Tag Archives: george costanza


1994’s ‘Air Seinfeld’: a canvas Nike GTS from 1994. These sold for $25 on eBay a week ago.

“The first house call anyone can remember the Nike Lady making was to the Seinfeld set. Her impact was immediate–especially on the show’s star, who apparently had an unambiguous sense of entitlement. Seinfeld’s appetite for free sneakers became legendary. His office overflowed with shoe boxes, and one ex-writer remembers Jerry emerging “like Evita, tossing extra sneakers to the staff.” In time the staff members too became hooked, and for them Tracy provided a catalog in which they could check off whatever they wanted. “It was everything–running shoes, hiking boots, sandals. People were taking up extreme sports just to get the shoes.” (From ‘Sneakers In Tinseltown’ by Garry Trudeau —  Time Magazine, April 1998)

Back in 2010, during an email back and forth with Mr. Carbone and Mr. La Puma at Complex, I suggested that a top 50 sneakers in Seinfeld would be a good thing. “But it might need some research!” I wrote. No shit. If you look at Complex’s analytics, presentation and timeline invading social media savvy you know that they’re not dreamers like me, content to put an idea out there, then leave it in a ponder state for a prolonged amount of time. They’re doers. And thus it came to pass that they requested the guide last month. And I was ready, albeit not quite ready for the scale of the screengrabbing task at hand.

Especially when VLC stops working on some discs and I have to resort to screengrabbing by entering a code on Terminal each cap to do it on the MacBook’s notoriously by-the-book built-in player. But I always wanted to do this one — I was going to do it on here, but I got discouraged by the prospect of uploading images. So here it is, on Complex.com. Shouts to Dan in the Department of Nike Archives for his patience in clarifying some of the more mysterious entries too.

But because I know some of the folks who visit here like trivia, I made a few more discoveries along the way. I never really noticed that Jerry puts his Nikes (Driving Force Low) in the picture from the slightly crappy 1989 pilot episode onwards. I assume it’s because he is a bonafide Nike fan, but I’m sure he was aware that a spot of product placement would help his case. Bear in mind it took until the third season to really breakthrough (when Jerry’s at least 25 screen shoes deep) and faced the axe up to that point. It’s no mystery that Nike did flow Jerry product (there’s even articles that mention his love of seeded footwear, taking delivery of vast piles).

Between seasons one and six he wears a ton of Nike footwear, from ACG to Jordans. Then suddenly it comes to a halt just prior to episode 100. Around 1992, ‘Home Improvement’ (word to Tim Allen’s Hot Lava Tech Challenge II) and the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ were laden with lengthy scenes with a prominent swoosh or Jumpman. Jerry’s frequently tarred with the assumption that he’s a tennis shoe wearer — that’s certainly the case for a substantial amount of episodes, but I’d argue that he’s more of an Air Trainer and Cross Trainer man — technically those can be utilized on the court (and looking back at the crossover concept’s 1987 debut, John McEnroe was the face before Bo ever knew) — when Jerry could evidently afford his own tennis court, he seems to opt for some extremely technical performance designs built for that sport.

Did FCC regulations crack down in 1994 to stop excessive product placement? After that comes the “brown shoe era” wherein Jerry rarely wears sneakers unless he’s in a sporting environment. ‘The Race’ represents a parting shot for the product placement, with him swooshed from the neck down, but after that, spotting a sneaker on him is reserved for tennis scenes, softball or gym scenes and some scenes surrounding them. He sneaks a Force-branded holdall in periodically, but his crafty Sampras shoe (the Repete) in ‘The Understudy’s (the finale of the sixth season) opening is the sole throwback to the earlier showcases of classics.

After all the Jerry having 500 pairs of white shoes rumours and the 1998 ‘Time’ article that depicted LA-based sneaker giver to the stars, Tracy Hardy-Gray flooding primetime with product, it’s strange that Jerry seems to curb his enthusiasm four years prior. It’s actually the least sporty who don their sneakers the most in subsequent episodes — George remains committed to Cortez (though he actually wears Reebok in the earliest episodes — possibly a GL model of some sort) and curiously, Newman gets his money’s worth out of a pair of the mighty Structure II. For a workshy postal employee to wear such an advanced performance piece with the Foot Bridge technology) may have been part of the joke.

