Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Bris” (S5, E5)

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!


Best Character

JT: The Mohel was really damn good in his limited work but this was Kramer from the start. He was fantastic in his quest to locate the Pig Man and always, his schemes end up costing his friends in the end. His descriptions and defenses of the Pig Man mixed with his wild conspiracy theories were top notch. The K-Man takes it.

Aaron: This one was sealed up the moment Kramer laid eyes on the Pig Man. Deeper fear has never been experienced. Sure no one else even cares or is interested in said swine but Kramer’s conviction that they’ve been experiencing on the Pig Man since the fifties is only rivaled by his justifiable hysteria over the inevitable pig warrior army. The anguished oink of Pig Man calls out for help indeed sir.

Andrew: I don’t feel like anyone separated themselves in this one, but I enjoyed Elaine the most. Her general discomfort with the bris works well, as does her exasperation during the conversation about pig men and the women who love them. (Also, when she sarcastically suggested recording the conversation so she could listen to it later, she may have invented podcasting). But what really sealed it was her describing an encounter with an uncircumcised penis; her visceral physical reaction is amazing, and “No face, no personality” is a perfect line.

Jordan: I love Kramer when he’s got a nice weird storyline to sink his teeth into. The obsession with Pig Man is awesome stuff and a perfect subplot for an episode. It probably couldn’t carry one on it’s own, but that doesn’t matter here. Kramer’s look of abject horror upon seeing him, then grilling the doctor (“He’s LYING!” is such a perfectly delivered line) and taking him out via, wait for it…PIGGYBACK, is just so funny. And I didn’t even have to mention where he tries to steal the baby to save it from being mutilated!

Jason: George and the Mohel were both incredible, but the K-Man gets the duke here. The Pig Man obsession, the anti-circumcision, piggy backing a pig man through the hospital, the Michael Corleone stuff at the end.

Best Storyline

JT: The Pig Man and there is not much debate. The Mohel’s foibles and George’s poor luck run were pretty damn good and in most episodes, they would have challenged, but the Pig Man stuff was next level.

Aaron: Pig Man. All day every day.

Andrew: I think it has to be The Bris. How could I pick a storyline that doesn’t include the mohel from hell, who almost runs away with the episode by the end? I also love Kramer’s militant anti-circumcision stance, and the storyline features two of my favorite scenes from the episode: the ride to the hospital in the caved-in car, and the Godfather ending. Good stuff.

Jordan: Early on, you think George is going to take it in a cakewalk with the car splattering. But Pig Man wins. Pig Man always wins. Pig Man is love. Pig Man is life. ALL HAIL PIG MAN.

Jason: The Pig Man wins by a snout over George thinking the hospital is responsible for his car damages.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: What level of friendship must you be at to be asked to be a godparent? I mean if Stan is really just a dude from Jerry’s softball team, then I think it is a little much to put that sort of responsibility on poor Jerome. They all swap over to Kramer because of mistaking his anti-circumcision stance for true love of their son, but if they knew the K-Man at all, they would know he is an awful choice. Stan & Myra suck.

Aaron: If you believe someone to be a prisoner of the military industrial complex, should you help said prisoner/freak escape? I guess it really depends where you land on the whole war/peace debate. Sure the Pig Man could be a powerful weapon a la Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, but by the same token we have no idea of the scope of creation he could accomplish had he been left to his own devices, free to live his life the way he saw fit. It’s a complex issue with great points on both sides. The reality is that a Pig Man could have written Othello as easily as he could have orchestrated the Gulf of Tonkin incident. I’d tell you one thing he’d be much more qualified to put Humpty Dumpty back together again instead of all those King’s horses. Seriously what were they going to do. They have hooves.

Andrew: What is the proper response to friendship level jumping? Jerry doesn’t seem to take a hard line on the question; one minute he’s breaking up with Keith Hernandez for asking for help moving, the next he’s holding his softball pitcher’s baby during a religious ceremony. I guess Godfather is a tough role to turn down.

Jordan: I know that breastfeeding in public is something that we should accept, as it is a natural thing. I get it, and I am fine with it. But asking others to CHECK OUT YOUR WIFE as she breastfeeds? Not cool, dude. Stan and Myra are way too much.

Jason: Ok, if a hospital patient jumps out of a window and onto your car, should the hospital be responsible for the damages? I gotta side with George on this one. Sure he’s cheap and avoids opening his wallet for very few things, but he’s in the right here. I also agree with the Mohel in questioning why Elaine puts her glass on the edge of the table.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: Stan and Myra are made for each other. Insufferable pricks, the both of them. They can enjoy their shitty marriage and the child they will clearly raise to be a pussy that will forever be scared of the world. Get the fuck out of here! Relationship Grade: 10/10

Aaron: I feel there’s a script somewhere in Larry David’s cave of wonders where he chronicles the further adventures of Kramer and Pig Man. It would be the buddy comedy for the ages. Relationship Grade: I’m getting too old for this shit.

