“The film parodies and cultural sampling of The Simpsons usually get filed away as textbook postmodernism: media riffing on other media. But the Art Vandelay jokes from Seinfeld don’t quite fit the same postmodern mold: they aren’t references that jump from one fictional world to another, they’re references that jump back in time within a single fictional world. I think it’s more instructive to see both these devices as sharing a key attribute: they are comic devices that reward further scrutiny. The show gets funnier the more you study it-precisely because the jokes point outside the immediate context of the episode, and because the creators refuse to supply flashing arrows to translate the gags for the uninitiated. Earlier sitcoms merely demanded that you kept the basic terms of the situation clear on your end; beyond that information you could be amnesiac and you weren’t likely to miss anything.” (87)
this is also why kanye is so great.