I didn’t grow up with Seinfeld. Or, rather, I didn’t grow up with Seinfeld on my family’s television. I knew it was a phenomenon, and I could even mimic the Soup nazi, but I never watched an episode while it was airing. It wasn’t until I became a studious fan of stand-up comedy that I started to watch Seinfeld in earnest. Once I saw how masterfully Jerry Seinfeld approached stand-up, I had to see what his chart-topping, ratings bonanza of a sitcom was like. Thankfully, Seinfeld more than lived up to “the legend of John Henry’s hammer” that was attached to it.
After becoming a fan of the series, I went back to recontextualize how gigantic it was during its heyday, and it’s still hard for me to fathom. So much so that photos of fans assembling in Times Square to watch the finale—that aired May 14, 1998—is a mind-blowing sight.