My wife was recently stunned to see a number of college undergrads blanking on a Dr. Frasier Crane reference. Yes, "Cheers" left NBC in 1993, and reruns seem relegated to cable television. And "Frasier" ended its run in 2004, with reruns still sporadically popping up on local networks.
But it makes us a little melancholy to think the next generations won't be hip to "Norm!" or Sam Malone's womanizing or Woody's "The Kelly Song" or the fact that there was a bar in Boston that never featured a single incident of projectile vomit and/or a fight with a drunken New Yorker over the course of 11 years.
Which brings us to the Seinfeld Campus Tour. Like "The Simpsons," we can't imagine a world in which "Seinfeld" show references and jokes can't be used in everyday conversations, with both parties understanding their implicit meanings. A world where dropping the name "The Soup Nazi" would lead to a confusing accusation of anti-Semitism, and yadda yadda yadda.
So it's inspiring to see Sony keeping "Seinfeld" alive in current pop culture by bringing a bus-load of artifacts and fun to college campuses: Including face-painting David Puddy's New Jersey Devils sweater from the famous hockey-centric episode.
Maybe it's the Devils fan in me, but one look at the No. 30 jersey made me grin, recalling the awkward scene with the chest-painting from the episode's finale. Someone at the NHL told me the other day that "How I Met Your Mother" has some hockey references; wonder if they'll give us our next primetime comedy puckhead moment.
The tour is at UCLA today, and hits San Francisco (Oct. 15), Sacramento (Oct. 17) and Denver (Oct. 21) over the next few weeks.
Is there another piece of hockey memorabilia from the entertainment world you'd love to see? Reggie Dunlop's blood-splattered Chiefs jersey? The mask from "Youngblood?" The mummified carcasses of the chimpanzees from "Most Valuable Primate?"