Sunday, June 1, 2008

Remembering "The Puerto Rican Day Parade"

The Puerto Rican Presidential Primary is today, and Hillary Clinton likened her campaign experience there to " big Puerto Rican Day Parade." All of the commotion around PR, the primary made me think of a now infamous episode of Seinfeld.

The episode featured the gang trying to get home after a Mets game. Because of the traffic from the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade and an abrasive driver in a Maroon VW Golf, Elaine, Jerry, George, and Kramer split up. Hilarity ensues for the entire cast, but the comedy was short lived.

In one scene, Kramer accidentally sets a Puerto Rican flag on fire with a sparkler then attempted to put it out by stomping on it. An angry mob chased Kramer and ended up throwing Jerry's car down a flight of stairs. Jerry quipped, "It's like this everyday in Puerto Rico."

Leaders in the Puerto Rican community called on NBC to apologize, as the scene blurred the lines between comedy and racism. NBC made an official statement and apologized. They promised to never aired the episode again (though it was the second to last episode of the show ever) and they originally removed it from the syndication package. However, the episode re-appeared in 2002 with the flag burning scene.

Just a little Seinfeld history for you on this Sunday afternoon.