6

This is from the episode The Slicer of the show Seinfeld.

Elaine keeps complaining about her neighbor whose apartment always smells like potatoes. In the end of the episode Kramer accidentally falls on that neighbor's door and discovers that there are actually lot of potatoes inside that apartment. Following is the scene.

Now what that man was doing with so many potatoes can be inexplicable considering that Seinfeld show is full of such quirky jokes and incidents.

But I somehow think there is some stereotypical angle to it because that man had very peculiar accent. I found a YouTube comment which says

based on his accent, maybe he has a vodka brewery ¯\(ツ)/¯

Questions:

  1. What was the joke/angle behind this scene (if at all there was any)? Was it ever explained by anyone in DVD commentary or anywhere else?
  2. If not, possibly which country/region that man's accent represent? What is the possible connection between people with that accent and the vodka brewery as the YouTube comment says?
  • 2
    General rule in comedy: if you have to explain a joke, it isn't funny. – Tim Mar 7 '17 at 19:41
  • @Tim sure thing. I hardly care for the joke here. I am primarily looking for the cultural stereotypical take on it. – Pale Blue Dot Mar 8 '17 at 4:42
4

I can't answer the first question, as I have no official sources on the meaning of this joke (assuming it wasn't just a random "quirky thing.")

Regarding the Youtuber's comment:

  • Vodka is traditionally a Russian drink (commonly made using ethanol from potatoes)

  • The commenter was suggesting his accent sounded Russian, and the reason he had so many potatoes was because he was running a business making vodka out of his apartment. (Although I think the proper term would be "distillery" rather than "brewery" for vodka.)

  • +1. Sounds about right. I would still wait for someone to answer the first part as well. – Pale Blue Dot Mar 8 '17 at 4:43
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Elaine's neighbor is voiced by Reuven Bar-Yotam, who also played Shlomo, the truck driver from "The Frogger." He was born and raised in Tel Aviv. That is just his natural Israeli accent.

-1

Maybe I'm way off, but I think he sounded Irish, i.a. with the distinct t: "Get the hell outta here" and that his accent resembles the accent of Rosemary's father in "Shallow Hal". That would explain the potatoes too: The potato was the Irish' main source of nutrition for several centuries.

I've noticed that the show sometimes makes fun of the Irish (for evil or good), e.g. calling the nationalists O'Brien and Dylan.

Just a thought, maybe I'm wrong.

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