It’s reassuring to know that when Lloyd Bridges’s Izzy Mandelbaum enters the scene in the final two seasons, we’re going to get a flash of white leather and a swoosh as a subsequent shot, but for some reason, Jerry opts for some Vasque-looking boots, wheat Timbs (in just a couple of shots) and most commonly, some bad Rockport looking moc-toed shoes with a rubber sole that make Larry’s Simple shoes look advanced by comparison. End of an era. I loved the days when even Frank Costanza’s cape-clad lawyer walked on Air.

I have to admit that it’s not entirely complete. A few shoes eluded me — the mids with the black swoosh in ‘The Barber,’ the white shoe from ‘The Old Man’, the mids in ‘The Wife’ and the all white upper tennis-looking designs from the same season (five) are all mysterious to me. Any identifications in the comments section would be much appreciated to put my mind to rest because I had to tap out on those models. Sadly there was no room for more than a mention of the mysterious Air Seinfeld shoe – a canvas Nike GTS with a Jordan homage on the heel, given to the crew in 1994 as a holiday gift, possibly as the 99th episode wrapped and the 100th episode was edited. ‘Home Improvement’ got a shoe (I believe it’s an Air Edge II SMU) for their 100th episode in 1995 too.

The 1995 Nike ‘Binford’ ‘Home Improvement SMU: possibly an Air Edge II

While we’re talking ‘Seinfeld’, kudos to the bootlegger who knew that all whiteys look the same. ‘Frasier’? ‘Married With Children’? Nobody would ever know the difference…

George in Reeboks

Newman in Structure IIs

Unidentified shoe

Unidentified shoe

Unidentified shoe (Possibly a Sonic Flight?)


You can’t win. You wait until the weather gets extreme enough to wear the outerwear you’ve been stashing and the country’s weedy infrastructure stops you from leaving the house. Of course, it’s fun to toddle around the house in a Doublegoose bomber jacket, but seeing as there’s only about 48 hours in the UK when you can wear such a garment, it would be nice to be able to take a trip to the office in the ludicrous coats I’ve stockpiled.

Sickness is keeping me bedridden today, so the length of the traditional Sunday blog entry has been severely compromised. There’s a certain joy in knowing that while you’re static, you’ve missed out on nothing, as friends and family have been unable to do a damned thing because of a relatively small mass of frozen water. When I’m laid up with a fairly innocuous level of illness I tend to become severely retrospective. Fuck my feeble “sniffle”—when you start getting nostalgic, the trouble begins.

It’s even more curious when you find yourself getting all wistful for incredibly technical, progressive apparel. Its been fun in 2010, working on some Arc’teryx-related projects. It’s one of my favourite brands (and this site can occasionally lapse into a fansite for their products) so it often seeps in here. Circa. 2000, it was some outlandishly priced and aspirational product that my crappy call centre job couldn’t fund. From the Alpha pieces to the LEAF line – whose Armour Compatible Layering system and hefty Echo packs in various camo patterns are the type of thing that makes me want to make idiotic purchases if I had the necessary credentials—to the mighty Veilance collection, its maintained my interest over the last ten years.

If taped hardshells aren’t your thing this week, you need to go down and ‘2nd Magazine’s ‘Down Jacket Catalog’ is the best source for alarmingly comprehensive images of goose feather filled nylon. That publication’s available from Superdenim right now. It might be the done thing to cite something a little more cerebral or offbeat, but I’m not going to pretend that the first ten minutes of ‘An American Werewolf in London’ with those overdressed yanks visiting the Slaughtered Lamb was the thing that really sold the goose down to me. Though George Costanza’s GORE-TEX supersize version, as bargain brokered by Frank Costanza is always worthy of note.


Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you.” George Costanza, ‘The Comeback’

For all the sharp attire, Bret Easton Ellis exudes the aura of don’t-give-a-fuck. Thought ‘Lunar Park’ was lacking? Bet you wouldn’t have the balls to confront him on it at an upcoming reading for fear of public putdown. Garrett McDonough’s account of an embarrassing meeting was published in ‘The Believer’ last July, and is worth your time. The joke was on us, as he rohypnoled the reader just as they were enjoying a fictional autobiographic device, and parodied Stephen King’s narrative approach with the usual self-referential splattergun targeted. What then, can we expect from ‘Imperial Bedrooms’, the sequel to ‘Less Than Zero’?

