The Fire (Seinfeld)

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"The Fire"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 19
Directed by Tom Cherones
Written by Larry Charles
Production code 518
Original air date May 5, 1994
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Raincoats"
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"The Hamptons"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Fire" is the 84th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld and the 19th episode of the fifth season. It originally aired on May 5, 1994, on NBC. This was the final episode to be written by Larry Charles.


At Pendant Publishing Kramer is discussing his idea of a coffee table book about coffee tables with Elaine and his new girlfriend, Elaine's ecstatic co-worker, Toby (Veanne Cox). Elaine finds Toby, as well as Kramer's book, very annoying. George is dating Robin, a woman with a young son. Jerry is preparing his act to impress a magazine critic.

Kramer invites Toby to see Jerry's act, where she initially cheers him, but then she starts heckling, booing, and hissing him ceaselessly after a joke he tells offends her. As a result of the heckling, Jerry gets a bad review from the critic. George, attending Robin's son's birthday party, cannot understand how "Eric the Clown" (played by Jon Favreau) does not know who Bozo is and complains that "Eric" is not a good clown name. Later, George panics when a small fire breaks out in the kitchen and he rushes away, violating the maxim "women and children first" while pushing down everyone in his path including Robin's son, her mother, a disabled elderly woman, and the clown, leaving them all behind. The attendees of the birthday party are extremely upset with him, so he tries to justify his behavior by saying how he acted bravely by pushing his way to the front, acting as their "leader," an explanation that nobody buys. Eric apparently saved the day by putting the fire out with one of his big clown shoes.

Jerry takes the ultimate revenge for a comedian by appearing at Toby's workplace to heckle her; crying, she runs out of her office and onto the street where her foot is run over by a street sweeper, which severs her pinky toe. Later, Kramer retells the story of how he found the toe, boarded a bus, and fought a gunman just to go to the hospital.

Toby gets her toe reattached and upon returning to Pendant Publishing, she gets condolences from everyone who file in and push Elaine out of her own office. To Elaine's further indignation, Toby was promoted instead of her because her boss felt sorry for her because of the accident. Toby's first order of business is getting Kramer's coffee table book published. At the club, Jerry convinced the critic to return to judge his performance again. Also in the club, George, inspired by Kramer's story, asks Robin for a second chance. However, he panics and screams again at the sight of a comedian's (Dom Irrera) prop gun and ruins both Jerry's act by having the audience evacuate because of the fake gun and his second chance with Robin.


  • Robin was played by Melanie Chartoff, whom Larry David and Michael Richards knew from the time they worked on the short-lived sketch series Fridays.
  • The name on the back of Ronnie Kaye's Boston Bruins sweater is "Irrera". Ronnie is played by comedian Dom Irrera.
  • The voice that announces Jerry's name before he goes on stage is that of show co-creator Larry David.
  • Jon Favreau plays Eric The Clown
  • The Season 5 DVD contains an animated rendition of Kramer's telling of the pinky toe story as part of Seinimation, a series of short animated bonus features on DVDs of the last four seasons, directed by Eric Yahnker.

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