‘Seinfeld’: These are all the best dark humor jokes to come from the show
In the age of cancel culture & woke-gatekeeping, few shows from the previous decades pass the litmus test. Fewer still can be watched without flinching in your seat at least once. A classic example of a show with jokes that have aged badly is Seinfeld.
Seinfeld is one of those cult classic comedies that existed in the 90s. To put it more contextually, the only reason Seinfeld is considered cult comedy is that it existed in the 90s. Created by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld, the show was clever & punchy. It was often compared to Friends & always called better than the sitcom that shot Jennifer Aniston to fame.
In the age of Twitter, however, it’s hard to imagine jokes from either of these shows working out. They call them dark humor jokes, but they’re just as easily offensive. Let’s have a look at some of these dark humor jokes to come from Seinfeld.
Houseguests from Japan
In this one episode called “The Checks”, Kramer hosts Japanese businessmen at his house. But how do you accommodate so many people in a cramped apartment? You make them sleep in dresser drawers, because their stature allows them to fit in small spaces. The idea of sleeping in dresser drawers is as hilarious as it’s twisted. If only it didn’t have the racist undertones.
In fact, Jerry later gets them out of the drawers with an axe. The episode also features . . . murder.
There’s more from the episode “The Checks”
In the same episode, “The Checks”, the whole sequence of events is a big twisted joke in itself. First, Kramer’s hilarious inability to calculate exchange rates costs his houseguests a bomb. Then there’s the whole dresser drawers saga.
The series of unfortunate events don’t end there. Jerry is careless with the axe he uses to get the Japanese men out of the drawers. In the process, he hits Elaine’s boyfriend with that axe – not a tiny wound or scratch or bruise, not even a laceration, but full-blown nervous damage – who then flatlines in surgery because the surgeon operating on him got distracted by a song.
The world can talk all it wants about suicide prevention & sensitivity around the act, but Seinfeld happily made light of the situation. In a really warped & perverted way, Jerry was shown contemplating which jacket he should wear to the hospital when his neighbor attempted suicide. Instead of rushing him to the hospital, the makers thought this would be a hilarious segue to take.
Jerry’s insensitivity cost the neighbor – the man went into a comatose state because of the delay – and as if that wasn’t enough havoc to have wreaked over someone’s life, Jerry also ends up sleeping with the girl his neighbor was seeing.
To add further to the stigma, Jerry only ever mulls over the ethics & morals of his actions because of the fear of her unstable boyfriend. Seinfeld pushes the boundaries again, this time the boundaries of insensitivity.
Joker, but not the movie
These are supposed to be fun scenes: Crazy Joe Davola lifting weights to the sounds of the opera music, his secret fetish for Elaine’s photographs, dressing up as a clown. They’re uncomfortably dark & downright creepy instead.
Handicap Parking Spot
Remember that one episode when Kramer opens a smoking lounge in his apartment, realizes it’s harming his looks, and cries like a monster from a fairy tale movie who’s just been cursed, “Look away, I’m hideous.” That was a dark joke we didn’t mind.
But Kramer convincing George to park in a handicap spot only to later learn that a wheelchair-bound person got into an accident because of their indiscretion? It felt terribly dark, but not laughable at all.
With these jokes & many others that came before or after, Seinfeld constantly pushed the boundaries of dark humor jokes into uncomfortable places.