Yesterday on Twitter, a friend of mine commented on how odd it was to see an advert for a sperm bank on the London underground. When I asked him why he thought this, we got into a discussion about how many male students donate sperm as a way of making a bit of extra cash at university.
When I was a student at Imperial College, my flatmates and I often discussed getting £20 or £30 for doing something we were doing for nothing anyway. I honestly never got around to donating sperm, but I am sure many male students do.
Later yesterday evening, my mind wandered to this wonderful episode of the US comedy series Seinfeld, called “The Contest“. This episode was the 11th episode of the 4th series, and is episode 51 of the entire Seinfeld sitcom.
It was first broadcast in November 1992, by which time I was living in the US. I thus saw this episode being broadcast way back then, and to say it was groundbreaking and risqué at that time for a prime-time US sitcom would be an understatement.
As this clip of highlights from this episode shows, the contest in question is to see who, of the four main characters, can go the longest without masturbating, after George has been caught “pleasuring himself” when his mother unexpectedly returns home.
One of my favourite lines, which is in the clip above, is when Jerry Seinfeld’s character (Jerry!), reacts to Elaine’s desire to join the contest. He’s not happy that a woman should join, claiming “It’s easier for a woman not to do it than a man. We have to do it, it’s part of our lifestyle.”
I have never quite understood why Seinfeld was not as popular in the Disunited Kingdom as other US comedies like Frasier or Friends. To my mind, it is far superior to both. And this episode is one of the funniest episodes of the 9 series. If you have never seen Seinfeld before, I highly recommend it.
What is your favourite TV comedy?