For a television sitcom that’s been in reruns for the last quarter plus century, Seinfeld has been in the news a lot lately.

First, Jerry Seinfeld, its creator and star, blitzed the media last month to promote his new documentary, Unfrosted, the satirical race to release the Pop-Tart. Now, co-star Michael Richards, a.k.a. Cosmo Kramer, has been doing interviews to promote his new memoir, Entrances and Exits.

As Jerry Seinfeld’s eccentric neighbor on the award-winning program, Cosmo was a man with lots of opinions on lots of topics – and no job. We later found he had been on strike for over a dozen years from his position at H & H Bagels. He briefly returned once their demands for $5.35 an hour were met, but only because minimum wage had finally caught up.

By the seventh season of the show (famously about nothing), Jerry and his friend George decide it’s time to grow up and get married to their respective girlfriends. Kramer objects.

“We were talking about our lives, and we realized we’re kids—that we’re not men,” Jerry tells Kramer.

“And then you asked yourselves, ‘Isn’t there something more to life?'” replies Kramer.

“Yes,” Jerry says. “Yes, we did!”

“Well, let me clue you in on something,” Kramer replies. “There isn’t.”

“There isn’t?” Jerry responds.

“Absolutely not!” Kramer tells him. “What were you thinking about, Jerry? Marriage? Family? They’re prisons! Man-made prisons! You’re doing time. You get up in the morning, and she’s there. You go to sleep at night, and she’s there. It’s like you gotta ask permission to use the bathroom.”

“And you can forget about watching TV while you’re eating,” Kramer tells him. “You know why? Because it’s ‘dinner time!’ And do you know what you do at dinner?”

“What?” Jerry asks.

“You talk about your day! ‘How was your day today? Did you have a good day or a bad day? What kind of day was it? I don’t know. How about you? How was your day?’ It’s sad, Jerry. It’s a sad state of affairs!”

The whole exchange gets a big laugh from the studio audience, and has been widely shared on YouTube and elsewhere.

Of course, it’s a joke. But talking with Michael Richards this week, sportscaster Rich Eisen asked the former sitcom star how he played the part and delivered the lines.

“I was single at the time,” Richards admitted. “I could kind of relate to that. I had just come out of a marriage, too. I was brokenhearted from all of that.”

Michael Richards was married for 18 years, marrying in 1974 and divorcing in 1993. He and his then wife, Cathleen Lyons, had a daughter together.

Michael Richards has now been married since 2010, and he and his second wife, Beth, have a twelve-year-old son.

“Ultimately, I’m all for marriage,” the Seinfeld legend told Eisen.

Hollywood has both influenced and reflected culture for the last century, for both good and bad. Seinfeld and few sitcoms ever teach, but one can’t help but wonder what seeds that anti-marriage and anti-family screed planted. Sure it was a joke, and few took it seriously – but as the old saying goes, “Many a truth is spoken in jest.”

How many people see their marriage as a prison? Or their spouse as a fellow inmate lumbering thru the mundane and boorishness of life?

A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals that conservatives are far more likely than liberals to prioritize marriage and children, believing both lead to a better and healthier society.

Since our beginning, Focus on the Family has existed to help couples improve their marriages and moms and dads better parent their children. If you feel like the television Kramer, we can help. With the Lord’s help, our Hope Restored Team possesses the keys to unlock those bars that are currently entrapping you.

Please give us a call. In the words of Cosmo Kramer: “Giddy-up!”


Image credit NBC.