Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Wig Master” (S7, E19)

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: Kramer is the easy choice here. His thoughts on relationships, sex and discounts were strong and his whole deal with staying over Jerry’s apartment, capped by reading the sales ads in bed, was fantastic. And then… I’M NOT A PIMP! That scene. That walk. That strut. That coat. Amazing. Also, shoutouts to Ethan and the Jiffy Park attendant, who both killed it in their guest spots.

Aaron: Is it wrong to base this category on merely one scene? Is it wrong to burn a hamster? Kramer was pretty solid throughout but his jivin’ pimp scene is the stuff of legend. The strutting, the other men dancing with him on the street, the desperate denial that he’s not actually a pimp, it was all beautiful. He also has an amazing analysis about trust earlier in the episode where he lays out the conditions in which sex and discounts can be exchanged freely. It’s not the strongest field but the K-Man takes it.

Andrew: I think it’s Kramer, pretty easily. He has a fantastic stretch mid-episode, going from complaining about the accommodations in Jerry’s apartment, to trying out the cane, to describing a relationship as the “free exchange of sex and discounts”. And on top of that, the pimp walk and mug shot to end the episode are epic.

Jordan: Easy choice for a few reasons here. Kramer wins because he is strong throughout, but also because nobody else really does anything noteworthy. George tries his best by attempting to pay a hooker for information, but Kramer struts around town in the technicolor dreamcoat. It’s an easy win for our new Godfather.

Jason: Light a fatty for this pimp daddy, the K-Man all the way here. Kramer was tremendous in every scene he was in. From finding the condom in George’s car, to crashing in bed with Jerry and the big pimp pay off at the end, including the mug shot. I’M NOT A PIMP! An honorable mention goes to Jiffy Park guy. Him bullshitting George on why he can’t get his car back was money. Plus, “Bing! condom” was such a sharp line.

Best Storyline

JT: I will go with Kramer. Just all of it. Everything he did with the Jiffy Park, the Mary Kay Caddy, the sleepover, the dreamcoat, the tour, the champagne coolie and of course, the pimp walk.

Aaron: Jerry not being recognized as the boyfriend/husband really grew on me as the episode progressed. He’s just got so pissy about it. To the point that he overlooked his overt homophobia to call out George Hamilton’s personal assistant for asking the wig master out in front of him. That’s growth man. That’s growth.

Andrew: It’s the parking lot prostitution ring for me. The brazen absurdity of the scheme is fun, and George’s argument with the unapologetic lot manager/pimp is really good. But really, it’s all about Kramer’s strut.

Jordan: I liked the awful parking lot – you can’t get your car, they lose your keys, condoms are strewn about the floor of your car and there is a pretty busy prostitution business booming from within. Lots of fun stuff here.

Jason: The saga with Elaine and Craig had it’s moments as did the wig stuff. But, I’ll go with Jiffy Park. The attendant, Kramer and George killed it at this dump/whorehouse. Free t-shirts, Mary Kay cars and hookers. What a place!

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: If you have been kind of dating someone for like a week, should you give out their personal information as an emergency contact at work? You are basically employed at a fucking Men’s Warehouse. Do they need to reach you at any hour of the day? Get a fucking pager if you need to be on call at the An-Dover shop, asshole.

Aaron: If you have a complicated name like EEEEN are you an asshole if you get pissed off that people don’t get it on the first try? Yes. You’re a fucking prick. Like if your name is John and I fuck up John sure, tear me a new one but if your name has no god damned vowels in it and I can’t pronounce it you need to be a little more reasonable. I get it. I get that it must be frustrating to go through life with people not understanding your name. Just do what we all do: start hating your parents. They’re the ones who named you. I’m named Aaron because it was the first name in the god damned book. The first name. That’s honestly how my dad came up with it. Do I like my name? Sure. Did I have to endure being called Aaa-Aaaa Ron by French teachers for my whole childhood? Absolutely. Was I an asshole about it? Absolutely not. It made me hate French teachers though. And my parents…

Andrew: Is it OK to hit on someone when they are accompanied by a potential romantic partner? If they’re not sending any signals to dissuade you, I say go for it. You might end up starting a fight, but you have to take some risks in life.

Jordan: Should men have ponytails? No. You’re not a professional wrestler trudging around in a ripped tank top with a fanny pack, so knock it off Craig.

