Talk like a pirate… and dress like one too

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arr! But talk is cheap. Why just talk like a pirate when you can also dress like one?

Perhaps you’d like to wear a puffy pirate shirt like Jerry Seinfeld (above right). In “The Puffy Shirt,” Kramer’s new girlfriend Leslie, a “low talker,” says something inaudible to which Jerry nods his head and smiles. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s just agreed to wear a puffy pirate-style shirt she’s designed during his upcoming appearance on the Today show. Reluctantly, under pressure from Kramer, Jerry goes ahead and wears the shirt. Bryant Gumbel gives him grief:

BRYANT: (Talking directly to the camera) Back now, 7:46. On Tuesday the 19th here in New York there will be a benefit for the Goodwill Industries—a used clothing organization that provides services to the needy. One of the performers will be comedian Jerry Seinfeld. (Turns to face Jerry) Jerry, good morning.

JERRY: (Mumbling) Thank you, Bryant.

BRYANT: (Pointing) And speaking of clothing, that is a very, very unusual shirt you have on.

Bryant Gumbel and Jerry SeinfeldJERRY: (Looking down at the shirt; mumbling) Oh, thank you.

(Backstage, Kramer’s standing with his girlfriend. She’s brimming with pride)

BRYANT: You’re all kinda, (waves his hands around) kinda “puffed up.” (Chuckles)

JERRY: Yeah, it’s a puffy shirt.

BRYANT: (Laughing) You look kinda like a pirate.

(Elaine, also standing backstage, closes her eyes – showing her dissatisfaction)

JERRY: (Nervous laughter) Yeah… like a pirate… (attempting to get on another subject) Anyway, ah, you know, we’re hoping to, um, raise enough money… with this… uh…

BRYANT: (Rudely interrupting, still snickering at the shirt) You… ah, look, I’m sorry, it is just a VERY unusual shirt. It could be kind of a whole new look for you.. you know, you could put a patch over an eye, you could be kind of like the pirate-comedian.

JERRY: Uh-huh, yeah. (Smiling, nodding, clearly wanting Bryant to shut up)

BRYANT: Are you going to be wearing the shirt at the concert?

JERRY: (Losing it, mad) Look, it’s not my shirt.

BRYANT: (Confused) Whose shirt is it?

JERRY: What’s the difference? I agreed to wear it. It’s – it’s a puffy shirt. I feel ridiculous in it, and I think it’s the stupidest shirt I’ve ever seen, to be perfectly honest with you. (Nodding)

LESLIE: (Off camera, shrill, high pitched yelling) You bastard!

BRYANT: (To Jerry) Did you hear that?

JERRY: (Pointing off screen, nodding) THAT I heard.

From Seinfeld, “The Puffy Shirt” (Sept. 23, 1993)


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