I have only ever known a world where Seinfeld informed women about a certain, unfortunate physical reaction men sometime have when they go swimming. Was this common knowledge before? No idea. But Elaine Benes being unaware of “shrinkage” was enough to create comedy gold. And that infamous television moment is just as funny today as it was when it premiered in 1994. That’s true even if you completely recast the entire show. We know because Netflix released a clip of Seth Rogen’s Seinfeld table reads with Aziz Ansari, Jack Black, and Kathryn Hahn. And this video is everything it should be and more.
In this video (which we first came across at Collider) from the current Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival, Seth Rogen reads for Jerry, Aziz Ansari plays George, and Kathryn Hahn fills in for Elaine Benes. Jack Black played Kramer during the event, but alas he does not figure into this clip from Seinfeld‘s season five episode “The Hamptons.” (J. Peterman himself, John O’Hurley, read the stage directions.) Even without Black’s Cosmo this is absolutely delightful. Ansari really captures George’s terror at women not knowing about what cold water can do to a man.
This clip shows how funny the “shrinkage” discussion remains to this day. It’s a real thing! And maybe not everyone is aware of that! George was right to be worried what Rachel and all the other women would think. (Still doesn’t justify him secretly feeding someone lobster against her will, obviously.) But this video also shows how strong Seinfeld‘s writer’s room was. The humor still works with an entirely different cast.
Just like the original show, though, it helps to have amazing actors performing your words. Shrinkage is a lot funnier when you have talented people to make sure the material rises to the occasion.