The cast of Seinfeld won the Outstanding Comedy Series award at the 45th Emmy Awards.

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George Costanza (Jason Alexander) tells a literal whale of a tale in Seinfeld's "The Marine Biologist."

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February 09, 2024
Online Originals

Seinfeld By the Numbers

In honor of "The Marine Biologist" episode's 30th anniversary, here's a look back at the classic sitcom's biggest milestones. 

"The sea was angry that day, my friends!"

Thirty years ago this week, NBC aired what would become one of Seinfeld's most revered episodes — in a run chock-full of revered episodes: "The Marine Biologist."

On February 10, 1994, fans watched perpetual putz George Costanza (Jason Alexander) get trapped in a lie about having a career in the aquatic sciences — all so he could impress his old crush, Diane (Rosalind Allen). Yet it's not just the A-story that makes this episode so memorable, it's the way the script's narrative threads braid together and coalesce in one of the series' most satisfying climaxes — in which George delivers a melodramatic monologue about how he heroically sprang into action to save a beached whale. His tale builds and builds, ending with the perfectly timed reveal that the whale's blowhole was blocked by a golf ball that Kramer (Michael Richards) hit into the ocean earlier in the episode, to which Kramer responds: "Well, hole in one, huh?"

The scene is a delightful collection of set-ups and payoffs, all punctuated by a killer punchline that leaves viewers in stitches as the credits hit. So, in celebration of one of Seinfeld's tightest — and silliest — episodes, here's a numeric breakdown of the Emmy-winning NBC series over the course of its acclaimed run.

Number of seasons: 9

Number of episodes: 180

Number of Emmy nominations: 68

Number of Emmy wins: 10, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 1993

Number of times Jerry Seinfeld won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: 0

Number of seasons Seinfeld won at least one Emmy:

The show's first season to premiere in the fall: 3

Season 3's Nielsen ranking: 42nd

Highest Nielsen ranking during its run: 1st (1994-1995 and 1997-1998)

Most watched episode: "The Finale" (5/14/98) with 76 million viewers, per Nielsen

Cost of a 30-second ad spot during "The Finale": $2 million

Number of Jerry's girlfriends: 73

Appearances by George's Art Vandalay: 7

Appearances by the real Art Vandalay: 1

Number of (real) jobs held by George: 12

Number of celebrities who played themselves (not counting any New York Yankees): 19

Number of times Newman appears: 48

Number of discs in Seinfeld's DVD set: 33

Amount Netflix paid for the streaming rights: (at least) $500 million

Streaming services currently offering Seinfeld: 1

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