Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, JT Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!
JT: Jimmy was great. Jimmy was funny. Jimmy was full of vengeance. But Jimmy had nothing on Kramer. Kramer stole the show. Kramer was phenomenal here, nailing every scene, especially all of Kramer’s physical antics. The final scene with Kramer singing was a classic.
Aaron: I was having a hard time with this one until Whatley pumped about a pound of Novocain into Kramer, turning him into a genuine real life Goofy. Like if they ever wanted to re-make A Goofy Movie with a bit of a harder, hairier edge I think they’d have no choice but to cast Mr. Richards in the lead role. This obviously begs the question: who plays Max, Powerline and the idiot who fills his mouth with cheese? I think you have to go Kevin Hart as Max, his natural chemistry with Richards would light the screen on fire. Jaden Smith could easily fill the shoes of Powerline: the biggest rock star on the planet. I think I’ll go outside the box and cast Sidney Poitier as the cheese guy. The academy surely couldn’t deny him as they watch his plump cheeks flutter as he fills his mouth with the leaning tower of Cheesa. Throw in Karyn Parsons as Roxanne and I think we have a winner.
Andrew: Kramer is operating at the highest level here. He’s got his usual throwaway line game (“Oh no, you got to eat before surgery … you need your strength”), but the “mistaken for mentally challenged” stuff is just incredible. It really plays to his strengths with all the physically comedy, and he pulls off the not always easy trick of making the joke about his character, and not just making fun of the mentally challenged.
Jordan: Kramer just destroys everyone else here, it’s not even close. He’s given a real chance to showcase his physical comedy here with the drooling and stumbling around and talking out the side of his mouth, and it’s all just perfect. Not to say everyone else had a bad showing, but this may be the best Kramer performance we have seen in the show’s run so far. Just fantastic from beginning to end.
Jason: Jason doesn’t know where to begin here. Jimmy had one of the best one off performances in the series, but this episode belongs to Kramer. Deensfrei and Mel Torme thinking that he’s mentally challenged had Jason laughing his ass off. The locker room scene while he’s loaded with Novocain is an all timer for Cosmo. All topped off with Mel Torme singing to him at the dinner. Jason is gonna go ahead and call this Michael Richards best outing from the series so far.
JT: Kramer’s run in with The Velvet Fog narrowly edges a tour de force by Jimmy.
Aaron: Kramer takes Iron Man’s advice and played his mental degradation with the quiet subtlety of a young Don Knotts. He’s probably the best physical actor of his generation and when you craft an entire arc playing to that strength he’s going to excel.
Andrew: I mean, they’re all good, but I’m going with the dentist office stuff this week. That is some sick, sick shit to be joking about in a primetime network sitcom. The other storylines may be objectively funnier, but I’m still kind of in awe of the audacity of this one.
Jordan: Man, Jimmy talking in the third person is pretty good, and normally I would go with it in a heartbeat…but how can you beat Kramer being the guest of honor at a banquet for the mentally challenged? The shoes, the Novocain and the punch from Jimmy, along with his everyday quirkiness make this a great one. The Velvet Fog singing to him is a great capper.
Jason: Everything with Jimmy being a third person talker killed, but again, Kramer being “mentally challenged” steals the show.
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: Is it ok to bang your receptionist on your drugged patient’s body. Why the fuck not. You spend all that time working your ass off to become a doctor, you damn well deserve to reap all the benefits. Reap away, Timmy. And stop whining and enjoy the ride, Jerome.
Aaron: If someone refers to themselves in the third person are you legally responsible for running them over with your car? No. No you are not.
Andrew: Is it OK to take sweatiness as an indication of guilt? As a person who has been known to perspire heavily for no good reason, I find that sort of prejudice offensive. On the other hand, this is George we’re talking about. He probably did it.
Jordan: Should you steal from your work? The obvious answer people will give is no, but then they don’t mind taking a pen here, a paper clip there. Pretty soon they’ve moved onto staplers and a whole pack of post-it notes. Suddenly, they’re feeling the urge to steal. It gives them a high. The office won’t do. They need a big score. They look out and see second base, THERE FOR THE TAKING. And they swipe it! The poor Yankees are a mom and pop organization and have to pay to replace those bases!
Jason: Does a man admitting another man is attractive make him gay? NOPE! Should a doctor’s office be allowed to have adults magazines in the waiting room? Sure! Most waiting rooms have a children’s area for a reason. Read up, fellas!
