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Bus tour brings ‘Seinfeld’ to UC Berkeley campus

on October 14, 2008


BERKELEY, Oct. 14 –- With the financial markets in ruin and the economy at a near stand-still, people are looking for a break.  And perhaps, more than ever, they need a good laugh.

So when Sony, who owns the syndication rights to the hit TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” teamed up with a New York-based volunteer-recruitment organization to bring its Seinfeld Campus Tour to universities and malls across the country, the partnership seemed complimentary.

“We knew at the very beginning that we wanted to do something for the communities,” said Erica Williams, managing partner at Yardstick, the company Sony contracted to bring the “Seinfeld” bus concept to fruition. “Do Something! has a youth and social change component that we were looking for.”

The mission of is to inspire volunteerism among young people.

Today, fans got a special treat here as the bus made its way to Spieker Plaza on the University of California-Berkeley campus as part of its tour.  The interactive bus pays homage to the hit sitcom with a collection of memorabilia, Internet access to various Seinfeld web pages, and iconic food items.

The “Seinfeld” bus is nearing the end of its 26-city tour, which began in early August in Florida and ends this month in Ohio.

“It allows the Millennials who loved the show to interact with their favorite characters in new ways and to encourage new people to watch the show,” said Pamela Brown, a Sony spokeswoman.  “Seinfeld has been off the air for 10 years, but it’s still one of the top five shows in syndication.”

Passersby were welcomed onboard the 60-foot-long bus, lined with original costumes and props from the show, including an original script, a director’s clapboard and one of its Emmy awards.  At the rear of the bus, fans were also treated to sit and eat free frozen yogurt at a mini recreation of Monk’s Café, the staple gathering place for the gang, as they watched reruns on large plasma televisions mounted on the walls.

They were also free to take Twix bars, Snickers, and black-and-white cookies, Jerry’s favorite on the show.

Three computers were also made available to peruse the show’s Myspace and Facebook pages and its official site. Outside, fans got to have their pictures taken with a life-size cutout of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer—the show’s main characters.  The photos will be viewable on the Seinfeld Web site within a week at

As part of’s initiative, the students were encouraged to donate canned goods at marked bins and to tell others to donate as well.  All of the food items are then donated to a local food bank.

“I loved the show,” said Erik Sheedy, 20, an undergraduate student.  “My dad and I used to watch this show together, and the sarcasm and character dynamics were great.  This bus does a pretty good job of recreating the show’s feel, especially the café lounge.”

Even though Sheedy wasn’t aware of the food drive, he said it was a good idea to have the two activities together.

“The great thing about the show was that the whole family could enjoy it,” said Williams.  “The show had so many layers, everyone found something they could take away from it.”

One student said she felt the bus tour is attempting to clean up the sitcom’s image.

“I think they’re promoting Seinfeld to increase the viewership of its syndicated show,” said Claudia Garcia, 27, an undergraduate student.

Garcia said that the show’s ratings might have suffered after Michael Richards, who played Kramer, used racist remarks during one of his stand-up routines.

“After my mother heard about that,” Garcia said, “she stopped watching.”

When asked if she still watches the show, Garcia said, “I separate the characters on TV from their personal lives.  I still think it’s a great show.”||||||||||||||||||

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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