"Yada, yada, yada."
"These pretzels are making me thirsty."
"No soup for you!"
If you're a TV fan of a certain generation, chances are you've quoted one, if not all, of the above catchphrases at one point or another in your everyday life. Such was the cultural impact of Seinfeld, NBC's groundbreaking and eternally beloved sitcom from the genius minds of namesake and star Jerry Seinfeld and his writing and producing partner Larry David.
It's been 30 years since the pilot for the "show about nothing" debuted on July 5, 1989. And while it took a while for the show to find its legs—and for NBC execs and viewers alike to recognize just what a gift they'd been given—the show went on to become the crown jewel of the network's monumental "Must-See TV" line-up on Thursday nights and the first series outside the Super Bowl to command over $1 million a minute for advertising.
The show not only changed the perception of what a sitcom could look like, but it made stars (and multi-millionaires) out of Seinfeld and the trio of comedy powerhouses starring alongside him: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. Seinfeld may have only won 10 Emmys altogether—a number that seems unfathomably low, if you ask us—but its cultural impact speaks volumes.
The show remains inescapable in syndication—turn your TV on right now and chances are remarkably high that you'll find an episode airing somewhere—and has maintained its pedigree as one of the medium's all-time greats. (Sure, the series finale failed to impress most, but when an estimated 76.3 million viewers, roughly 58 percent of all viewers watching TV that night, are tuning in, you've already won.)
So as we celebrate the birth of a show so legendary 30 years later, we thought we'd give you a glimpse into what went on behind-the-scenes during those unforgettable nine seasons. And we've got to say, for a show so wickedly funny, there sure was a lot of drama. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)