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: I think Elaine and Jimmy could have made it if Jimmy didn’t snap and deck Kramer. Jimmy needs that bread. Jimmy needs to eat. Elaine could feed Jimmy all night long with that sweet Mr. Pitt cash. Relationship Grade: 7/10
Aaron: George and Jimmy were clearly meant for each other. Sure the sex would be a confusing mess of instructions/emotions but in the end their passive aggressive conversations would either lead to a long lasting relationship or some sort of murder/suicide. A murder/suicide set to the soundtrack to Strictly Ballroom preferably. Relationship Grade: 9.5/10
Andrew: I admire Elaine’s ability to pivot into finding Jimmy attractive after her original objective is out of the picture. That kind of flexibility will take you far in life. The dentist office stuff, on the other hand, is just kind of icky. Relationship Grade: Jimmy’s gonna put the moves on Elaine/10
Jordan: Whatley and his nurse were clearly hot and heavy, but where is the trust? They just trade each other back and forth for other dentists and oral hygienists, and I MEAN ORAL hygienists. All of a sudden, they’ve delved into a world of DDS orgies, not unlike Aaron’s favorite Christmas movie, Eyes Wide Shut. Relationship Grade: FILLING CAVITIES/10
Jason: Elaine not knowing that Jimmy was Jimmy played out perfectly. Whatley knew what he was gonna do the second he put Jerry under the gas. Good for Tim. Jennifer is quite a catch. Relationship Grade: Damaged Goods/10
JT: I love the bizarre episodes where the crew plays basketball; Jimmy is awesome right away; Those shoes are so ridiculous but played into the fads of the 90s; I feel George’s pain with showers that don’t take; Kramer’s surgery line is a good one; George sweating during the meeting was a good angle; Whatley’s dental palace of smut is fantastic; Jerry mocking the third person Jimmy while talking to George is good; KUNG PAO!; That gym is so damn 90s; Elaine’s first chat with Jimmy is gold; Kramer’s novocaine mouth may be the height of his physical humor, including his water drool that almost killed Jimmy; The whole scene with Jimmy being carted off and Kramer apologizing is top notch, especially since it rolls into Deensfrei thinking he is handicapped; Whatley taking the hit off the gas always makes me laugh out loud; George adapting the third person style; Elaine slowly realizing who Jimmy was; Jimmy slugging Kramer to mess up his mouth was beautiful writing; George getting off with Big Stein because of the third person gimmick; Torme singing to Kramer is an all timer; Kramer reading the Penthouse letter about the dentist was a perfect capper and a nice throwback
Aaron: Obviously I really dug all the Kramer business. He is completely incapable of keeping water in his mouth and his string of excuses and apologies are as hilarious as they are sincere. His smiling and singing with Mel Torme is the stuff of legend. I love the contempt Jerry bears Jimmy from the very first lines out of his mouth. I’m with you brother. I’d pay good money to break one of Jimmy’s legs. I’d pay more if I got to keep it. Tim Whatley is great taking a shot of gas while insinuating that he and his dentist friends bang each other’s hygienists. Then it happens and Elaine crushes it by declaring, “So you were violated by two people while under the gas, so what??? You’re single.” This leads to a discussion over who’s more “damaged goods” which is the best such discussion since Ric Flair cuckolded Randy Savage during Operation Desert Storm. In the end the writing was tight throughout as everything was neatly woven and not a line was wasted. That alone makes this one a winner for me as I’m never a huge fan for jokes for the sake of jokes.
Andrew: The sequence from Kramer feeling the effects of the Novocain, to Jimmy slipping in the locker room, to Kramer in the cab with the AMCA guy, is amazing, and one of my favorites of the series.The actor playing Jimmy really goes for it with the third-person bit, and makes it an incredibly funny and memorable character. George gets great mileage out of the third person joke, too, and his “shower didn’t take” line will always be burned into my memory. Jerry’s discomfort with watching a man sing, and his and George’s inability to talk about a man’s attractiveness, make for a nice bit. Whatley taking a hit off the nitrous always makes me laugh, and Steinbrenner’s appearance is a good one. Finally, the Mel Torme song makes for one of the best cappers in the series.
Jordan: I mean, do I just copy and paste the script and leave it here? Will a link to the entire episode suffice? This was brilliant all the way around. Let’s start with Kramer: I mentioned his physical comedy being great, but he was awesome in the little things too – I like him advising Jerry not to brush his teeth for 24 hours before a trip to the dentist. His wearing of the shoes came off funnier than George, and I can’t really explain why. I love his Novocain induced voice as well. Elaine is always fun when she is flirty, and her miscommunication with Jimmy was a nice little story. The fact that she wound up liking Jimmy anyway was a good twist to it, and the guy she originally liked being gay was funny because it gave us a callback to Elaine “converting” one. Jerry was good here, but nothing phenomenal. I liked his confusion waking up in the dentist chair, seeing Whatley buttoning up his shirt. Oh, by the way, NICE EARRING WHATLEY. I like that in an episode where he has a cavity, we see Jerry eating a sucker and a candy bar. And also, Kramer reading the Penthouse Forum at the end with a letter that sounds just like Jerry’s experience was a good one. George was good, but I didn’t really connect with the sweating implying guilt storyline. He did have the best line of the episode though, stating his shower “didn’t take”. I think we’ve all had a couple of those, where you get out and somehow feel sweatier and hotter than you did when you first got in! Jimmy was a really fun character and the third person talk was fun and annoying at the same time.