Jason: Should you be able to return an item over spite? Sure. It’s the cost of doing business. What’s a good price to get information from a hooker? Georgie Boy was aiming way too low with his $15-$20 offer.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: Besides Uncle Jesse and Jessie Ventura, all male Jesses shouldn’t be trusted. Good on you, Ethan. Stick with Jerome and your coolies, you are too good for Jesse the Assistant. Relationship Grade: 0/10

Aaron: My heart broke a little when Elaine showed interest in Craig. In my mind after cutting his hair off she slit his throat and bathed in his blood. Relationship Grade:0/10

Andrew: Craig started out strong, but he’s really got to work on his lying. Relationship Grade: A free exchange of sex and discounts/10

Jordan: I think I realize why I love Elaine. Her taste in men is 100% garbage, so it’s theoretical that I would have a shot with her. I am more Costanza like in the hair department, but I can grow out a Paul Heyman ponytail and start waving around a wad of cash and have her hooked. Relationship Grade: Glad my wife doesn’t read these/10

Jason: Craig is a huge pile of English shit. He’s in the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Laney’s dudes. The sexual tension between Ethan and Jesse was off the charts. Too bad Jerry had to open his big mouth and cock block Ethan. Relationship Grade: Champagne Coolies/ 10 

What Worked:

JT: I like the immediate callback to the crested blazer; Jerry getting mad that Craig asked out Elaine in front of him; Ethan is awesome; I love how George jumps to drive Kramer to the lot to get away from Susan and Ethan; Kramer finding the used condom in George’s car; Jerry calling Craig “Greg”; The parking attendant laughing off the condom and lipstick and buying George off with t-shirts is tremendous; Mary Kay car; That noise Kramer makes when he sees the dreamcoat; George playing up how untrustworthy he is to get Susan to end the engagement is so wonderfully grimy; Kramer telling Jerry to go to his room to read and then apparently prepping to sleep with his shoes on; Kramer’s amazing monologue to Elaine about sex and discounts followed by his killer “Patio furniture is on sale” line was so good, I don’t know how Jerry didn’t crack up when he said it; The sales lady matter of factly explaining that spite is not a valid reason to return the jacket; I always loved the catty champagne coolie club scene as they get catty with the people walking by; Charmaine; Jerry flipping out on Jesse for asking out Ethan in front of him; That final sequence of scenes is epic, an all timer

Aaron: Elaine was fantastic until her infatuation for Craig took over. Her intolerance to Jerry’s ideas and feelings has become one of my favorite recurring jokes of season seven. The adventures of George’s car was a fun subplot. “Is there anything in the contract about my car being used as a whorehouse,” is hopefully something we’ll never have to say in our own lives. I also love how he’ll do anything to get out of that house with Susan. Even to the point of HELPING another human being. As much as I’ve criticized Susan over this thing they do an exceptional job at making her insufferable. The HEY HONEY HOW’S YOUR DAY, is said in the loudest and most obnoxious way possible. George trying to cultivate her doubt is great, as is his immediate wilt when she gives him an out for the wedding. Maybe I should have picked George as best character. Naw, Kramer also had that great reaction to seeing a c-c-c-condom in the car.

Andrew: I already talked about Kramer, but he’s great here: saying he doesn’t “argue with the body”, kicking the couch, and dismissing Elaine with a “we need to get to bed”. George has some good moments too, and him jumping at a chance to get out of the apartment was especially relatable. Jerry being offended by a man asking out Ethan right in front of him made that whole storyline worth it. His attempt to return a jacket out of spite was great, and I really enjoyed his “like a dirt farmer dangles a carrot in front of a mule” analogy. Elaine is good here too, particularly bickering with Jerry and flirting with Craig.

Jordan: One of my favorite moments was Kramer calling up George while being told that George wouldn’t drive him to a lot, only to have George practically leap out of his seat to do it. I liked the whole Craig and Elaine story in the sense that Jerry was convincing her he was stringing her along for the Nicole Miller, only to have Kramer give an excellent rebuttal that perhaps Craig is the one who doesn’t want to get played. Jerry’s spite return was fun, and I liked the running gag that nobody acknowledges his potential as a significant other, be it gay or straight. I liked George using paying a hooker for information as a potential chance to get out of the wedding. Craig loving the J Peterman catalog was a nice little line, too. Larry David yelling at Kramer in the mugshot scene at the end was good too.

Jason: A nice call back from last week with Jerry shopping for a crested blazer. Bob Sacamano staying with Kramer for a yer and a half. Jerry’s wig career bit. JIFFY PARK. Elaine’s blushing when Craig drops his phone number line. Ethan combing wigs when George gets home. The Kramer spare key throwback was a nice touch. George flipping put on Kramer for channel surfing. Kramer’s condom reaction. Pink Cadillac El Dorado. Jerry’s, “Pony tail? Get real.” is funnier than it should be. George getting busted by Susan while negotiating with the whore. Susan’s trust rant. Kramer sleeping in the Jiffy Park shirt. Kramer’s theory if Elaine could be working Craig; Free exchange of sex and discounts. Kramer’s, “we need to get to bed” line. Kramer catalog browsing in bed; patio furniture. The way George says, “WHORE HOUSE” is glorious. Jiffy Park guy dropping of excuse at George on why he can’t get his car back. The Nicole Millers arriving by boat. Jesse being George Hamilton’s personal assistant was the perfect gig for him. That intense slide at Club USA. I like to think Elaine snapping off Craig’s ponytail was a favor for all of us. Kramer rustling up the whore in the car, getting smacked around by her and the cops busting them was a top notch pay off.

