The Dog (Seinfeld)

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"The Dog"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 4
Directed byTom Cherones
Written byLarry David
Production code303
Original air dateOctober 9, 1991
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Pen"
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"The Library"
Seinfeld (season 3)
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Dog" is the 21st episode of Seinfeld. The episode was the fourth episode of the show's third season. It was written by series co-creator Larry David and first aired on October 9, 1991.

Plot[edit]

Jerry is on a plane returning to New York City when a drunk man, Gavin Polone (played by Joseph Maher), seated next to him falls sick and asks Jerry to take care of his dog while he is taken to the hospital. He promises to reclaim the dog when he comes to New York. The dog, Farfel, irritates Jerry with its barking and making messes. Jerry feels as though he does not dare leave his apartment, for fear of what Farfel might do.[1]

Jerry, George and Elaine had a date to see the movie Prognosis Negative, but Jerry asks them to go without him. George and Elaine realize they don't have much in common without Jerry around; they begin to have a good conversation only when they start making fun of Jerry.

Kramer tells Jerry and Elaine he is looking forward to breaking up with his girlfriend, Ellen, because she is such a vile human being. Jerry and Elaine reveal that they agree with his assessment of her personality and only kept quiet about it for fear of offending him. Kramer indeed breaks up with Ellen in a melodramatic fashion—and shortly after reunites in the same fashion. He then holds a grudge against Jerry and Elaine for their earlier derisive remarks about Ellen, announcing an end to their friendship. When Kramer and Ellen break up again, Jerry and Elaine tell Kramer they are disappointed by the breakup, having learned their lesson.

Jerry, tired of having to put up with Farfel, tries to contact Gavin, but finds out that he checked out of the hospital several days ago. He decides to take the dog to the city pound so that he, George and Elaine can go to the movies together. This upsets Elaine, who persuades him to let her stay with the dog for one more day while he and George go to the movies without her. Elaine's attitude towards the dog changes dramatically when she finds out how disobedient Farfel is. When Gavin finally calls, Elaine angrily tells him to come and collect Farfel or else he has "humped his last leg". Gavin reveals he was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, the reason he could not call earlier, and comes for the dog, much to the relief of Jerry and Elaine.

Production[edit]

In a deleted scene, Kramer reveals that he fed Farfel turkish taffy, which would have explained the dog's erratic behavior and frequent barking.

Cultural references[edit]

A writer for Mental Floss explains,

"Farfel" wasn't just some random wacky name Gavin Palone made up for his pooch; he was, in fact, named after the famous floppy-eared puppet who used to advertise Nestle's Quik in the 1960s. Ventriloquist dummy Danny O'Day ended each commercial by singing the company’s jingle: "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestle's makes the very best" and then Farfel would chime in, off-key, "Chawk-lit!" with a distinctive snap of his mechanical jaw.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

David Sims of The A.V. Club, giving a grade of B+, writes that the episode is "an amusingly over-the-top one, with not one but two unseen, horrible characters, and it's the first episode with those great fake Seinfeld movie names. ... We never see the dog, and since he's a satanic hound that barks constantly and chews everything he sees, it's all the funnier that we don't. The "evil dog" joke gets old quickly but it works just enough because Jerry's OCD tendencies are so profoundly disturbed by having the dog in his bedroom."[3]

Legacy[edit]

Jerry delivers a monologue on people and dogs:

On my block, a lot of people walk their dogs, and I always see them walking along with their little poop bags, which to me is just the lowest function of human life. If aliens are watching this through telescopes, they're going to think the dogs are the leaders. If you see two life-forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?

This has been quoted (and mis-quoted) enough to permeate the culture, approaching catchphrase standards.[4][5][6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larry David (October 9, 1991). "The Dog". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Kovalchik, Kara (June 9, 2015). "20 Seinfeld References Explained for Younger Viewers". Mental Floss. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Sims, David (July 22, 2010). "Seinfeld: "The Dog"/"The Library"/"The Pen"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  4. ^ Grossman, Gene (2008). "Until Proven Innocent". Venice, California: Magic Lamp Press. p. 6. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Moss, Erica (July 11, 2012). "5 Tips for Owning a Dog in a Big City". Sprout Savvy. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Iorizzo, Pete (January 18, 2012). "Adventures in dog-sitting". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  7. ^ Ruiz Tizon, Daniel (18 September 2011). "Thoughts For The Day: Pooper Scoopers". Sabotage Times. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Nyman, Margaret (January 4, 2012). "Patrolling the Piles". Getting Through This. Retrieved August 16, 2012.

External links[edit]