Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Following Was Inspired by a Recent Message from Frost-E Frost

In the days of the Book Monkeys it was Buffy, Angel and Dawson; nowadays it's Lost, The Office, and Heroes; but back in the Wyandotte days, there were only two shows which really counted as water-cooler (or, since it was high school, water-fountain) shows. The first was Saturday Night Live, which was, in the early 90s, at one of its high points. This was the time of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, of Chris Farley and David Spade, of Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider, of Julia Sweeney and the late, lamented Phil Hartman; this was the time of Toonces the Driving Cat, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, Wayne's World, It's Pat, Chicago Super Fans, and, of course, Happy Fun Ball. Each Saturday night, there would be multiple skits which would provide ample fodder for inside jokes and running gags for weeks at a time. But while SNL engaged a wide variety of fellow students, the other much-discussed show appealed to a much narrower demographic. The name of the show? Seinfeld.

The biggest Seinfeld fan I knew at the time was Frost-E Frost, who went around mimicking Kramer's head injury inspired speech patterns from Season 4 for months; I still can't hear the name "Yo Yo Ma" without thinking of Frost-E. It was during this season that Seinfeld aired the infamous episode, "The Contest," which revolved around a topic so taboo on TV at the time that the actual word, despite being the focus, was never used throughout the episode.* This was the episode which won Larry David an Emmy for best screenplay; it has been named as one of the best episodes of the series on countless, countless lists and was, at the time, one of the funniest things I had ever seen on TV. I was looking forward to hearing Frost-E's thoughts on it the next day, but when I asked him about it, I just got a resigned grunt.

You see, of all nights, that was one in which Frost-E's mom sat down to watch the show with him. Horribly conscious that he was watching a show about The Sin of Onan with his mother, Frost-E was too busy concentrating on not laughing to fully enjoy the episode. Which is funny in and of itself, in a laugh-at-your-friend’s-discomfort sort of way; what's even funnier is that not too long after that, his mom told my mom that she, self-conscious about him being there, had also stifled any and all amusement she had had at the risqué episode. So there they sat, both doing their darndest not to let the other know that they found anything about the show even the slightest bit funny.

Of course, my mom and I had also watched the episode together . . . and both laughed our butts off through the whole thing.

*Even though it had been used on screen just a few episodes earlier; those crazy censors


Mrs. E said...

Memories like the colors of our minds. Pretty watercolor memories of the way we were... and still are. That was a great show. Kramer coming in with his money right off the bat. Priceless.