It’s been almost fifteen years since Seinfeld went off the air, and during that stretch, a whole lot has changed about the sitcom business. Laugh tracks and live studio audiences are now frowned upon by comedy purists and thanks to cable, our collective idea of what’s edgy has moved quite a bit. Given all that, it might sound like it would be difficult for Jerry Seinfeld to update his shtick for modern viewers, but the truth of the matter is he would be just as appealing as ever. In a way, that’s always been the comedian’s greatest strength. Like Bill Cosby, Seinfeld was and is one of the few funny-men just as accepted by comedy elitists as by the general public.
His take on the minutia of life is inventive and original, yet easygoing and familiar. The phrase “all-appealing” is normally used to slander shows that are generic enough to be blandly acceptable, but in the case of a handful of programs over the past few decades, the term meant exactly what it seemed to promise. A very high percentage of people thought Seinfeld was funny, whether they were seventeen-year-old soccer players or seventy-year-old Jewish grandmothers.
Thanks to successful stand-up tours and crazy syndication paychecks, Seinfeld doesn’t need to work, but for the sake of comedy and NBC’s Thursday night schedule, we hope he does anyway.
Not that he's having any trouble finding feature film work or the occasional recurring character on television, but it would be great to see John Goodman return to the small screen for a permanent position. The former father from Roseanne, the 90s sitcom where he was stuck, uh, paired with Roseanne Barr for nine seasons, has been busy starring in critically acclaimed work since the blue collar comedy ended its long run at ABC a decade and a half ago, including stand-out turns in cult favorite Community and Ben Affleck's (Best Picture hopeful) Argo.
And while it would be a shame to stop seeing him pop up in so many great supporting performances, totally worth it to have Goodman star in the right small screen project. Although he has shown himself more than capable in any and all genres with his many diverse roles since Dan Conner, the actor is at his very best delivering quick witted and quirky dialogue of the Coen Brothers, making something like the upcoming FX adaptation of Fargo obviously perfect for his potential return. The dark but humorous world where people speak funny and do despicable things is a great setting for Goodman to showcase all his talent. If not there, the next Harmon series (or Aaron Sorkin) will do fine.