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Though Seinfeld hasn't produced a new episode in over 20 years, the acclaimed sitcom's influence in pop culture still hasn't waned, to the point where Jerry Seinfeld knows he can't properly follow up with another TV show. That notion was most recently evidenced by Jason Alexander's big Super Bowl commercial for Tide, which featured the actor's likeness used in hilarious ways, all while paying a winking homage to Seinfeld's George Costanza. (Perhaps thankfully, it wasn't a callback to "The Contest," because ew.)
I won't even say what the reference is before everyone watches, since it's a pretty easy one to recognize for any established Seinfeld fans. Check it out below!
No, this obviously isn't a callback to Jerry's puffy shirt, though it would admittedly be equally amusing to see some fluffy ruffles in the middle of Jason Alexander's face on that hoodie. Rather it's the music used during the ad, the song "Theme from The Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)," that hearkens back to Seinfeld's Season 8 episode The Susie." That particular installment gifted audiences with George's outgoing answering machine message, which was a delightfully bland parody of the aforementioned TV theme.
For many Seinfeld fans, one of the most memorable lines will forever be "Believe it or not, George isn't at home," and few would actually stop before singing the rest of the monotone ditty, which Jason Alexander intentionally performed as flat as could be. Back in 2015, current WandaVision star Kat Dennings revealed that she actually used that Seinfeld clip as her voicemail message, prompting Alexander to give her a more authentic version by re-performing it.
Jason Alexander has always been game to give Seinfeld its due, whether it involves reuniting with his former co-stars for Curb Your Enthusiasm's meta arc, or defending the sitcom's polarizing finale. So it makes perfect sense that his Super Bowl ad would also work a clever reference in. It's perhaps not as sensible for his face to be plastered across a seemingly sentient hoodie, but it's perfect all the same. There's something so strangely amusing about seeing his two-dimensional face reacting to things such as discarded chewing gum, dog drool, buttprints and more. I'd like to think the commercial director specifically told Alexander to react as if a teenager was doing the worm on his face.
Tide released a follow-up spot featuring Jason Alexander reacting to finding his own hoodie online.
Strangely enough, anybody who wants the Jason Alexander hoodie bad enough – and let's be honest, it should be all of us – can enter for a chance to win it, with paid contributions going to the charities Feeding America® and Matthew 25: Ministries. Hopefully my buddy Art Vandelay will be the winner, so I can borrow it the next time I'm cruising the streets in John Voight's car.