This is iconic, the puffy shirt, because it’s just a very funny thing in a sitcom that turns out to be a real thing…again relatable. Everyone has had that piece of clothing that makes them look like an idiot and they thought maybe they would look good in it. I remember in 1973 when I was 13 I had a like, you know, one of these fringe vests like the hippies wore, except it was vinyl, and my grandmother made it and gave it to me. And I made the mistake of wearing it to school. It wasn’t very good-looking. So I relate to the puffy shirt.
I remember the shirt for two reasons. On the personal side, Seinfeld was a show I found funny and entertaining, and looked forward to it. The “puffy shirt” is just sort of an iconic object, in terms of American pop culture and television. On a more interesting business side, in the following years, I worked at Turner Broadcasting, and we had all the rights to Seinfeld. We scheduled and re-aired the shows for years and years. It was one of Ted Turner’s important acquisitions, and he felt we should have that as a part of our TBS schedule. So it has both a personal and a business reference for me.
Seinfeld is an important show because it showed the relatability of people and their flaws. The fact that it was so entertaining and clever while being “clean” – without need of profanity – it had a way of getting to the edge of society’s issues or interpersonal issues, but never had to cross over into the profane or the perverse to get there. I think that shows the real genius that Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, and their cast of characters had.
The museum collected artifacts from the show Seinfeld because the show was such a defining moment in American TV comedy and American culture. The show chronicles a group of unrelated New Yorkers centered more on character rather than plot-oriented humor. […] I remember telling Jerry Seinfeld that the essence of the show was him and his humor. Short of taking [Seinfeld] to a taxidermist and having him conserved for the collection, the puffy shirt, of the precious little material culture that remained from the show, gave a sense of the slightly absurd brand of comedy that was featured on the show.