The Bris

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"The Bris"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 5
Directed byTom Cherones
Written byLarry Charles
Production code505
Original air dateOctober 14, 1993
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Sniffing Accountant"
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"The Lip Reader"
List of Seinfeld episodes

The Bris is the 69th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It is the fifth episode of the fifth season, and it first aired on October 14, 1993.

Plot[edit]

Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer go to the hospital to meet friends who have just had a baby. At the hospital, George gets a parking spot right in front of the hospital. A mental patient jumps from the roof and lands on it. George attempts to get the hospital to pay for the car's damages, but the director refuses, insinuating that George is being greedy and callous. Kramer stumbles into the wrong room at the hospital (1937 instead of 1397) and becomes convinced that he has seen a "pigman" (half-pig, half-man). He espouses a conspiracy theory concerning the government and genetic mutation leading to "pigmen" armies.

Jerry and Elaine agree to become godparents to the newborn baby. Jerry uses the role as a prompt to perform impersonations of Marlon Brando's character from The Godfather, but Elaine is severely unimpressed. They are obligated to arrange the bris, which involves booking a mohel and holding the baby during the circumcision. Kramer, disturbed by the concept of the bris, upsets the mother with grotesque descriptions of circumcision and seizes the baby in an unsuccessful rescue attempt. The mohel (Charles Levin) is extremely irritable and high-strung, and implies that he was charged with malpractice due to a botched circumcision on at least one previous occasion. Made increasingly nervous by this, Jerry flinches as the circumcision gets under way, and the mohel slightly cuts Jerry's finger. The four go to the hospital, where the baby's parents have to break up a fight between Jerry and the mohel; Jerry's finger is stitched up. Kramer finds the "pigman" (whom he later discovers is actually "a fat little mental patient") and "liberates" him from the hospital. The "pigman" steals George's car, which was again conveniently parked.

The parents strip Jerry and Elaine of their role as godparents, deciding they prefer Kramer due to the concern he expressed for the baby. Pleased, Kramer performs an off-the-cuff impersonation of The Godfather which far eclipses Jerry's.

Controversy[edit]

Jason Alexander, who plays the part of George Costanza, has described the character of the mohel as "disgusting" and "anti-Semitic in a hurtful way". After having read the first draft of the script, Alexander approached co-creator and executive producer Larry David and asked to be written out of the episode. When David said he would "soften" the character before they filmed the episode, Alexander agreed to stay in. However, he still has regrets about how the mohel was portrayed.

External links[edit]