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TV Critic’s Corner

The meanest ‘Seinfeld’ episode ever

NBC’s “Seinfeld” cast: Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.Alice S. Hall/NBC

I missed this one. It made the viral rounds online when I was on vacation earlier this month. But, being a “Seinfeld” person, I can’t let it pass without mentioning it. Maybe you were on vacation, too (I hope you were).

A comic named Billy Domineau was helping a friend write a sketch, and he told the friend that the script needed to be in extremely bad taste, like, say, a 9/11 episode of “Seinfeld.” That moment inspired Domineau, who has written for The Onion and for “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live.” He proceeded to write a 44-page “Seinfeld” script called “The Twin Towers,” despite the fact that the show left the air in 1998, and he succeeded very nicely. It is indeed in extremely bad taste — and funny, too.


Thanks to Domineau’s instincts for the New York-set “Seinfeld,” you can picture each scene and each character’s narcissistic, petty response to the attacks. George’s story line finds him pretending to be a heroic first responder who carried 12 people down 80 flights of stairs. Jerry becomes obsessed with the dust that’s everywhere, including on his sandwich. “I can’t eat around this,” he moans. “This could have been a person.” Elaine wants to break up with a guy, but he survived the fall of the towers, which complicates matters.

And Kramer did some fish-sitting for a man who borrowed and kept his box cutter. The man’s name: Mo Atta.

Bad, right? It’s not an easy thing to do, to make such a tragedy into something amusing. Domineau pulls it off, with no hugging, no learning, and no character growth whatsoever. Too soon? The fact that the attack happened 15 years ago is, of course, essential to Domineau’s success.

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Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.