Andrew: Kramer and the Pig Man should have run away and raised horrible mutant babies together. Relationship Grade: N/A/10 

Jordan: Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly. Just a little change, small to say the least. Both a little scared, neither one prepared…George and his parking spot. Relationship Grade: 10/10

Jason: Do Jerry and Elaine actually like Stan and Myra? Stan and Myra seem to be more invested in the friendship. Relationship Grade: 4/10

What Worked:

JT: I never get tired of George bragging and/or fretting over parking; Kramer telling the suicidal patient where the elevator is, eating random food and discovering the Pig Man is about as strong a start as you can get; Some guy committing suicide by jumping off a building and landing on your car can only happen to George; Elaine’s description of an uncircumcised penis was tremendous; All of Kramer’s descriptive adjectives of the Pig Man are amazing, every single one of them, especially the discussion over the Pig Man and his two seater car; George’s scene with the hospital administrator was awkwardly fantastic; Kramer trying to bully the doctor into revealing the Pig Man’s location was great; The Mohel is an immediate force of nature, from storming in and announcing himself proudly to his inane ranting about babies crying, scary neighborhoods and glass placement on tables; The scene in George’s wrecked car is tremendous, including his bragging about the parking spot yet again; Jerry and the Mohel fighting outside the hospital room was great and it is capped by Kramer running down the hallway with the Pig Man; Tremendous payoff with the Pig Man stealing George’s car and Kramer becoming the new Godfather

Aaron: Everything to do with the pig man falls here. Obviously. I also loved George’s saga. He’s at his best when he starts in a position of power (all-star parker) and plummets to his untimely demise. (greedy, callous hospital victim.) He can go off on as many tangents as he wants but Mrs. Seedler sniffs out his deceptive ass immediately. There’s a picture of Jerry visible in Kramer’s apartment at the end. I’m not sure why I love it so much but it just makes sense.

Andrew: George’s pride in his ability to find a parking spot still works for me. Kramer’s steadfast belief in the Pig Man is so good, and I thought having him inadvertently help the suicidal patient was a nice touch. His anti-circumcision opinions are pretty entertaining, and pay off nicely when he’s bringing Myra to tears and trying to run off with the baby. The awful mohel is quite good, and I enjoyed George trying to use his bris experience to pick up women. Jerry’s first few Godfather impressions didn’t do much for me, but by the time he was doing “Look what they did to my boy!” I was on board, and the homage to the last scene was great.

Jordan: George loves parking. I love that George loves parking. It’s simple. Kramer’s quest for the Pig Man is so great, and I like that we never got a glimpse of him. But since I already sang the praises of that, let me talk about Kramer and his anti-circumcision stance. I loved him taking the baby and trying to run off with it, only to be taken down by a mob of people, desperate to see part of a penis chopped off. These people are savages. Elaine and Jerry discussing Stan and Myra skipping levels was good, and something many can relate to. Stan and Myra suck pretty bad, but I feel like they are supposed to, so it works.

Jason: The Mohel was fantastic! High strung, nervous, paranoid. He’s a Costanza turned up to eleven. Anyone who’s ever gotten a great parking spot in a major city should be proud of themselves. Brag on, George! Kramer’s pig voices, calling the doctor a quack and running through the hospital with a pig on his back all works. Everyone driving to the hopsital in George’s damaged car is great. Jerry and the Mohel bickering at the hospital is another winner.

What Didn’t Work

JT: I hate Stan and his hair and attitude; The hospital administrator is a real piece of work for trying to pin this all on George; Jerry’s Godfather impression is indeed awful; Stan and Myra are the worst

Aaron: I’m sure this is a sign of the times but I HATE that the anti-circumcision rhetoric is being brandied about by the guy they’re setting up to be crazy. The whole argument of it being a “tradition” is easily exposed by his “sacrificing virgin” argument but unfortunately it’s hard to take it seriously when the guy saying it is rambling about Jerry not being connected to the Pig Man reality. I kind of didn’t want to touch this topic, (I tried to steer clear of it in the ethical part) but it really affected what I thought of the episode. We’re horrified when we mutilate girls but fine when it’s boys in the name of “Tradition.”

Andrew: Kramer brings the mother to tears while railing against circumcision, but then a minute later she’s cool with it? That was weird. I didn’t get much out of George trying to recoup his car repair costs from the hospital administrator.

Jordan: I am clearly in the minority here, but…I don’t care for the Mohel. I chuckled a bit at him, but I thought the character was way over the top. I enjoyed his scene in the hospital more than at the actual bris. Kramer is wacky and it seems natural. This guy seemed wacky for the sake of wacky. Also, I don’t like when George is actually right – the hospital should pay for the damages to his car. George should always be wrong.

