The Cheever Letters

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"The Cheever Letters"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 8
Directed by Tom Cherones
Teleplay by Larry David
Story by Larry David, Elaine Pope, and Tom Leopold
Production code 408
Original air date October 28, 1992
Season 4 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Cheever Letters" is the 48th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld, the 8th episode of season four. It was written by Larry David, Elaine Pope, and Tom Leopold, and directed by Tom Cherones. It premiered on October 28, 1992.


George is not looking forward to telling Susan's parents that her father's cabin had been burned down (by Kramer, with Cuban cigars Susan's father had given to George as a gift). Jerry suggests that the Ross' are likely to see the irony of the situation.

Jerry and George try to work on their sitcom pilot script, but they struggle to write anything. Jerry decides to phone Elaine, but complains to Elaine about her chatty secretary Sandra (Lisa Malkiewicz). Elaine asks Sandra not to talk to Jerry so much. Sandra is annoyed, and quits. At Jerry's apartment, Kramer enters, and asks George for more Cuban cigars as he has learned he can use them to bribe his way onto the golf course at Westchester Country Club. George does not have any cigars, so Kramer leaves determined to find some.

That night, George has an awkward dinner with Susan and her parents (played by Warren Frost and Grace Zabriskie). Susan eventually tells her father that the cabin was burnt down, and he is devastated to hear that nothing was recovered.

Elaine asks Jerry to apologize to Sandra to stop her from quitting. Jerry does so, and is persuaded to arrange a date with Sandra that night. They end up going back to his apartment together, but Sandra storms off after they start talking dirty and Jerry crosses the line. The next day Jerry tells George that he said "You mean the panties your mother laid out for you?", and that this led to Sandra storming out. George and Jerry doze off after failing to write any more of their script. Elaine thanks Jerry for getting Sandra back to work, but Jerry says she should relocate her quickly, and is relieved Sandra had not mentioned the previous night.

Kramer asks the Cuban Diplomatic Mission at the United Nations about buying Cuban cigars, but learns that they are illegal in the United States. However, the chief diplomat (played by Miguel Perez) likes Kramer's jacket, and Kramer comes to an agreement to swap and play golf with the diplomats.

Jerry and George go to Susan's house to return her sunglasses. A doorman delivers her family a metal box from the insurance company, the only thing to survive the cabin fire. Inside are letters, which detail a love affair between Susan's father and the novelist John Cheever. Susan reads one aloud, before her father enters the room. He describes Cheever as "the most wonderful person" he has ever known and says that he "loved him deeply". Jerry and George finally leave the shocked family.

Later, they again fail to make progress on the script before they get interrupted by Elaine. She is angry at Jerry because her company has charged her $429 for making phone calls to Europe from work; after being transferred, Elaine's ex-secretary revealed that Elaine had made these calls. Jerry gratefully gives Elaine the money, but as she leaves, she reveals that Sandra had told her about her night with Jerry, saying, "Maybe I should go visit my mother. She just bought me some new panties and they're all laid out for me!"