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Just as people still quote Shakespeare when we’re stoked about the wicked light breaking through yonder window, people will still be rattling off Seinfeld lines for many years to come. And it isn’t just the rabid fanbase bringing the show’s words into everyday life, as creator and star Jerry Seinfeld apparently also isn’t hesitant to continue using some of the show’s most oft-spoken phrasings, particularly when greeting people. Here’s how he put it.
I still say ‘hey’ to greet a lot of people like we did on the show, and I still will do thumbs up, like Kramer did. And I still say hello to people the way I said, ‘Hello Newman.’
In the annals of TV character behavioral tics, there’s definitely something enviable about being a person that Jerry Seinfeld acknowledges as if they were his scum-of-the-earth neighbor Newman. That’d be a good bragging point to use with friends. I’d also like for Bryan Cranston to demand that I say his name, and to sing the Chili’s jingle with Steve Carrell.
Good to know that Seinfeld isn’t so completely inside his own head, or so sick of Seinfeld’s lasting legacy, that he won’t acknowledge and take part in how much the sitcom’s dialogue has entered the cultural lexicon. He shared this answer as part of a Reddit AMA, and it’s the same one where he said he still gets a kick out of people still using words like ”regift” and “yadda yadda” (along with what his favorite joke was). It’s probably easier for him to get back into that headspace as time goes on and it’s further in his past, so that he’s able to continue celebrating it without any negative connotations. Not that there’s anything wrong with negative connotations. Well, some of them, Michael Richards.
I have to assume at least 7 out of 10 Seinfeld fans have used something close to a “Hello, Newman” inflection at least once in the last two years. And after watching this video, you’ll probably do it in the next two days.
Personally, I prefer to say ”Hellooooo, Elaine” using my stomach in the same manner that got Jerry in trouble with Claire during “The Voice.” I also use “Serenity, now!” on occasion, as well as various Kramer noises when the time calls for them. (It always calls for them.)
And now we wait a month until we can start setting up for Festivus in July.