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Sein-ing Off

Say goodbye to yadda, yadda, yadda.

That's (almost) all, folks. Even as NBC executives weep and fans moan (or is it the other way around?), "Seinfeld" fades to black this month. The end of one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time? Certainly. But for all their antics, the characters of Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine did a lot more than just stir up laughs every week. Intentionally or not, the "Seinfeld" crew were trendsetters as well--in culture and in business.

Of course, we all remember the classic "Soup Nazi" episode that heated up the demand for soup establishments. Add to this example a slew of spotlighted ideas, including muffin tops, Pez dispensers, Urban Sombreros, rollout tie dispensers, make-your-own-pizza parlors and a restaurant serving only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not wacky enough? Well, there was also that idea (of Kramer's, naturally) to make brassieres for men . . .

Most of these business brainstorms were played strictly for laughs, but that doesn't mean we're not going to miss tuning in every week to find out what enterprising notions Jerry and company have thought up. For a show about nothing, it really had a lot to say.

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This article was originally published in the May 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sein-ing Off.

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