by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Looking out the window, the first thing Jerry Seinfeld noticed was a little man running down the tarmac.

“De plane! De plane!” the little man yelled.

“Hey,” Kramer said, “isn’t that Tattoo from ‘Fantasy Island?’ “

“Yeah, the midget!” said George.

He looked at Jerry and smiled.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” they said in unison.

They stopped and listened. Strange. No laughter. Not even a chuckle.

“What gives?” said Elaine. “That line always gets a laugh.”

They stepped outside, into a strangely gray planet. The sky was grainy, like old film. Scattered over the landscape were various living room sets, an old couch here, an old chair there.

“Hey, our security people must have done a great job,” Jerry said. “There’s no media people here.”

“Media,” said George. “Yada, yada, yada.”

Again, silence. Not a single laugh.

“I don’t get it,” said Jerry.

“You will,” came a voice. The “Seinfeld” gang looked over to see Chrissy from
“Three’s Company,” along with Edith from “All in the Family.”

“I thought we were headed to our future,” said Kramer.

“This is it,” said Edith.

“No, no,” George insisted. “Our future is full of movie offers and TV specials.”

“Movie offers,” laughed Kojak, who stepped out from behind a tree. “Let me tell you about movie offers.”

“After me,” said Baretta.

“After us,” said Starsky and Hutch.

Suddenly, J.R. Ewing from “Dallas” came running up, holding his wound.

“Guess who shot me! Guess who shot me!” he yelled.

“Nobody gives a bleep,” said Kojak.

Where’s Johnny?

Seinfeld blinked and rubbed his eyes. All around were former big-time TV stars. They looked older, more wrinkled, but they were still dressed as their characters.

“Listen,” Jerry said, “there’s some mistake. Our show made history. Didn’t you read all the articles about us? They said ‘Seinfeld’ defined a generation.

“Big deal,” said Archie Bunker. “They said that about us, too.”

“And us,” said Radar from “M*A*S*H.”

“And us,” said Theo from “Cosby.”

“But our show was part of the culture,” said Elaine. “People used our expressions. Everyone knew what we meant. Watch.”

She cleared her throat.

“Are you sponge-worthy?”

Again, no laughter. The other characters looked on sympathetically.

“Don’t feel bad,” said Sabrina from “Charlie’s Angels.” “In our time, everyone wore her hair like Farrah Fawcett.”

Elaine looked at George, who looked at Kramer. They all looked at Jerry.

“You said this was a good idea!”

“It is, it is,” he insisted. “We’re not like these other losers. We’re different. We were the No. 1-rated show.”

“Get in line,” said Hawkeye Pierce.

“After us,” said Cliff from “Cheers.”

“Wait!” Seinfeld said. “We had the cover of Time, the cover of People, the cover of Rolling Stone!”

“They’re just trying to scare us,” Kramer said.

“Yeah, we’ll prove we’re different,” George said. “Listen to this laugh. Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, come on. One, two, three…. No soup for you! No soup for you!”

The other characters looked at each other and shrugged.

“Who loves ya, baby!” said Kojak.

“Dingbat!” said Archie Bunker.

“Dy-no-MITE!” said J.J. from “Good Times.”

Where’s Lucy and Ricky?

The “Seinfeld” players sunk into their seats. This was not what they expected.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Kramer asked.

“There’s game shows,” said Marcia Brady.

“There’s TV movies,” said Rhoda.

“There’s charity,” said Sally Struthers.

Jerry looked at George who looked at Kramer who looked at Elaine.


“There’s no’s going back,” said a man in a turquoise jacket. His sleeves were rolled up and his face was unshaven.

“God no,” Kramer whispered. “Not ‘Miami Vice.’ “

Night began to fall. From the grainy sky, a light came up on a ’60s stage, and one by one, the characters began to dance. There was Lamont from “Sanford and Son” and Murray from “Mary Tyler Moore” and Fred and Ethel, and Alexis Carrington and most of the Partridge Family.

Suddenly, the music stopped.

“Sock it to me, sock it me, sock it to me,” said Rowan and Martin.

And as the “Seinfeld” gang glumly took their places, the music started up again, the infectious beat of a TV band. Hey, hey, it was the Monkees.

To leave a message for Mitch Albom, call 1-313-223-4581.


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New book, The Little Liar, arrives November 14. Get the details »

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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