The Pitch (Seinfeld)

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"The Pitch"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 3
Directed by Tom Cherones
Written by Larry David
Production code 403
Original air date September 16, 1992
Guest actors
Season 4 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Pitch" is the 43rd episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It is the third episode of the fourth season. It aired on September 16, 1992.

Plot[edit]

NBC executives meet Jerry after his nightclub act and ask him to come up with an idea for a TV series. George decides he can be a sitcom writer and comes up with the idea of it being "a show about nothing". Kramer trades Newman a radar detector for a helmet, and later Newman receives a speeding ticket due to the detector being defective.

While waiting to meet the NBC executives, George and Jerry meet "Crazy" Joe Davola, a writer and "a total nut" who goes to the same therapist (Stephen McHattie) as Elaine. Jerry, desperately searching for conversation, casually mentions he'll see him at a party Kramer will soon be having. When it becomes apparent that Joe knows nothing about it and was not invited, Jerry panics and makes a hasty and unsuccessful attempt to backtrack.

Meanwhile, George becomes more and more nervous about the impending meeting. Jerry tries to calm him down by building him up, but he overdoes it; and when they are called in to the meeting, George argues with the executives about his proposed premise ("a show about nothing"; no plot, no stories). It does not go over well with them and when they show displeasure, George snaps, "Look, if you want to just keep on doing the same old thing, then maybe this idea is not for you. I, for one, am not going to compromise my artistic integrity. And I'll tell you something else, this is the show and we're not going to change it." Jerry suggests another potential premise.

Later, while discussing the disaster of the meeting with NBC, George focuses on starting a relationship with the one female executive, Susan Ross. When George later brings her to Jerry's apartment, Kramer drinks spoiled milk and vomits on her. Crazy Joe Davola, upset at not being invited to Kramer's party, attacks Kramer, kicking him in the head. However, Kramer was wearing Newman's helmet at the time, which saves him any visible injury. When Kramer tells Jerry this, he warns him that Davola says he will be looking for Jerry as well.

To be continued in "The Ticket"

Production[edit]

In syndication, this episode does not feature Jerry's stand-up routine and also uses Season 3's logo at the beginning, as is also the case in "The Ticket", "The Cheever Letters", and "The Virgin". Both this and "The Ticket" were originally broadcast as a one-hour episode, but are shown separately in syndication.

The primary storyline about Jerry and George co-creating the show Jerry was a tongue-in-cheek homage to the process that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David experienced when co-creating the show Seinfeld. In the Season 4 DVD extra documentary called "The Breakthrough Season", Jason Alexander and Castle Rock Entertainment executive Glenn Padnick discussed their initial skepticism about using this idea in not only one episode but as an arc for an entire season. Alexander found it to be "insane" and "self-aggrandized". Padnick described the arc about the Jerry show as "inside baseball on a show that most people didn't know even existed."

Critical reception[edit]

Linda S. Ghent, Professor in the Department of Economics at Eastern Illinois University, discusses this episode in view of the asymmetric information dramatized. Ghent explains:

Newman trades Kramer a helmet for a radar detector. Jerry thinks Kramer is getting ripped off; later Kramer tells Jerry that the radar detector didn't work! Asymmetric information occurs when one party has more or better information than the other. This creates an imbalance of power in transactions that can sometimes cause the transactions to go awry.[1]

The title of this episode, "The Pitch", refers partly to the TV show pitch that Jerry makes to the network executives, but also has another meaning. The word also can mean a sales pitch, and "millions of Americans"[2] enjoyed this moments-long part of the episode, in which Jerry takes quiet, sweet revenge on a tele-caller:

Telecaller: Hi, would you be interested in switching over to TMI long distance service?

Jerry: Oh, gee, I can't talk right now. Why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you later.

Telecaller: Uh, I'm sorry, we're not allowed to do that.

Jerry: Oh, I guess you don't want people calling you at home.

Telecaller: No.

Jerry: Well, now you know how I feel. (Hangs up)[3]

The Pew Charitable Trusts thought it worthwhile to weigh in on this episode, naming telemarketing one of the contributors to "rudeness in America".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ghent, Linda S. "Seinfeld Economics: The Pitch". Critical Commons. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Farkas, Steve, et al. Aggravating Circumstances: A Status Report on Rudeness in America. The Pew Charitable Trusts. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Script, Episode 88 - The Pitch". Seinology.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]