Jason: I’m not a fan of Stan wanting Jerry to watch Myra breastfeed the baby. Having a friend watch my wife breast feed my kid, no thanks.

Key Character Debuts

The Pig Man

The Mohel

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “So after the sucking, comes the weaning.” – Jerry “First the sucking then the weaning.” – Elaine “Well, you gotta wean.” – Jerry “Gotta wean.” – Stan

– “The pig man! I saw a pig man! He was just lying there and then he woke up. He looked up at me and made this horrible sound!” – Kramer

– “A bris? you mean snip snip?” – Kramer “Yeah.” – Stan “I would advise against that.” – Kramer “Kramer. It’s a tradition.” – Elaine “Well, so was sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, but we don’t do that anymore.” – Kramer “Well, maybe we should.” – Jerry

– “Oh, finding a Mohel is a piece of cake. Any idiot can find a Mohel. I have the tough job. I have to hold the baby while they do it. How would you like that job?” – Jerry

– “Look at our little Elaine. Look at her. Attended the finest finishing schools on the Eastern seaboard. Equestrian competitions. Debutante balls. Well, look at her now. Interviewing Mohels.” – Jerry

– “Don’t even question my instincts, because my instincts are honed.” – Kramer

– “I’m tellin ya the pigman is alive. The governments been experimenting with pigmen since the fifties.” – Kramer

– “Oh. Jerry wake up to reality. It’s military thing. They’re probably creating a whole army of pig warriors.” – Kramer

– “Believe me, there’d be plenty of women going for the pig-men. No matter what the deformity you’ll find some group of perverts attracted to it. ‘Oo that little tail turns me on.'” – Jerry

– “Believe me, Jerry, somewhere in this hospital the anguished oink of pigman cries for help.” – Kramer

– “You got room for the pig man?” – Kramer “The pig man can take the bus.” – George “You know, if pig man had a car, he’d give you a ride.” – Kramer “How do you know? What if pig man had a two-seater?” – George “Come on George, be realistic.” – Kramer “All right, if pig-man comes along, we’ll squeeze him in. I’ll see you later.” – George

– “Look, you little quack, I know you had a half man half pig holed up in that room, there. Now where is he?! Where is he?!” – Kramer “Half-what?” – Doctor “You know what – bacon, sausage, A-dee-a-dee-a-dee th-th-th-that’s all folks.” – Kramer

– “Did I find it alright? I mean could you send me to a more dangerous neighborhood? I’m dreading walking back to the subway, someone shouldn’t crack me over the head and steal my bag, soon I’ll be lying there on the street in this neighborhood and people will spit on me and empty my pockets. I’ll lie in the gutter like a bum, like a dog, like a mutt, like an animal! God forbid someone should help me or call an ambulance. No, that’s too much trouble to pick up a phone and press a few buttons. Ahh! What’s the point.” – Mohel

– “This is a bris. We are performing a bris here, not a burlesque show. This is not a school play! This is not a baggy pants farce! This is a bris. An ancient, sacred ceremony, symbolizing the covenant between God and Abraham… or something.” – Mohel

– “Well if it isn’t Shakey the Mohel! You did a hell of a circumcision there pal. But it’s not supposed to be a finger.” – Mohel

Oddities & Fun Facts


Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: What a fantastic episode from top to bottom. The writing was super tight and the Pig Man is an all time storyline with a great payoff. The Mohel stuff was really done too, with both Jerry and Elaine delivering strong performances alongside Shaky the Butcher. George’s issue is very Curb Your Enthusiasm, where is pretty right but really damn stuck and then ultimately dicked over by the world. Very little to complain about here, other than the awful Stan and Myra of course. Final Grade: 9/10

Aaron: I feel like I should take my ethical concerns out of the rating. As much as the circumcision stuff rubbed me the wrong way, it’s unfair to overlook the brilliance of everything else that was here. I’ll still go high for all the fantastic Pig Man stuff and George’s parking adventures. That’s where the brilliance lies. Final Grade: 9/10

Andrew: This was a really fun, fast moving episode. It never drags, is plenty quotable, and really nails the circumcision humor (which sounds easy, since it’s inherently ridiculous, but I’ve seen other shows try and fail). But I still feel like this episode is a notch below the classics. Maybe a better storyline for George could have put it over the top. Final Grade: 8/10

Jordan: I am very conflicted here. I enjoy the storylines, and Pig Man is so incredible. But…the mohel takes it down for me. Detective Bookman, this guy is not. Still, the premise is good, and the subplots are excellent. If I liked that character more, I would go higher, but I can’t. 4 out of 10 for him, 10 out of 10 for everything else.  Final Grade: 7/10

Jason: So much going on here. Jerry and Elaine being named godparents. Kramer and the Pig Man. George wanting the hospital to pay for the damages to his car. The Mohel is one of the best one time characters in the series. A great episode with a lot of laughs. Find a good parking spot and enjoy this one. Final Grade: 9/10