“The Contest”: Peak “Seinfeld”

“The Contest,” a delightfully restrained Seinfeld episode about abstaining from self pleasure, aired fairly early in the show’s run and helped push the show to new stratospheric heights. It was one of the show’s only award winners, and barely made it past the network’s censors on the strength of its brilliant concept, writing, and execution. Larry David admits in this oral history that he expected far stiffer (ahem) opposition and was ready to quit over any attempt at censorship. Click below to read more about an episode still quoted today.

The Oral History of Seinfeld’s ‘The Contest’

Vulture.com, 10.25.17

Donald Trump Wins the Presidency

On the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s cataclysmic election win Esquire talks to members of both campaigns as well as mainstream media members still suffering from PTSD. Early in the day Clinton team members were still confident and Trump was hiding in his penthouse until being enticed by the early returns. Florida was the turning point and after that the nation watched together as its fortunes flipped into the unknown. The drama is obvious, and this well-produced chronological retelling succeeds in bringing back the ebullient/nauseous effects.

The Untold Stories of Election Day 2016

Esquire.com, 11.5.17

 

No More Hinting: Madonna’s “Erotica”

Madonna Ciccone is many things to many people, but the reason she matters is that she’s fearless. After pushing boundaries throughout the 80s she took it to another level with Erotica (1992). The established coy sexuality of female pop stars went out the window and was replaced by wanton sexuality. Co-released with her explicit book, Sex, and arguably the raunchiest record launch party in history, the record ruffled some feathers, to say the least. Billboard gathers the principals on the 25th anniversary to go over how the project came together as well as the aftermath.

Madonna’s ‘Erotica’ Turns 25: An Oral History of the Most Controversial ’90s Pop Album

Billboard.com, 10.20.17

Quarterbacking for the Dallas Cowboys

Dandy Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Danny White, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Dak Prescott. Playing quarterback for the Cowboys is awfully close to playing center field for the New York Yankees, the iconic position for the iconic team. Sports Illustrated goes deep on the most important lineage in the NFL, getting access to all the major players, and supplementing the fantastic anecdotes with their top-of-line images.

From Staubach to Dak: An Oral History of the Cowboys’ Quarterbacks

SI.com, 11.1.17

The March on the Pentagon (1967)

The March on the Pentagon was, at the time, the largest anti-war demonstration in American history. The New York Times put together a typically excellent oral history in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the rally. The piece, which includes ample anecdotes from military and political representatives who stood in opposition to the protest, breaks the narrative into three parts: the organization and arrival, the march, and the aftermath. Representative images and video clips are also included. It’s truly an important artifact and a treat for anyone who loves oral history.

The March on the Pentagon: An Oral History

NYTimes.com, 10.20.17