Phil Morris' Jackie Chiles is "the exception that proves the rule — a Black character who is just as comical as the whites," says Lauren Michele Jackson, pointing out that Seinfeld is packed with certain Black characters who are "deprived of a name." Jackson adds: "But Black people have never been nonexistent, or invisible, in the white sitcom. They have been invisible only in the way that Black people who service the margins of white world-making must be. In a genre whose conventions (and hilarity) thrive on white ridiculousness, Black people, relegated to the smallest of parts, exist to rein in the free play of whites, reminding viewers how safely deviant the main cast can be. No show exhibits this effect as quietly as the one that crested in lockstep with the ’90s culture wars, the quintessential sitcom and, in one woman’s opinion, the greatest — Seinfeld.....Black people on Seinfeld play a very particular role, defining the social edges of 'very,' or too much. A thankless job, to be sure. There’s no glory in it or, it seems, much fun. I am charmed, though. They foil the Black bestie type, the sidekick destined to enliven a white protagonist’s script and social life with idioms and shade. All the bombast, wackiness, and camp belong in the domain of the four protagonists — Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer, plus a rotating circle of co-conspirators. The conceit of Seinfeld resides in its middle-class sympathies; its normcore aesthetic invites the assumption that its characters are conventional, living and moving about in a world held together by the titular character’s observational joke style. In truth, the group is selfish and deranged, delicious micromenaces to normalcy and etiquette who nonetheless enter and leave each episode with their worlds intact. When white characters run wild on Seinfeld, Black people are cops. They exist as agents of public decency next to whom our main characters appear all the more indecent."