Hearing a laugh track on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is always jarring. Hearing it as part of a carefully crafted recreation of an all-time great sitcom moment makes a little more sense.
As part of this week’s “The Gang Does a Clip Show” shenanigans, the show took the opportunity to recreate a classic scene from the iconic “The Contest” episode of “Seinfeld.” Lauded throughout the two and a half decades since it first aired, “The Contest” famously never explicitly outlines what each of the characters are refraining from doing. Neither do Charlie, Dee, Frank, Mac, or Dennis as they sit around Paddy’s Pub waiting for a phone to update.
But using the same lines and character entrances, “Sunny” mapped each of its characters onto the classic “Seinfeld” foursome: Frank is naturally George, Dee pulls Elaine duties, Charlie becomes Kramer, and Mac and Dennis pull double duty as split Jerrys. (Oh, the hair. The sweet, voluminous hair.) Even the “Seinfeld” apartment window, couch, and shelves make cameo appearances for good measure.
One enterprising Reddit user posted a side-by-side comparison of the two scenes. As you can see below, the timing isn’t 100% down to the second, but Kaitlin Olson has the Elaine cadence down pretty well. Charlie Day has a different Kramer outfit, but what comedian hasn’t practiced that “I’m out” delivery at least once in their life? Maybe this episode won’t win an Emmy and get the Greatest TV Episode of All Time stamp of approval, but as homages go, it’s a pretty solid one.
As long as the benevolent powers of the internet keep it alive, watch the meticulous comparison below:
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on FXX.