Both the classic sitcom Seinfeld and the legendary HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm follow passive-aggressive characters and friends who don’t actually like each other, which is where most of the humor comes from. But the shows are at their funniest when the characters are at the mercy of their own deranged inventions.
Both shows come from the absurd mind of Larry David, a comedian and writer who could be labelled as obnoxious, stubborn, and rude, but he’s also pretty inventive. The inventions in the shows range from bizarre and childish to outright genius, with some practical creations that could genuinely fix every day problems.
10 The Two-Piece Ski – Curb Your Enthusiasm
In the same episode in which Jeff and Larry consider investing in the car periscope, Larry tries to convince his manager that he’s actually somewhat of an inventor himself. While golfing, Larry talks about his idea to create two-piece skis, so that they can be taken apart, making them much easier to carry.
In reality, this is almost something that Kramer could have imagined up, as it’s just so out there, and though it might be practical, it’s so unsafe.
9 The Bro – Seinfeld
When Kramer sees George’s dad suffering from back problems, he deduces that it’s because of his ample pecs. So the two go in to business together and design The Manssiere, which is basically a bra for men.
The whole concept is absolutely ludicrous, but people actually show a significant amount of interest in the product. And though the product was first named The Manssiere, the name gets its name hilariously changed to “The Bro.”
8 The Female Urinal – Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Spite Store is a storyline no other show could have done, and when designing the cafe, Larry had no filter when it came to his imagination, as any absurd idea he ever had was put into creation. Larry hadn’t been this creative since opening the restaurant with Jeff and Ted Dansen.
Not only did the Spite Store feature never seen before coffee mug warmers, but Larry even designed a female urinal. The design is resoundingly ridiculous and as Larry demonstrates how to use it to Freddy Funkhouser, he clings onto the rail in front of him while squatting over a bowl.
7 The Coffee Table Book About Coffee Tables – Seinfeld
Kramer has had a lot of different jobs, and many of them usually end badly, but Kramer works best when he’s working for himself. Many of his ideas are outright stupid, but the coffee table book about coffee tables was so on the nose that everybody wanted one.
What’s even better is that the book had fold-out legs, meaning that it could actually be used as a coffee table itself. Though nobody thinks about how the contents of the book might be mind-numbingly boring, it’s such a fun novelty.
6 Ketchup And Mustard In The Same Bottle – Seinfeld
Kramer is the number one reason why Seinfeld is better than Curb, as the way he clumsily jolts around from place to place is fascinating. But the best thing about him is the way he zips around from one idea to another.
In what perfectly captures Kramer’s unique and focus-lacking way of thinking, the character randomly comes up with the idea to put ketchup and mustard in the same bottle. The invention actually makes sense, and fans don’t even have to wish it was real, as the product became a reality years later, which is known as Kustard.
5 Gotta Go – Curb Your Enthusiasm
Though JB Smoove only auditioned for the role of Leon because he was in L.A. for a funeral, the character is one of the best additions to the show since the pilot, and together with Larry, they conjure up an incredible app.
Gotta Go allows people with jobs at newsstands, toll booths, etc., to call upon Larry or Leon to replace them for a few minutes if they need to go to the toilet. Though it’s totally illegal, the idea was ingenious, but it was unfortunately ruined by Leon’s laziness.
4 The Public Toilet App – Curb Your Enthusiasm/Seinfeld
The Seinfeld reunion is the best multi-episode storyline in Curb, as Larry spends the whole season wrangling together the old gang and shooting the reunion episode just to win back his ex-wife. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Seinfeld reunion without Newman, Jerry’s arch-nemesis who has almost as many zany ideas as Kramer.
In the show-within-a-show reunion episode, Newman made millions of dollars from the iToilet, an app that locates the nearest public toilet. Though this is basically Google Maps, the season first aired in 2010, before apps had become as significant as they are today. So strangely enough, it was actually way ahead of its time.
3 The Car Periscope – Curb Your Enthusiasm
Though Jeff can never catch a break, as he’s constantly struggling to balance a stressful home life and a busy work life, he almost invests in one of the best inventions ever with Larry.
When in New York, the pair meet with an inventor who has designed a car periscope, which allows people in the driver’s seat of vehicles to see ahead of the traffic. After testing a beta version of the periscope, Larry and Jeff are amazed at how well it works, and it’s a surprise that Elon Musk hasn’t thrown it into a Tesla yet.
2 The Coffee Mug Warmer – Curb Your Enthusiasm
It’s happened to everybody – you order a coffee or tea and it ends up being lukewarm to cold before you get a chance to finish it. And what’s even worse is when coffee is served cold in a coffee shop to begin with, which is what happened to Larry at Mocha Joe’s and was the catalyst that led to Larry opening up the spite store, Latte Larry’s.
Larry sought the help of the German inventor, Boris, who created the self-heating cup, which has an electric coaster. It’s probably the most practical invention of the two shows, and it makes perfect sense too.
1 Desk Bed – Seinfeld
Only George Costanza, the laziest, most procrastinating worker on television, could have invented this. He literally gets a construction worker to expand the space underneath his desk, which then becomes the desk bed.
In what is one of the best scenes of the entire series, George wakes up from his nap, only to go straight to lunch. It’s surely the desk that every employee wants. Amazingly, the invention has actually been made in real life and the inventors were clearly influenced by Seinfeld.
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