‘Seinfeld’: Larry David Created Dark Humor By Enforcing 2 Rules for Writers — ‘No Hugging, No Learning’

by Jeremy Spirogis

Skeptics by no means anticipated Seinfeld to change into one of the crucial beloved cult basic comedies within the historical past of tv. The humor was unusual, the characters weren’t likable, and maybe most perplexing of all, your entire present appeared to be about nothing. Creator Larry David needed to threaten to stop a number of occasions to totally convey his model of comedy to life.

Even although Seinfeld broke each mildew, they did stick to some essential guidelines for the present. David had a imaginative and prescient when it got here to Seinfeld and he was unwilling to compromise on his key ideas for the sequence. That’s why you’ll by no means see Jerry, Elaine, or George expertise emotional progress or study life classes — that was by no means the purpose.

Julia Louis Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David | David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Larry David enforced ‘no hugging, no learning’ guidelines for Seinfeld

There weren’t too many taboo matters on Seinfeld, which was very a lot a present forward of its time. The gang tackled delicate points together with masturbation, homosexuality, psychological abuse, and faking disabilities, to call a number of. But one factor author and creator David wouldn’t tolerate was thinly veiled public service bulletins.

As Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture wisely
, “Seinfeld was by no means content material merely to amuse. It appeared to
detest the concept that audiences may get too comfy with it. David
admonished the writing workers that there could be ‘no hugging, no learning’ in
the scripts, and there wasn’t. Ever.”

‘Seinfeld’ writers went out of their approach to be offensive

While some followers insisted Seinfeld was merely a sensible portrayal of life in New York City, critics had been blown away by how darkish it really was. Rather than embracing a kind of benign existence, the writers appeared intent on exposing the worst features of human nature with their solid of unapologetically nihilistic characters.

Seinfeld went out of its approach to provoke, baffle, and offend,” Seitz continued. “It was usually blasted as showoff-y, chilly, even hateful. (When George’s fiancée died from licking poisonous envelopes, he appeared to recover from it in seconds.) Seinfeld was, to cite a phrase from the Grinch’s theme tune, as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel.”

The present pioneered the way in which for the way forward for tv

Seinfeld modified the panorama of tv in a significant means by permitting their character to be their genuine selves with out caring what folks — together with viewing audiences — considered it. David’s “no learning” rule meant that future exhibits would come with antiheroes like Tony Soprano, Breaking Bad’s Walter White, and Six Feet Under’s Nate Fisher, who had been ruthless and unapologetic similar to Seinfeld‘s leads.

And it wasn’t simply the solid who grew to become much less likable — Seinfeld additionally pioneered the idea of a less-than-satisfying sequence finale. The final episode ever featured the 4 mates feeling zero regret for not serving to a person who obtained carjacked. Instead of studying a single factor over time and years of conditions similar to this, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer cheerfully carry on being their horrible, egocentric selves in a jail holding cell proper up till the ultimate credit roll.

It might have been revolutionary on the time. But now Seinfeld’s model of comedy is ubiquitous, all as a result of they had been courageous sufficient to strive it out first.

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