and then of course George wearing prescription goggles and like eating an onion + and thinking a horse is Jerry’s GF is soooo good, and then Kramer being like a weird sponsor for the dude who is addicted to candy, and then Jerry just being paranoid that his GF is cheating on him with his cousin because George swears he saw it even though he clearly has no glasses and he can’t see, hahahaha. That episode just makes me laugh so hard because there is so much good stuff going on, so I would have to say that is my favorite. But as soon as we are done talking I will be like, “Oh wait! The Opposite is actually my favorite!”
KELLY: Oh god, also in that episode there is that bit with a window unit air conditioner.
BETHANY: Oh yeah!!! When the AC falls out the window and crushes the dog that bit Elaine, hahahahha.
KELLY: Hahaha, yes. That has left a fear of installing window air conditioners in my mind forever.
BETHANY: Same!!! My dad actually installed a window AC unit in my room recently and I kept having the visual of it falling out the window because of that specific scene. It’s the best because Kramer just like puts it in the window and he’s like, “ok, done!” Like, duh, that doesn’t work, but also lol because it’s so Kramer to just install an AC unit that way.
KELLY: Yes, perfect.
BETHANY: The most perfect. BTW I feel like I should mention I have been wearing a Seinfeld crop top during this entire interview.