|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Teleplay by||Larry David (as Buck Dancer) and Lawrence H. Levy|
|Story by||Lawrence H. Levy|
|Original air date||September 16, 1993|
"The Mango" is the 65th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It aired on September 16, 1993, and is the premiere of the show's fifth season. The episode's working title was "The Orgasm." It was filmed in front of a live studio audience on Tuesday, August 17, 1993. In the "Inside Look" commentary on the Seinfeld Season 5 DVD, Larry David revealed that a friend of his came up with the setup of this episode: Elaine never having orgasms with Jerry. Larry David said that the idea was "too good to pass up."
The episode then goes to Monk's Cafe where George tells Jerry about his lack of confidence in bed with his new girlfriend Karen (Lisa Edelstein). The conversation then shifts to orgasm faking, at which point Elaine mentions that she used to fake with Jerry back when they were dating. Although Elaine didn’t think much of the subject, Jerry was flabbergasted at the information. This also causes George to worry that Karen was faking too.
A little while later, Kramer takes a bite out of a bad peach, and attempts to return the fruit to the store where he got it. This leads to him being banned from the store after he insults the owner, Joe (Leonard Termo).
Meanwhile, Jerry begs Elaine to give him another shot at giving her an orgasm, which she rebuffs in the belief that sex will ruin their friendship. This causes Jerry to become more bitter and resentful towards Elaine.
George becomes so obsessed with his performance in bed with Karen, that he experiences what seems to be erectile dysfunction. As George tells Jerry his predicament, Kramer asks Jerry to buy fruits in his place at Joe’s fruit store, having been banned from his store and refusing to get fruits at the supermarket. Jerry reluctantly accepts, and goes to buy fruits for Kramer, but it only ends up in getting banned, too after Joe finds out what he was doing. After the incident, George winds up getting both Kramer’s and Jerry’s fruit. George tastes one of Kramer’s mangoes, which makes an erotic transformation ("I think it moved!").
Afterwards, Elaine gives in to letting Jerry have sex with her once again, after concluding it’ll destroy their friendship if they don't. Meanwhile, Karen kicks George out of her apartment when he insults her after sex, doubting that she really had an orgasm (when, in actuality, she did).
The last scene shows Jerry and Elaine in bed, but now it seems Jerry is suffering from erectile dysfunction, and blaming George. Elaine then asks: "Y'know, I'm a little hungry...you wouldn't happen to have any of that mango left?" Jerry then realizes his solution.
This episode gained a Nielsen rating of 19.3 and an audience share of 29, meaning that 19.3% of American households watched the episode, and 29% of all televisions in use at the time were tuned into it.
This episode was first read by its cast on August 11, 1993 at 10:30 a.m. to much anticipation, as it was to premiere in a new 9:00 timeslot. NBC officials, however, were a bit more apprehensive because it was taking over the timeslot of the highly successful sitcom Cheers.
The Mango was written by Larry David and Lawrence H. Levy. The subplot where Kramer was being banned from a fruit shop is based on one of Larry David’s personal experiences, where he himself was banned from a fruit shop for squeezing the produce too much.
When the episode aired, Larry David found himself in the middle of a big media frenzy surrounding the now-popular show. David gave some insight to his approach on writing the script by saying: "I like taking the worst qualities that a person has and trying to make something funny out of it. Doesn’t everybody do terrible things and have terrible thoughts? Just by trying to be as funny, you’re going to deal with a lot of things that are real, so the show’s really about something. The whole thing about the show being about nothing is ridiculous."
Kenny Kramer (who was the inspiration for Kramer) said that Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are "the most shallow, superficial, self-indulgent people...but we see there’s a little of us in them, our own dark character."
Awards and nominations
The Mango received the following awards/nominations:
- 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Comedy Series nomination: Larry David & Lawrence H. Levy.
- 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Comedy Series nomination: Tom Cherones.
- 1993 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series nomination: Tom Cherones.
- 1995 Writers Guild Award for an Episodic Comedy: Larry David & Lawrence H. Levy.
- The exterior shot of Joe’s fruit shop is not in New York, but is actually on the backlot of CBS Studio center.
- The name "Almo's bar and grill" can be spotted on the storefront next door to Joe’s. This is a reference to the father of Seinfeld set designer Tom Azzari, whose name is Almo.
- Seinfeld Season 5: Notes about Nothing - "The Mango" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
- Barnes, Mike (2012-11-02). "Character Actor Leonard Termo Dies at 77". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- This was stated in the "Inside Look" commentary on the Seinfeld Season 5 DVD
- "Directors Guild of America -- Official Website search". Retrieved 2009-09-28.