Seinfeld, one of the greatest comedies of all time, holds the honorable distinction of being the only TV show in history that is solely responsible for getting tons of people around the country fired from their jobs.
In the season 3 episode titled “The Good Samaritan,” the gang makes a conscious effort to toy with an old social maxim. Instead of saying “God Bless you” when someone sneezes, the Seinfeld crew attempts to establish a new post-sneeze slogan with “You’re so good looking.” It was a memorable episode. In fact, I’m memorable-ing it right now. Hilarity will ensue shortly.
Ah, there it is.
Anyway, a man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa got fired from his job due to his usage of that line. Okay, well, he wasn’t just for saying the line, but it was the genesis of some fairly creepy office behavior.
At a company retreat in 2008, John Preston and some of his fellow co-workers/Seinfeld fans were reliving the memory of the aforementioned episode when they decided to free this joke from the confines of a television screen and apply it to real life. They lucked out, too, because it just so happens that this retreat was to an area filled with lots and lots of blooming plant life. Blooming plant life = sneezing co-workers. Needless to say, the group of Seinfeld fans probably shouted out “You’re so good looking” about 300 times.
Then, a week after the retreat and the constant utters of the phrase, Preston continued the joke with a female co-worker. This co-worker was one of the people that initially started the joke. Preston sent her a series of Emails, all of which contained the “You’re so good looking” catch phrase. This co-worker, let’s call her “Kathy,” felt that this was borderline rape behavior so she reported it to her supervisor. Preston got a light talking to. A week later, Preston meets “Kathy” in the hall and gave her a shoulder rub as they talked in the hallway.
He got another talking to.
Preston then decided to give “Kathy” a talking to on the subject of the complaints. He was fired for it. “Sexual Harassment” they say.
Insane? Yes. But, according to the Des Moines Register, this isn’t the first time Seinfeld has been the root of a sexual harassment suit. Apparently, in 1992 a Miller Brewing company executive was fired after he pointed out to his secretary that her name was the subject of an episode in which Jerry can’t remember the name of a girl he is dating. All he knows is that her name rhymes with a certain portion of the female anatomy. This Miller brewing company executive was a bit shy when it came to bringing up the name of this certain body part, so he pointed it out in a dictionary.
The secretaries’ name was Deloris, which rhymes with Clitoris, which sounds like “Holy Shit! I just got fired.”