The Bizarro Jerry


The Bizarro Jerry
"The Bizarro Jerry"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 3
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Written by David Mandel
Production code 803
Original air date October 3, 1996
Guest stars

Tim DeKay as Kevin
Kyle T. Heffner as Gene
Pat Kilbane as Feldman

Season 8 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Bizarro Jerry" is the 137th episode of the American television sitcom Seinfeld. This was the third episode for the eighth season. It was originally broadcast on the NBC network on October 3, 1996. The title and plot extensively reference the Bizarro (the polar opposite of Superman) and Bizarro-Earth concepts that originally appeared in various comic books published by DC. This episode is famous for introducing the phrase "man hands".

David Mandel wrote the episode in response to his girlfriend ending their long-distance relationship. His now-wife was self conscious about what she calls her farm hands. According to Mandel, "It’s the modern equivalent of a Shakespeare sonnet.”[1] The hands seen in the episode belong to actor James Rekart.

Contents

Plot

The signature Seinfeld theme song is played backwards in the tag scene of the episode - another reference to the "Bizarro" theme.

Elaine breaks up with her boyfriend Kevin (from "The Soul Mate"), but they decide to "just be friends." Much to Elaine's surprise, Kevin is thrilled at the idea, and starts becoming a much more reliable friend than Jerry. Meanwhile, Kramer accidentally gets a job at a company called Brandt/Leland when he aids an employee in the hall and starts going to meetings. He soon finds out he fits right in and starts working there for no pay, stating his reason as doing it "just for me." When Jerry asks Kramer what he does, Kramer responds, "TCB - you know, taking care of business"! Various scenes depict Kramer eating crackers at lunch and shining his shoes at the water cooler.

Jerry starts dating Jillian (Kristin Bauer), an attractive woman whose only flaw is that she has "man hands." George uses a picture of Jillian to get into the "forbidden city", a club of attractive women and models, by saying that Jillian is his late fiancee Susan. Unfortunately, his luck ends when he accidentally burns the picture with a hair dryer. Jerry becomes bored at home, now that Kramer is "working", Elaine is always hanging out with Kevin and his friends (Gene and Feldman, who are complete opposites, but physical look-alikes of George and Kramer, respectively), and George only comes to him when he wants something.

By the end of the episode, Kramer gets fired by Leland because of his shoddy work ("It's almost as if you have no business training at all"). Jerry wants to be "just friends" with Jillian, who doesn't take too well to the idea. While trying to get another picture of her from her purse for George, she grabs Jerry's wrist (which Jerry later describes as almost ripping his arm right out of the socket). George tries to use a picture of a model from a magazine to get back into the club, but his plan is foiled when he accidentally confronts exactly the same model from the magazine picture and gets kicked out. Elaine decides to stay with her "Bizarro friends", but is explicitly asked to leave by them when they don't take to some of the normal things she usually does with Jerry like eating from the fridge and pushing someone with her outbursts of "get out!"

Later, George takes Jerry to the location of the club, but all they find is a meat packing plant. George is shocked while Jerry doesn't believe there ever was a club there. As they leave, they miss seeing the photo George had taken from a magazine, lying amidst the sawdust on the ground.

Cultural references

  • When George starts dating models, he makes a reference to Jerry by saying "Flame on!". This is a reference to The Fantastic Four's team member, the Human Torch.

Bizarro Counterparts

  • Elaine describes Kevin as Jerry's opposite since Kevin is reliable and kind, contrasted to Jerry's forgetfulness and indifference.
  • Gene is shown to be quiet, courteous, charitable and well dressed as opposed to George being loud, obnoxious, cheap and slobbish.
  • Feldman acts generously to his friends, regularly buying them lunch and bringing Kevin groceries. He also always knocks on Kevin's door and waits for him to unlock it. This is opposite to Kramer, who constantly takes Jerry's groceries and bursts through his door without warning. As opposed to Kramer's zany schemes which often are seen through to the end, Feldman has good ideas which he rejects as silly.
  • Vargas, a FedEx worker, is good friends with Kevin, opposed to Newman, a postal worker and mutual enemies with Jerry.
  • Elaine hangs out with these counterpart friends at Reggie's, which Jerry describes as the "Bizarro Coffee Shop".
  • Kevin's apartment, where he and his friends spend time reading, is a mirror image to Jerry's. Also seen in the background of Kevin's apartment is a unicycle, which also is a reflection on Jerry's bicycle hanging in his apartment, and a PC - the opposite of Jerry's Mac. Kevin also has a statue of Bizarro as a counter part to Jerry's statue of Superman.
  • The episode also features a quintessential conversation in the Seinfeld repertoire when Elaine compares Kevin (aka Bizarro Jerry) to Jerry:
    "...They read."
Jerry: "I read."
Elaine: "Books, Jerry."
Jerry: "Oh... big deal!"

Superman reference

The concept of a Bizarro universe is directly taken from the Superman universe, in addition to verbal references to Superman:

  • Jerry: Yeah, like Bizarro Superman—Superman's exact opposite, who lives in the backwards Bizarro world. Up is down; down is up. He says "Hello" when he leaves, "Goodbye" when he arrives.
  • Elaine: Shouldn't he say "bad bye"? Isn't that the opposite of goodbye?
  • Jerry: No, it's still goodbye.
  • Elaine: Does he live underwater?
  • Jerry: No.
  • Elaine: Is he black?
  • Jerry: Look, just forget the whole thing. All right?

At the very end of the show, a scene takes place in Kevin's apartment (which has a Bizarro statue by the door, similar to how Jerry's apartment has a Superman statue by the door) in which Kevin, Gene, and Feldman all join in a group hug, and the following line is spoken in the same way that the Bizarro from the Superman Universe speaks:

  • Kevin: Oh...me so happy. Me want to cry.

Quotes

  • Jerry: She had man hands.
  • Jerry: So what do you do down there all day?
    Kramer: TCB, you know; taking care of business.
  • Jerry: What's in the briefcase?
    Kramer: Crackers.

Trivia

Kramer's acronym TCB (taking care of business) has in some circles become a more sophisticated slang term replacing "doing a Number Two" or "taking a dump," or "shooting submarines," etc. The origin of this use is unknown, but it has recently been growing in popularity, most likely due to its subtlety and delicateness in comparison to the better known expressions which use more vivid imagery.

Examples:

  • "I have to, you know, TCB."
  • "Lucy had to TCB; she'll be back in a few minutes."
  • "I prefer to do my TCB-ing promptly following my noonday meal."

External links

References


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