Jerry Seinfeld was a successful standup comedian who worked most of the major comedy clubs in the U.S. and was a regular on late night talk shows like "The Tonight Show". He had a manager who was in the habit of sending notes to the head of NBC at the time, Brandon Tartikoff, extolling Jerry's virtues and this habit eventually led to a meeting with the NBC brass where they asked Jerry if he'd like to do his own show for the network. He said "sure" but he didn't have any particular ideas about what it would be. The meeting ended with nothing concrete being decided. Some time later Seinfeld ran into Larry David at a comedy club and told him of NBC's interest. The two brainstormed and came up with the idea for a show about "making fun of stuff". Miraculously, NBC bought the idea and the first episode named "The Seinfeld Chronicles" aired on July 5, 1989.

"The Seinfeld Chronicles" was only a marginal success that didn't really impress much of the NBC brass and as a result the show was offered to Fox who, to their eternal regret, turned it down. Seinfeld did have one believer at NBC though, Rick Ludwin, who raided the budgets of other shows to produce four more episodes. These were slotted to follow the mega-hit Cheers and, aided by that lead-in, garnered impressive ratings. Based on that success NBC decided to pick up the show for the remainder of the season, though they insisted on a name change to the simpler "Seinfeld".

The four main characters had few, if any, redeeming social values. Jerry was vain and prone to dumping girlfriends for no particular reason, George was a lying, cheating, underachieving coward who would knock old ladies and children out of his way to save his own hide, Elaine was an often ill-tempered slut and Kramer faked his way through life always looking for (but never finding) that big idea that would make him rich.

Seinfeld would go on to become a cultural phenomenon like no other TV show before it. It was brash, it was crude, it was often borderline lewd and it made no apologies. The producers insisted that there should be no emotional or psychological growth in the characters and actually had something they called the "no hugging, no learning" rule which they applied to all scripts to ensure Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer remained emotionally stunted. And boy did they ever.

After nine seasons Jerry Seinfeld pulled the plug on his sitcom at a time when it was the highest rated show on TV. It could have concievably gone on for many more years (NBC offered him $5 million per episode to come back for a 10th season, which he declined) but he was intent on the idea of going out on top.

Here's my personal favorite Seinfeld scene. Sweet fancy Moses!