It’s no secret around these parts that we’re crazy about the Sein, and if you like any sitcom from about 1993 to the present day, you should at the very least appreciate it for the shows that it’s influenced. This year, many of us are celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Show About Nothing’s debut, and you can’t talk Seinfeld without a Kramer being involved. That’s why we’ve decided to put together a list of the best and worst ideas of Cosmo Kramer during the show’s nine-season run. Let’s get started!
Best: The Bladder System
In “The Voice,” episode two of the ninth and final season, Kramer takes an intern and relaunches his Kramerica Industries enterprise. After some trouble getting started, he finally decides to launch an ambitious project testing a bladder to be placed inside oil tankers that will catch oil in the event of a spill. The idea would have been excellent for the environment, except it didn’t hold up very well during the stress tests, a fact Jerry’s ex probably regrets to this day.
Worst: The Beach
To echo the exec at Calvin Klein, who wants to smell like the beach? Seaweed? Ick! Nevertheless, the company liked Kramer’s idea enough to steal it. Nevertheless, they should have left it to the Hipster Doofus. This idea comes from season four, episode 13, “The Pick.”
A restaurant that serves nothing but peanut butter and jelly. As a PB&J freak, I would have eaten at this place every day. You’ll find this in season seven, episode 18, “The Friar’s Club.”
Worst: J. Peterman Reality Bus Tour
From episode 21 of season eight, “The Muffin Tops,” Kramer decides that, since many of the stories in J. Peterman’s autobiography (ghostwritten by Elaine) are his own, people will be interested in a reality bus tour of his own life. While the perks were pretty groovy — bite-size 3 Musketeers and a pizza bagel (using a doughnut) — the rest of the idea was a head-scratcher.
Best: Ketchup And Mustard In The Same Bottle
Also from “The Voice,” this is Kramer’s fallback when the bladder system fails miserably.
Worst: The Merv Griffin Show Reboot
In season nine, episode six, it really seems like Kramer is starting to go a little insane. Here, he happens upon the old set of The Merv Griffin Show and decides to salvage it, set it up in his apartment, and host his own 10-hour-per-day talk show. No dollars in it, and definitely no sense.
Best: A Pizza Place Where You Make Your Own Pie
This idea turned up in a few episodes of Seinfeld, starting with “Male Unbonding,” season one, episode four. It later reappeared in season five’s “The Puffy Shirt” and season six’s “The Couch.” Honestly, we can see a restaurant that takes the Genghis Grill concept of making your own bowl and applying it to the pizza. How hard could it be, honestly? I mean, “it’s all supervised!”
Worst: Moviefone (555-FILK)
The Moviefone phone number (555-FILM). Kramer’s new number (555-FILK). The confusion leads to a lot of misdials, so Kramer decides to make the most of it and start acting like he’s the Moviefone guy. A terrible idea because a) he doesn’t make any money off it, and b) the Moviefone guy turns out to be a psycho, who shows up at Kramer’s apartment door near the end of the episode, ready to beat it down. You’ll find this excursion into Kramer madness in season seven, episode eight, “The Pool Guy.”
Best: A Coffee Table Book About Coffee Tables
This idea was so good that Elaine’s boss snapped it up and decided to publish in the episode “The Cigar Store Indian.” In “The Fire,” the book actually is published, and finally, in “The Opposite,” he goes on the not-so-successful book tour. While the appearance on Regis and Kathie Lee is definitely a setback for Kramer, we later find out in season nine, episode 15, “The Wizard,” that he has optioned the book’s movie rights.
What Kramer business idea list would be complete without the rickshaw cab service, powered by the homeless? As Jerry says, sarcastically, “Yes, the city needs more slow-moving wicker vehicles.” This gem comes from season nine, episode 17, “The Bookstore.”