We know this is a sequel because he’s using the Elvis Costello titles again. Seeking more of the clinically detached horror only Ellis can depict (and I’m reliably informed that ‘Imperial Bedrooms’ cooly delivers in that regard), and anticipating the author’s character cameos, there’s one irritation. We Brits aren’t getting the book until early July, whereas the Americans could pick it up last monday. Leaving me wide open for spoilers like one of Ellis’s shackled victims, I’ve waited 20 years to read a follow-up (I can’t pretend I’ve been in anticipation since the original 1985 release).That’s not to say the characters haven’t been busy—Ellis screwed Blair in ‘Lunar Park’, Julian cropped up in ‘The Informers’ and Clay narrated in ‘Rules of Attraction’. These were fleeting appearances. I need more than that.

I need to read ‘Imperial Bedrooms’ now. How hard is it to release a book in the UK and US simultaneously? If it was about a boy wizard, the launch would be global. Self-destructive youths now “grown up”? No ones giving out goody bags with the first purchases. Presumably the delay leading up to July 1st is for Bret to visit Europe and answer the same questions regarding violence, reality TV, gaps between books, his current residence and filmic adaptations. I need my blank-faced introspection-defying fix. For the casual literary shock tactics, Ellis critics circa. 1985 might want to look at 2010’s preoccupation with dead eyed reality shows to provoke the have-nots into aspiration, powder-nosed “celebs” spreading their legs exiting expensive vehicles, and a solemn obsession with labels and soulless, heavily marketed, electronic objects of desire.

According to IMDB, the rights have been grabbed, and the film adaptation is set for 2012. Bret was right to be less than happy with 1987’s ‘Less Than Zero’. The film is garbage. Shock value was shorn in favour of a TV movie atmosphere complete with sledgehammer drug moralising. Leave anything to bubble for more than a decade and the ‘cult’ tag is applied by default, but it bears such little resemblance to the novel that it’s astonishing. Sure, there’s Ray Bans and yayo, but that’s it. Downey Jr. broods by swimming pools, Andrew McCarthy would be better off with Bernie for a weekend, Jami Gertz is beautiful but dull…atrocious. 1 of 2 great things in the movie is James Spader’s reptilian turn as Rip.

Spader spent much of the ’80s as some kind of nemesis for Andrew McCarthy. Brat pack typecasting at its best had him down as the jerk’s jerk. As rich Steff McKee in ‘Pretty in Pink’ he tried to drive a wedge between Andrew and Molly. As rich Mr. Richards in supernatural sex doll comedy ‘Mannequin’ he tried to stop Andrew boning a dummy. As rich Rip in ‘Less Than Zero’ he even exercises some fleck-shirted kung fu styles against Andrew in trying to undermine his attempts at drug intervention. The long coats, orange v-necks, slicked hair and floating phones give Rip a certain cool too. That’s not to say he’s anything like Bret’s Rip. As snide a character as he is, Spader’s Rip is barely as monstrous as the one depicted on paper. It wasn’t until 1990 that I saw Spader as an almost-good guy, when he played a put-upon…surprise, surprise…yuppie, dragged to the dark side in the underrated ‘Bad Influence’. He was no angel there either.

At least jerk-nemesis George Costanza took revenge on the Spader’s character in the Seinfeld episode ‘The Apology’ where we find out his misbehaviour was down to an alcohol problem that relapses courtesy of Costanza.

The film’s other strong point is the Rick Rubin coordinated soundtrack. Slayer covering Iron Butterfly? Poison doing Kiss? Strangely, other than two classics from LL Cool J and Public Enemy (later included on 2 essential albums), The Bangles’ cover version of ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ is a highlight. While the book dwells on The Go-Go’s, another beautiful girl group with faint alt-rock tendencies (Susannah Hoff was one of the most stunning women in music) is a fair replacement, and the aggressive undertones to their cover suit the source material. The same cover version was also used to winning effect in Powell’s 1994 ‘Suburban Diners’ video. An emotional Roy Orbison contribution (released a year before his death) sounds like a dry run for Rubin’s Johnny Cash collaborations. Strange that something so emotive could be written by no less than Glenn Danzig. And not a ghoul, murderer or sexual assault in sight.