Jason: Kramer putting on aftershave lotion and stating that he takes cold showers; it gives him a woosh! George sweating during the meeting abut the missing equipment. Jerry not being able to watch a man sing a song and can’t find beauty in a man. Kramer’s George Will bit; all scrubbed and shampooed. George’s, “it doesn’t help.” Jerry mocking Jimmy and George going into business together; “Jimmy’s jumping for dollars.” Elaine trying to get Hank’s attention. Jimmy flirting with Elaine while Elaine thinks Hank is Jimmy. Kramer’s reaction to the suction device. Man, the locker room scene while Kramer is cocked with novacane was tremendous. Having to cut back on Skittles and water drooling from his mouth are all timers. Jimmy slipping on the water; “Jimmy’s rant at Kramer about the water; “Hey, I’m doing the best I can!” Kramer lugging down the street with Jimmy’s shoes on. Kramer and Deensfrei in the cab; “You’re not doing too bad yourself.” Kramer explaining that he’s sitting at the head table with Mel Torme to Jerry and Elaine; plopping his feet on the coffee table with the shoes on. “He thinks that you’re mentally challenged.” George slamming his hand on the desk while eating the kung pao chicken. Wilhem confronting George about the missing equipment; “George likes his chicken spicy.” Jerry telling Elaine that he’s damaged goods from what happened at Whatley’s office; “Welcome to the club.” Jerry explaining to Elaine that Jimmy is Jimmy; “Jimmy’s gonna put the moves on Elaine.” Jimmy confronting Kramer and popping him in the mouth, causing the K-Man to get a fat lip right before he meets Mel Torme. Big Stein’s confusion when he calls out George about the equipment. Torme singing to Kramer seals the deal on everything! Kramer reading the Penthouse forum with the situation that Jerry was in at Whatley’s office.
What Didn’t Work
JT: Jerry can be quite the prude; Tim Whatley’s mid-life crisis earring; Do Foot Locker execs all wear referee shirts too or was George demonstrating for the floor crew?; Who tucks in a polo shirt?
Aaron: Jimmy is a douche. I hate him. I’m also not a huge fan of the section where George and Jerry can’t see beauty in another man. Perhaps I’m into men. Perhaps I’m so comfortable with my sexuality that I can comment on a man’s body in the shower without some sort of line being crossed. Or maybe, just maybe I’m a fully functioning human being? Also: how in the hell did anyone steal an infield tarp from Yankee stadium. I’m of the kind that if they can actually steal it they’ve earned it. Also again: I’ve tucked in a polo shirt JT. You can’t tell me what to do. Tiger Woods tucks in a polo shirt and look how he turned out. HE’S A FUCKING TIGER!!!
Andrew: Why the hell is Jimmy showing off his handle in the locker room? Does Foot Locker really base their inventory orders on walk-in demonstrations? How did Elaine not notice the third-person thing when talking to Jimmy on the phone?
Jordan: Seriously, what will it take to let us see George play basketball? I feel like this is a comedic goldmine just waiting to be tapped. For that matter, I’d like to see Jerry and Kramer play as well. They all seem terrible. SHOW US!
Jason: Jason wishes this episode didn’t have to end.
