Alum Uses Twitter to Bring “Seinfeld” into 21st Century
by Debra Filcman
What if “Seinfeld” were still on the air? That’s a question New York City writer/comedian Josh Gondelman ’07 and his friend Jack Moore posed to each other one lazy Sunday afternoon last year.
The result: @SeinfeldToday, a Twitter profile that now boasts more than 611,000 followers. Several times a week, the friends tweet 140-character synopses of what “Seinfeld” episodes would be about if they were being made today, updating all the pop-culture references and the crazy neuroses.
One example: “Jerry discovers his gf still uses her JDate profile. Kramer leaves messages for the NSA in his emails. Newman reluctantly tries SoulCycle.”
Time featured @SeinfeldToday on its list of the top 140 Twitter feeds of 2013, and the feed has received praise everywhere from The Atlantic to The Huffington Post.
“I think one reason is that the source material is so good,” says Gondelman, who was 13 when the “Seinfeld” TV show ended in 1998. “The other is just Internet luck, or it’s that algorithm of something old, plus something new, plus good timing equals viral success.”
Coming up with fresh ideas has stretched the pair of writers. “At first, it was really easy. We had 15 years to draw on,” Gondelman says. “Then it got tough. We burned through the obvious things — texting, Netflix, Craigslist — really quickly.”
He says he and Moore plan to keep up the account as long as there’s buzz, which shows no signs of flagging. Even Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza, has lauded the account on Twitter, as have actors B.J. Novak and Jon Favreau.
“A lot of people who would have no reason to be interested about anything we’ve done are enjoying our work, and that’s been swell,” says Gondelman, who’s putting together a “Seinfeld Today” book proposal with Moore.
He credits his roots for his drive: “Brandeis created a great work ethic for me, and it was a really great community that let me try a lot of things. I got great instruction from people I really want to make proud.”