If the 90s are remembered for anything, it would be for the great many sitcoms that existed throughout the decade and the many laughs we’ve all had with them. However, there’s one show that stands out from all the rest – Seinfeld. Named after the creator whose namesake is also the title of the show, Seinfeld is arguably one of the best sitcoms of all time. It could also be argued that Seinfeld pioneered the unique genre of comedy which today’s comedy shows try so hard to mimic, and fail quite often, with very few of them reaching a resemblance of any measure of humor. Seinfeld’s success in delivering thought-provoking humor did not just come from Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routine based writing, but because of the various characters that demonstrated his points in each episode.
One character in particular that asserts his prominence on the screen, largely owing to his effervescent nature is Cosmo Kramer. Immortalized by Michael Richards, through his remarkable portrayal of an eccentric, energetic, often oblivious to human emotions (the consequence of being a ‘pod’ of course), and a generally obnoxious character who lives next door to Seinfeld. One of the most noticeable traits of Kramer in the show is his entrepreneurial spirit which has been the premise of quite a few classic episodes. From a perfume that literally smells like the beach to a coffee table book about coffee tables, Kramer has quite a few whacky entrepreneurial ideas up his sleeve and a persistent spirit to back it up. So, step aside Elon Musk and make way for Cosmo Kramer and some of the lessons we could take away from one the most persistent and eccentric entrepreneurs in fiction.
Cosmo Kramer loves asserting himself everywhere, especially in places where he has no business being around. This attribute of his is reflected in his entrepreneurial ventures as well. Every time, Kramer gets an idea or sees an opportunity to harness some business, he immediately gets on it and tries to make it work. Of course, he does so to comically exaggerated extents which often end up quite drastically. A good example of this would be the episode where he tries to sell the beltless trench coats, which he renames, the executive trench coat.
Being social extrovert that he is, Kramer has quite a few friends with whom he hangs out on a fairly regular basis. As a consequence, he doesn’t face many difficulties in finding partners to start a business with. From Jerry Seinfeld to Bob Sacramento, there have been quite a few people with whom Kramer has gone into business only to eventually give up. But, one of his staple business partners who is up for any venture is Jerry’s arch nemesis, Newman. Despite their many failed ventures which included a rickshaw drawn by homeless people (S9, E17), the duo have had their fair share of success albeit short lived. Let us not forget Newman’s other brilliant business idea in another universe was to sell frozen dinosaur genes, we all know how that ended
Everyone is concerned about getting food and stains on their clothes, especially during work hours. For most the most logical choice, if they smeared their ties, would be to wash it off, but not Kramer. According to him, a more logical and time-saving idea would be to install an automatic tie dispenser and get a new one. This is one of the very few ideas that were brewed up at Kramerica industries, the home of revolutionary innovations such as the oil bladder system.
Unless you have a great inheritance from a rich aunt, finding funds for your business is easier said than done. So, a better idea would be to seek out an investor to get your business started up. However, be careful whom you approach with your idea. Kramer once had a farfetched idea the likes of which no mind has ever conceived. His idea was to create a perfume that smells like the beach. To emulate the smell that emanates after a day in the salty seaweed-fed water. A capital idea if there were ever one, Kramer takes it to the CEO of Calvin Klein, who first laughs it off. But, lo and behold a few months later, the popular perfume manufacturer rips off his idea and releases the beach.
When it comes to clothing, even men have their own special needs. It is quite hard for old folk and heavy set folk to maintain their shape in various articles of clothing. Of course, Kramer has an idea for this most pressing of human dilemmas, the Bro/Manssiere. A version of the brassiere customized for the unique needs of the discerning gentleman i.e., the man-boob situation. Such bold thinking even in the face of a fair share of impossibilities as well as the opposition is what truly separates the men from the boys.
While Kramer may not be the sharpest tool in the shed and may often come off as a few sandwiches short of a picnic, his presence could often serve as a source of motivation and above all gut-wrenching laughter. Rarely do fictional characters go out of their way to both amuse us and make us think. And that is the gift that has been bestowed upon all of us through the character of Kramer.