The Butter Shave
|"The Butter Shave"|
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Alec Berg & Jeff Schaffer & David Mandel|
|Original air date||September 25, 1997|
|Season 9 episodes|
|List of Seinfeld episodes|
Over the summer both George and Jerry grow mustaches as a way of "taking a vacation from themselves"; they both admit it was a bad idea and Jerry suggests they should have taken real vacations. George quickly thinks a different style of facial hair might be the answer but Jerry tells George that he has to get a job. Not fully recovered from "The Summer of George", George is using a cane to get around. Jerry might have another shot at NBC, through an appearance on an NBC Showcase that might lead to another pilot. He is also annoyed that lame comic Kenny Bania's act is working, only because he is following on Jerry's coattails. Jerry refers to Bania as "a time-slot hit" (a reference to the success of many shows that aired between Seinfeld and ER). Bania also gets one of Jerry's ex-girlfriends.
George learns of a job interview with a playground equipment company. George is hired for the job at Play Now because they think he is handicapped due to his use of the cane. George takes full advantage of the situation after they offer him his own fully equipped handicap bathroom. While returning home from a month-long vacation in Europe, Elaine and Puddy break up, then getting back together on their long flight home, only to break up again.
Kramer finds butter is better than shaving cream. Kramer's skin feels so good with butter he takes to spreading it all over his body. Unfortunately, he falls asleep as he lies out in the sun where he begins to cook. Newman, reading the cannibalism-themed story Alive, finds the smell of a buttered Kramer appealing. In his disturbed state, Newman sees Kramer's head on a turkey in Monk's, panics, and runs out. George sprains his good leg and begins favoring the other leg, and Play Now buys him a motorized cart as a result.
Jerry is informed that Bania is going to follow him on the NBC showcase. Jerry then plans to sabotage his own act, surmising that Kenny's act will also bomb. George manages to keep up his handicap bluff until he gets into some trouble with an old man after bumping his cart. The old man begins to chase George's cart with his own. George decides to jumps off and pick up his cart. He begins to run but is seen by his boss. George, now concerned about what will happen to his job, is caught by the mob and one older gentleman hits George with his cane ("Eat hickory!"). After Jerry sabotages his act, Newman meets Kramer backstage. After Kramer accidentally has oregano and Parmesan cheese spilled on him, Newman then attempts to eat him. As Kramer fights off Newman, the two run onto the stage during Bania's act. After Bania's act, two NBC executives offer him a pilot on NBC, thinking Kramer and Newman running onto the stage was part of the act.
- Kristin Davis, later know for her role as Charlotte York in the HBO series Sex and the City, plays Jenna from the previous season's "The Pothole", making her one of a few of Jerry's girlfriends to appear in more than one episode. She is seen with Bania, and remarks that dating him is "a pleasure" after having dated Jerry.
- The two NBC executives who approach Bania following his set are named Jay Chermack and Stu Crespi. The names are transposed versions of the NBC executives that developed Jerry's sitcom "Jerry", Stu Chermack and Jay Crespi.
- George states that he "feel[s] like a gargoyle" on his disabled toilet; Jason Alexander had just voiced the part of a gargoyle in the 1996 Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- An infamous Buddy Rich quote, "Then let's see how he does, up there, without all the assistance!", is used in this episode from the infamous underground bootleg tapes of Rich berating his back-up band.
- The episode was dedicated to the memory of Brandon Tartikoff, NBC's President of Enterainment from 1981-91, who had died on August 27, 1997 at the age of 48 after lifelong complications from Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- The song featured during the montage at George's new job at Play Now is Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton.
- A blooper occurs when Kramer enters Jerry's apartment and begins to apply a stick of butter to his face. You can see Michael Richards makeup smeared on the end of the stick.