Key Character Debuts
– Mel Torme
– Mr. Wilhelm
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “Jerry it’s my fault .I couldn’t make a shot. These losses they stay with me. They Fester Jerry. Now this is gonna plague me.” – Kramer
– “Why. You took a shower?” – Jerry “Aahhrgh…it wouldn’t take… ten minutes from now, I’ll be sweating all over again, I can feel it. I’m a human heat pump!” – George “You should take cold showers.” – Kramer “Cold showers? They’re for psychotics.” – George
– “”You know.. You really shouldn’t brush 24 hours before seeing the dentist.” – Kramer “I think that’s eat 24 hours before surgery.” – Jerry “Oh no, you got to eat before surgery, you need your strength.” – Kramer
– “Hey ! You want to go see “The Velvet Fog”? – Elaine “The Velvet fog?” – Jerry “Yeah! Mel Torm, That’s his nickname.” – Elaine “What the hell his a velvet fog.” – Jerry
– “I can’t watch a man sing a song.” – Jerry “What are you..crazy?” – Elaine “They get all emotional , they sway. It’s embarrassing.” – Jerry
– “Hmm! Oh! Yeah. I’ll tell you who is an attractive man; George Will.” – Kramer “Really!” – Elaine “Yeah! He has clean looks, scrubbed and shampooed and…” – Kramer “He’s smart…” – Elaine “No, no I don’t find him all that bright.” – Kramer
– “You know that just admitting a man is handsome doesn’t necessarily make you a homosexual.” – Elaine “It doesn’t help” – George
– “Well you know its.. great. You know, no kids ..allowed. you don’t have to watch your language.” – Kramer “You find you need to use a lot of obscenities at the dentist.” – Jerry “He..he… When they pull that needle out I let the expletives fly.” – Kramer
– “Good for you…You are really independent.” – George “You’re not doing too bad yourself” – Kramer
– “Well apparently I do something ’cause I’m sitting at the head table with Mr. Mel Torme!” – Kramer
– “Don’t you see what’s happened, he couldn’t talk , he’s wearing these shoes, he’s drooling.” – Jerry “What!!!” – Kramer “He thinks you’re mentally challenged.” – Elaine “Well…you know…” – Jerry “Well, what happens when you show up. He’ll see that you’re not.?” – Elaine “Not necessarily because…” – Jerry
– “You’re a terrible liar George. Look at you, you’re a wreck!. You’re sweating bullets.” – Wilhelm “It’s the Kung Pao … George likes his chicken spicy.” – George
– “All right then say you were. I mean .. what do you think could have happened?” – Elaine “I don’t know but I was spitting out and rinsing like there was no tomorrow.” – Jerry “Ughhhh” – Elaine “Is this guy a dentist or Caligula?” – Jerry
– “But I’m damaged goods now.” – Jerry “Join the club.” – Elaine
– “I’m going to go see Mel Torme with him?” – Elaine “Jimmy’s gonna put the moves on Elaine…” – Jerry
– “Hey look. Hank’s got a new boyfriend. Jimmy’s not threatened by Hanks sexuality … Jimmy’s happy for Hank.” – Jimmy “Elaine once tried to convert one but Elaine’s not going through that again.” – Elaine
– “Well seems it’s about time for George’s lunch.” – George “Yes it is. Well lets see what I have today. Darn it It’s ham & cheese again and she forgot the fancy mustard. I told her I like that fancy mustard. You could put that fancy mustard on a shoe and it would taste pretty good to me. oh! she made it up with a cupcake though. Hey look at this. You know I got a new system for eating these things. I used to peel off the chocolate now I turn them upside down , I eat the cake first and save the frosting for the end and It’s almost like its own dessert!’ – Steinbrenner
Oddities & Fun Facts
– Tim Whatley returns for a third time
– Kramer also read the Penthouse Forum in “The Dinner Party” (S5, E13)
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: This is another great episode and another all time classic. I do think it falls just short of a perfect grade because I found Jerry to be a bit annoying, almost as frustrating to watch as he was very early on. I hate when he is a prudish nerd. Man up! It’s the Big Apple! Elaine was really good here and it gets pretty overlooked because of the Kramer & Jimmy Show. George was sold too, especially with his scenes opposite Wilhelm and Steinbrenner. Also, a fun cameo by The Velvet Fog brought us one of the best closing scenes in the history of the show. Season six continues to fire fastballs and Justin is OK with that! Final Grade: 9/10
Aaron: I wish I laughed more during this one. I was hovering near a five or six early on and then Kramer’s dentist visit happened and the writing in the second half put the show on its mighty shoulders and crawled up. I just can’t rank tight writing low even if I wish there would have been a couple more laugh out loud moments. I refuse to use LOL, refuse. If I see you using it I will run you down with my car. I own a van. Final Grade: 8/10
Andrew: This is just an exceptionally funny episode. The Kramer stuff is hilarious, and has always had impressive staying power for me. And the Jimmy stuff is right there with it. George’s storyline might not be quite on that level, but it’s still exceptionally quotable. This was always an episode I was happy to catch in syndication, and I don’t feel any differently now. Final Grade: 10/10
Jordan: Just great. Kramer is at his best, nothing drags, the guest stars deliver in big ways. This is what makes Seinfeld so good. Awesome. Final Grade: 10/10
Jason: Jimmy, “mentally challenged” Kramer, spicy chicken, Mel Torme. This episode is a work of art and ranks in the top ten all time. Jason laughed for twenty three minutes of perfection. Final Grade: 10/10