Take That Larry David! Here's 500 Words About Nothing!

The show is about "Nothing"

By Bill Russo


The idea for this article came from the ultimate show about nothing: “Seinfeld.” If Larry David's musings about 'nothing' could putt along for almost ten years and become the greatest comedy in the history of television, then I guess I can do 500 words on the same subject.


(I have just passed the 50 word mark. One tenth of the way home and I still have plenty of 'nothing' to write about.)

Dan Hurley & his 60 Second Novels

The Amazing Instant Novelist

In the 1990s, there was a man who would go to the streets of Chicago and set a 30 pound portable typewriter on top of a card table on the sidewalk. Using a cardboard sign for advertising, he offered “60 second novels”, written on demand. He sat at his table, and a crowd would gather as he wrote mini biographies for people. This unlikely little occupation became a million dollar business!


Dan Hurley parlayed the typewriter gig into the “Amazing Instant Novelist” site on America Online. At its peak, he drew five million visitors a month to the site, which began featuring very popular writing contests.


Hurley became a best selling author and contributor to the nation's top publications. He even writes 'scientific' articles these days. But his whole career started with little 60 second stories about pretty much 'nothing.'


The 'Know Nothings'

When in an awkward social situation sometimes it is better for a person to say 'nothing' instead of a comment that might worsen a particular situation.


In politics there was a whole party called “The Know Nothings”. At its peak, this group claimed over one million members. They were particularly strong in Massachusetts. During the 1850s, the 'nothings' had over 50 of the 230 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and five senate seats.


The 'know nothings' were really not FOR anything, they were just AGAINST pretty much everything. They railed against Irish people, Catholics, and immigration. One of their most prominent members was ex President Millard Fillmore.


The party derived its names from the actions of the members, who when questioned about their movement; would answer, “I know nothing.”


(Word Count - 357)




One of the funniest 'know nothings' ever, was John Banner. As an actor he appeared on Broadway and in over 40 films, but is mainly known for one role – that of Sergeant Hans Schultz on Hogan's Heroes.

Whenever he was confronted with evidence of scams or escape plans of his prisoners, he would declare, “I know nothing!”


Though John Banner portrayed a soldier in Hitler's army, in real life he was a Jewish man who had been held in a concentration camp. His parents were killed during the war. Ironically several of the actors in the television series were Jewish, including Werner Klemperer, who played the part of the prison camp commander.


Robert Clary, who was cast as the Frenchman LeBeau, was in fact a Jewish man who spent three years in a concentration camp. His parents and other family members were killed there. LeBeau had an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm (A-574).


(Word Count-512)


I have more to say, but as this article is only supposed to be 500 words, I am now required to...................


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Comments 19 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

What a great idea Bill. You succeeded in writing about nothing and actually made it interesting. Dan Hurley had a great idea with his 60 second novels and it paid off. Maybe I should try something like that...have an egg timer beside me ...3 minute poetry..lol.

I wish you had aimed for 1000 words about nothing instead of 500..didn't want it to end, but then as Sergeant Schultz would say"I know nothing". Voted up.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Thanks Jodah. I think you could adapt your work to Fiverr.com

People sell a service for $5.00 and up. You could write personalized holiday poems, greetings and birthday wishes. You could sell your service for $5.00 if the work were transmitted by computer. But if you wanted to, you could up the ante by shipping out the poem on a decorative paper that you could easily create. You would get more than $5.00 on this and would also charge a shipping fee. It might work.

I am experimenting with the site and so far it looks promising.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Writing about nothing is actually a great challenge, and I don't think I'm up to it.

But neither are you, Bill, because this Hub was very interesting!


Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 2 years ago

Enjoyed this very much. The "Seinfield" show made NOTHING---become something? It shows what Curiosity/Imagination can create.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Thanks Bill, I'll check Fiverr out. It sounds interesting.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Thanks Will. Your comment has great value to me.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Hi Ginn. Thanks very much for reading and commenting.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Fiverr might work out well for you Jodah. I am pretty sure there will be a brisk market for you.


bluebird profile image

bluebird 2 years ago

Nothing was kinda interesting...almost, but then again, it was nothing.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Thanks bluebird. It was 500 words about nothing!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Took your advice Bill and joined Fiverr....looks like a promising concept to me. Thanks again.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

I think so too. I will be watching for progress!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

Sometimes writing about nothing is so relaxing. I feel great and I thank you! Voted up and awesome!


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Thanks breakfastpop. I am going to have an omelette with red roasted peppers and Mozzarella cheese and a coffee with my hot new creamer that I invented. It is a cross between Cremora and Coffeemate. I call it "Cremate!"


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

That was nicely done 500 words about nothing. But it wasn't about nothing really as I pick up straight away, info I didn't know and that you are a great writer. Enjoy it thank you.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Thanks Elsie and I am so happy that you've joined the group. I will be stopping by your writing place regularly.


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

Thanks Bill, One week since Squidoo closed it doors, my lens will be moved over in the next month. Time to move on and get to know all these wonderful writers here at HubPages, and start writing also. Will be following your hubs, (which are great). Happy days.


Colin323 2 years ago

Nothing is always something, and you made something of nothing in a very readable way. I particularly liked the Dan Hurley section. I might try it here!


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Great idea Colin. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

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