What Didn’t Work

JT: Craig is a douchebag loser, get over yourself; What does that whore know about the Yankees? They were coming off a playoff run and were prepping to launch a dynasty! Stick to turning tricks in cars, tramp!; Susan showing up at the car lot seemed really forced, but I guess we are to assume they are parking both cars there? How did she get there?; Fuck Ian and the way Craig says “An-Dover”;

Aaron: Man that ponytail was disgusting. I find it a bit of a stretch for Susan to be down at the car lot just as George is interrogating the prostitute. I know the show is built on coincidences to a degree but usually they bother to have them make sense.

Andrew: George’s conversation with the prostitute feels more stilted than humorously uncomfortable, and the Susan angle peters out without much impact. Elaine cutting off Craig’s ponytail doesn’t make for much of a payoff, either.

Jordan: I feel like we should have seen Elaine cut off the ponytail. Then shove it in Craig’s mouth, forcing him to choke to death on the very ponytail he was trying to grow!

Jason: What the hell was the deal with that dope Ian? He sucks as much as Craig. Who is Craig to give out Elaine’s number to his boss without her permission?

Key Character Debuts

Ethan the Wig Master

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “This friend of Susan’s is staying with us for two weeks…Now am I wrong or is that excessive?” – George “Well Bob Sacamano he stayed with me once for a year and a half.” – Kramer

– “I didn,t tell you to park in that lot .. Now someone’s gonna have to drive you every time you need your car.? Take the bus!” – Jerry “I’m not going to take the bus that’s why I got a car!” – Kramer

– “I want to know how did that get into my car?” – George “Hey look ..You walk in to this city you got to expect things are gonna stick to your foot. You open in your car and Bing!! Condom.” – Attendant “That doesn’t explain the lipstick on the dashboard?” – George “Here take a few shirts…” – Attendant

– “Telling you right now Elaine, this guy ‘s gonna dangle that dress in front of you like a dirt farmer dangles a carrot in front of a mule.” – Jerry “Well this is all very flattering…” – Elaine “Like a shark fisherman with a bucket of chum…” – Jerry “Ok…” – Elaine “Like a shrimp farmer…” – Jerry “OK!” – Elaine

– “Oh why don’t you go sleep over at Newman’s.” – Jerry “Aah! He’s got a girl up there.” – Kramer

– “What do I mean?.. Well perhaps he thinks that you’re working him for the discount. Shaking that little butt of yours into big, big savings… And then when you get it, you know, you drop him like a hot potato.” – Kramer “Aawwh Please…” – Elaine “Now see the two of you need to work on trust… and then and only then will there be a free exchange of sex and discounts.. Cornerstones of a healthy relationship….and now if you would excuse us. We need to get to bed.” – Kramer

– “Well does it say anywhere in the contract about my car being used as a whorehouse? Cause I don’t remember reading that clause either…” – George “What can I tell you buddy. Take it up with Consumer Affairs.” – Attendant

– “Well So fine then ..then I don’t want it and then that’s why I’m returning it” – Jerry “Well you already said spite so…” – Bob “But I changed my mind…” – Jerry “No…you said spite…Too late.” – Bob

– “OK Big Daddy. Take the hat off… awright turn to your right… I SAID TURN PIMP!” – Cop “I’M NOT A PIMP!” – Kramer

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Jesse is portrayed by comedian Michael McDonald, best known for his run on MadTV

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: A pretty solid episode but the damn standard is so high, it makes it hard on these types of episodes. Kramer was on point the whole time and outside of Craig, I really enjoyed all the guest stars. Ethan, Jiffy Park guy, Bob the Manager, they were all great. Kramer’s line about Newman having a girl in his apartment always makes me chuckle and his patio furniture quip straight up makes me laugh out loud. Season seven had a wicked hot streak for a while but has really tapered off of late. We will see if they get back on track down the home stretch. Final Grade: 6/10

Aaron: Eh. This one had its moments but is nowhere near some of the greatness we’ve seen this season. Still solid, but I will say I was expecting a stronger finish out of the season. Final Grade: 6/10

Andrew: This was a fun episode to rewatch, mainly for the strong performances all around, and Kramer’s closing scenes. The plot lines aren’t the show’s best work, but Kramer’s pimp routine is hard to top. Final Grade: 8/10

Jordan: This is tough for me, because it’s fine, but we’re at the point where I’m expecting everything to be a home run. This is one that suffers from seeming funnier in memory than in an actual rewatch. If I just popped it on TBS, I would probably really enjoy it. But watching episode by episode, it’s another episode that is off from a string of greatness. Still, Kramer the pimp is pretty iconic. Final Grade: 7/10

Jason: This episode has always been a fun ride and holds up quite nicely. Ethan seems like a good dude who takes a lot of pride in his job. Everything fell together perfectly with Kramer dressed up as a pimp. The technicolor coat, Squires walking stick and the ladies hat made for a pretty iconic moment. Overall, lots of laughs and a lot packed into this one. Final Grade: 8/10