written by Teeshakh
TEESHAKH CASE FILE - SEINFELD YOGURT SHOP FMCTA0034567543\
On November 4th, 1993 Rudy Giuliani guest-starred on the 7th episode of the 5th season
of the classic NBC sitcom, Seinfeld. “The Non-Fat Yogurt” aired the night following the election results against the current mayor of New York City: Democrat David Dinkins. The plot of the episode runs parallel to Giuliani's campaign as one Jerry Seinfeld and one Elaine Benne find themselves gaining weight after they begin obsessing over a new Yogurt shop that supposedly sells 100% Non-Fat Yogurt. Believing the whole thing to be a conspiracy to sell unhealthy yogurt to the masses, they contact the FDA to investigate.
Coincidentally, the yogurt sample being tested is placed on the same shelf in the same lab as a sample of Giuliani’s cholesterol, since his fitness has recently come into question. After a bit of dramatic, Rube Goldberg inspired irony (Kramer and a lab technician get intimate and unknowingly knock the
yogurt sample into Giuliani's blood sample), it's reported that the candidate’s cholesterol is a
whopping 375. Giuliani, who also happens to be a fan of the 100% Non-Fat Yogurt Shop, suspects it may, in fact, be the culprit to his spiking cholesterol. An official test of the yogurt proves Seinfeld and Bennes’ suspicions true and the controversy catapults Giuliani into the lead, gaining him hero status as his investigation forces the fraudulent yogurt shop to change it's deceiving recipe. The episode ends with Newman, Seinfelds enemy and a devoted patron to the shop, berating Seinfeld for taking away his favorite place to get dessert. Seinfeld tries to reason with him, reminding him that he was in love with a lie, but Newman retorts: “I don’t care! It was good... I was enjoying it. You had to interfere. You couldn't leave it alone!”
Even against other infamously bizarre episodes like “The Puerto Rican Day Parade” or
“The Limo”, Giuliani’s guest spot comes off as surreal. Through a modern lens, the flow of the episode feels like a strange, right-wing propaganda film. Even the side plot of Jerry not being able
to control his foul language feels a bit off-center. A respected, wealthy attorney running for local
office is bombarded with false accusations that have been made to only appear true because of
some larger conspiracy? A group of concerned citizens doesn’t have to think twice before
contacting the FDA, as if it were some kind of 800 number because they happen to know the
accusations are wrong? Jerry’s exclamation, “Oh my god, they got Giuliani!” practically knocks
me out of my seat. Capping the episode with Newman’s monologue feels like he’s supposed to
be a representation of a fool who's managed to be ignorant enough to cling on to lies perpetuated by the liberal media. The episode is Propaganda. The following Huffington Post article financially connects Seinfeld to Breitbart Founder, Steve Bannon, regarding a syndication deal, and it makes this story all the more fun to investigate.
Furthermore, the very notion of single-issue voters pushing Giuliani into office for "cleansing the streets of fraud" feels a lot like how Giuliani was able to attain the post-9/11 title of “America’s Mayor” back in 2001. A title that speaks of sensibility and control despite Giuliani always having been a bit unhinged. A history that has been perfectly dissected by John Oliver in this segment from Last Week Tonight:
Giuliani's eccentric behavior is further evidenced by his agreement to even be featured on the show. Seinfeld shot two different versions of the same episode in case Dinkins won the election. Although Mayor David Dinkins did not agree to appear on the show, His role would have been spoken through a personal aide played by Phill Morris (who would later become a series regular as Jackie Chiles: Attorney at Law). Interestingly enough, Giuliani has also made appearances as himself on The Cosby Show, The Simpsons, and even WWE RAW (None of which aged gracefully). Though, with all due respect, fitting a politician into a 30-minute story arc of set up, conflict and solution seems to have been proven difficult on other occasions: Parks and Recreation, a show about how our local government fights injustice, runs into problems. Its portrayal of Joe Biden and John McCain came off as friendly to Leslie Knope, but in reality, they’re more like Fielding Milton.
Teeshakh will continue to investigate the Seinfeld/Guiliani Propaganda Conspiracy. Case currently remains open.
This has been a Faded Morgana Special Report by Teeshakh
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