90s television was no stranger to the crossover episode routine, but in doing so you’re placing the shows involved within the same fictional universe. They did this with Full House and Family Matters when DJ’s friend Julie’s cousin turned out to be Steve Urkel.
I presume this was some twisted parallel dimension in which pesky neighbors ran amok, considering Kimmy Gibbler and Steve Urkel lived next door to the respective families in each series.
This happened with many other shows, but what many may not have noticed was the linking of Mad About You, Friends and Seinfeld. How so, you ask? Well, Phoebe from Friends had a twin sister, Ursula. Ursula was also on Mad About You, seen as an incompetent waitress at a restaurant named Riff’s, where she’d screw up orders.
On the sixteenth episode of Friends’ first season, “The One With Two Parts: Part 1,” Jamie (Helen Hunt) from Mad About You appears in Central Perk. She mistakes Phoebe for her twin sister Ursula, trying to place an order with her. This confirms the correlation between Friends and Mad About You.
On episode eight of Mad About You’s first season, “The Apartment,” Michael Richards made an appearance as Kramer from Seinfeld. He takes over Paul’s apartment and even references a comedian living across the hall, who is obviously Jerry. This connects Mad About You to Seinfeld, meaning that all three of these series technically took place not only in the same universe, but in the same version of New York.
It’s a shame these shows didn’t do more together, because one can only imagine what kind of gems we would’ve gotten had Joey or Chandler met Kramer, or Elaine had any interaction with Phoebe, Rachel, and Monica. Ah, well, at least 90s television made Urkel and Uncle Jesse happen — we shan’t be ungrateful for the glorious crossovers that we were given.