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Seinfeld and Friends
Jerry Seinfeld putting the Friends in their placeIllustration Owain Anderson

@Seinfeld2000 on whether Friends ruined comedy

We asked Friends’ biggest hater and the man behind the parody of a parody Twitter account to confirm once and for all

Look – Friends is fine. I don’t hate it. It’s funny enough, and when I was a child and would stay off school “sick”, I could quite comfortably watch the neverending cycle of Friends on E4 punctuated only by adverts and pretending to throw up. But as I got older and learned that there were better shows out there, I grew to resent it. Friends is patient zero for many comedy crimes: poorly executed sarcasm, friends who shag but also fall in love constantly, Bad characters who are supposed to be lovable. The show presented me with these entitled, unlikable (and in Phoebe and Ross’s cases downright evil) people and it expected me to not only laugh at them, but to love them and to identify with them. Friends’ influence is evident throughout a number of shows that never actually get to be funny because they spend more time trying to build heartwarming relationships between one-dimensional and unlikable people: How I Met Your Mother, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Modern Family to name a few.

But you know what was not mediocre? Seinfeld. It makes perfect sense that Friends was spawned from unproduced Seinfeld scripts – it’s trash, its offshoots, the parts that weren’t quite good enough. Seinfeld changed American TV. It is still, to this day, influential. Best of all – it never actually tried to make me love the pieces of shit at its heart. Maybe deep down you really are just a Friends or a Seinfeld person, and I, being the terrible selfish person that I am, am very much a Seinfeld person.

I was starting to feel a little like all of my Friends hate was unjustified, even unncessary in the year 2017, so I sought out the one person who could truly support me in my vendetta, one who does hate it: Twitter account @Seinfeld2000, or Seinfeld Current Day, which intends to, “imagen Seinfeld was never canceled and still NBC comedy program today?” The account is run by Jason Richards and was a parody response to @seinfeldtoday, which reimagined Seinfeld with iPads and Tinder. But it isn’t Richards I need: it’s Seinfeld2000, his alter-ego, the character he plays of a manic Seinfeld fan churning out fanfic-esque tweets combined with vitriolic hate for Friends.

So, in your professional opinion, what is it that makes Seinfeld so good?

honestly thats like asking what makes air or water good. Is it posible to asess something so essential - a thing that sustains life, that sustains culture? The answer ,quite simply, is no.

What’s your favourite episode?

My favorite epsode hasnt been made yet.

Do you like any other shows?

i like dozens of other shows but i would trade them all in for a single brand new epsode of seinfeld. i put that on my life

What would the landscape of comedy look like if seinfeld had stayed on TV?

There would be no landscape. The whole landscape would just be seinfeld

And if friends had never started?

I think trump wouldnt be president, the sea levels would be way lower, and instagram wouldnt have changed their algarithm

Which shows do you believe have been inspired (or spawned) by friends?


And by Seinfeld?

Every single TV show that exists on television today that has characters and dialogue regardless of genre and this also applies retroactively to all shows from the history of television which were all just part of the lords plan to lay the structural and formal groundwork for seinfeld

Would you blame Friends for (many of) the bad comedies that came after?

I would be inclined to blame Friends for not just all the bad comedies subsequent to friends but many of the worlds problems

Who is the worst character on Friends?

its a six-way tie

And the best on Seinfeld?

its a four way tie

Is there anyone in friends you can stand?

I really cant stand Chandler but also Monica, Joey, Phebe, and the other two characters as well. whichever characer is Jenifer Aniston and then theres another one

If Seinfeld does get back on tv with brand new episodes - will you be happy to take at least 70 per cent of the credit?

i will take as much or as litle of the credit as is neccessary for seinfelds return to television to become a reality