Originally created 03/12/98

Photo indicates `Seinfeld' diner has tasteless food



LOS ANGELES -- You might want to think twice before ordering at the "Seinfeld" diner. It appears it may have tasteless fare.

The menu board at Monk's, the make-believe hangout for Jerry and the gang, tends toward unappetizing and even profane items in a photograph printed in the April issue of Swing magazine.

Besides a grilled burger "on Lice," the menu includes a "Double Chili B---- Burger" and "2 Large Fresh [filtered word]."

It's enough to drive a hungry customer into the arms of the Soup Nazi.

The picture was shot on the "Seinfeld" set in early December as part of a profile of producers Jeff Schaffer and Alec Berg, Swing spokeswoman Tory Johnson said Tuesday.

It was unclear if the menu board, tucked into a corner of the set, has ever made it into an episode of the show with off-color listings intact.

According to Swing's photo caption, Schaffer and Berg devised the menu.

A call for comment from the pair and from series producer Castle Rock Entertainment was not immediately returned Tuesday. NBC declined comment.

Whether intended as an in-house gag or not, the display's reference to homosexuals tasted sour to some.

"It sounds fairly anti-gay to me and certainly not in keeping with the show's progressive outlook on life," said David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political organization.

"At the same time, in the context of that entire menu, it sounds ridiculously juvenile," he said.

"Seinfeld," the No. 1 comedy on television, is wrapping up its nine-season run this May.

"I doubt very seriously there will be protests outside of the `Seinfeld' set for anti-gay bias," Smith said. "However, it's clearly offensive and juvenile and should be taken down."

Swing, a 100,000-circulation, New York-based magazine, is aimed at readers in their 20s. The April issue will be on newstands within a week.