At night, when Bill O'Reilly is sound asleep beneath a blanket made of surplus XXL "Culture Warrior" varsity jackets and lying on a bed made almost entirely out of "The Spin Stops Here" golf balls, what are the petty annoyances and long-held grievances that fill his rage-dreams? Thanks to his new, rambling, thoroughly untethered to logical structure, personal memoir, A Bold Fresh Piece Of Humanity, we now know at least one thing that O'Reilly is still irrationally angry about: The Seinfeld finale.
As you may remember, though maybe you don't considering it happened ten years ago, Seinfeld ended not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a "Good Samaritan Law" court case: Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer stood trial for essentially being self-involved, with several of the enemies they had made over the course of the series coming back to testify against them. It wasn't the best ending for a long-running sitcom, but it certainly wasn't the worst (Roseanne). Still, it stung Bill O'Reilly right in the heart like a giant cynical liberal jellyfish.
"After nine years of clever writing and brilliant comedic acting, Seinfeld's closing act rivaled Petticoat Junction in witty payoff," he writes. "So what the heck happened?
"Since I'm pretty sure I understand the deep cynicism of head writer Larry David and also the middling cynicism of Jerry Seinfeld, I think these guys tanked the final episode on purpose."
Friends, I'm pretty sure I understand the deep cynicism of Bill O'Reilly, which is why I think he's suggesting that David and Seinfeld wrote a bad finale on purpose, with no evidence and/or basic logic to support his claim. Why would they crash and burn the series on purpose? Just to piss off Bill O'Reilly to such a degree that he writes about it 10 years later? (Incidentally, that's exactly why they did it, and I applaud them.)
Still, O'Reilly thinks he could have made the finale much, much better:
Using Johnny Carson's brilliant last program as a model, all the Seinfeld people had to do was assemble the cast for a one-hour "best moments" special. Just let the characters kick it around, telling viewers what mattered to them and why, and then roll in the clips. Give the folks some inside-baseball as to how the show came together each week and then wrap it up with some bloopers.
Forget the fact that Carson's Tonight Show was a talk show not a sitcom, and that Seinfeld did actually have a clip show immediately preceding the finale, O'Reilly is brilliant. A clip show! Inside baseball! Bloopers! Why didn't anyone think of these things before? People love clips and blooping while looking inside baseballs!
Bill O'Reilly should re-write every TV finale. Instead of a moving, death montage epilogue, The O'Reilly Cut of the Six Feet Under finale would be a roundtable with all of the characters discussing, "What do you think happens after you die?," and laughing about that time Michael C. Hall tripped and fell into a casket on set (hilarious!). Likewise, The O'Reilly Cut of The Sopranos finale wouldn't end with an ambiguous black screen, but with a heart-warming montage of James Gandolfini going door-to-door shaking hands with HBO subscribers and personally thanking them for watching the show.