During a debate last night Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was in the middle of an awesomely cliché jab at President Obama about his ruining of the American dream and all, when the eager audience interrupted him with a round of awkward applause. The break prompted Romney to look over at Rick Santorum and say, “As George Costanza would say, ‘When they’re applauding, stop.’”
Santorum seemed to enjoy the line, nodding and waiving his hand across the desk, like, “Yea, just stop … haha.”
The bad imitation is a disservice to "The Burning," one of the many great Seinfeld episodes (synopsis by Wikipdia): "Elaine thinks that boyfriend David Puddy may be religious after finding Christian rock stations set on his car radio. At the coffee shop, George laments to Jerry about losing respect at a project meeting led by Mr. Kruger after following a good suggestion with a bad joke. Jerry suggests that George use the Vegas showmanship trick of 'walking off' after a high note."
(Fun Wiki-fact: The title of this episode is the same as the 1981 slasher film The Burning, which was Jason Alexander's film debut. It may also allude to Elaine's supposed damnation, Jerry's "burning" to know the tractor story, or Kramer's dramatic interpretation of the burning sensation caused by gonorrhea." Ha.)
Here's a link to an abbreviated version of the episode on YouTube. And on a sad note, the actor who played Mr. Kruger, Daniel von Bargen, was hospitalized yesterday after shooting himself in the head at his Cincinnati-area condominium. Friend of CityBeat Joe Wessels reported the story for Reuters here.
Romney reportedly used the same stupid joke at a Republican Jewish Coalition forum back in December, which caused Jon Stewart to point out that it isn’t even George’s line Romney was butchering — it was Jerry’s, and it goes, “Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off.”
Jason Alexander responded on Twitter to Romney incorrectly referencing his old character: “Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character. I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he'd embrace that again, he'd b a great candidate.”