Here’s the famous episode of Seinfeld that It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia paid homage to during season 13. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia debuted on FX in 2005, with the scrappy sitcom following the aimless lives of the Paddy’s Pub gang, consisting of Charlie, Dee, Dennis and Mac. The show featured no laugh track and the lead characters were all varying degrees of awful. While the show managed to attract a cult during its first season it didn’t receive great ratings, which nearly led to the network canceling it.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia season 2 saw Danny DeVito joining the cast as Frank – Dennis and Dee’s horrid father – and from there the show’s popularity has only increased. Against all odds it now one of the longest-running live-action sitcoms in TV history, which is set to continue for some time as it was renewed for four more seasons in late 2020.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia season 13 featured the episode “The Gang Does A Clip Show,” where the group sit around and reminisce over the show’s best moments while waiting for a phone update. Clip show episodes are widely hated for simply being a lazy way for a network to cut costs while recycling a show’s highlights – but it’s no surprise It’s Always Sunny subverts the concept. It starts with the gang flashing back to famous moments before they start misremembering details, or things get meta like Charlie watching one of his own memories from a doorway.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s clip show reaches its apex when they recreate a famous scene from Seinfeld, featuring Dee as Elaine, Charlie as Kramer, Frank as George, while Dennis and Mac both play Jerry. This scene is an almost word for word recreation of Seinfeld’s “The Contest,” one of the classic 1990s sitcom’s most acclaimed episodes, where the gang make a bet to refrain from a certain private activity; whoever goes the longest wins. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s homage captures the set design, costumes and even the cadence of the original scene almost perfectly, right down to the laugh track.
Special credit also goes to Charlie Day’s take on Kramer, who enters the apartment to announce he’s out of the game. Day perfectly imitates Michael Richards’ performance in Seinfeld, though the nitpicky could rightfully point out his clothes don’t match the original scene from “The Contest.” It’s worth noting that Kaitlin Olson also worked with Seinfeld co-creator Larry David on several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s clip show ends with a nod to Inception too – and it’s possible the gang still hasn’t returned to reality yet.