The Junior Mint
|"The Junior Mint"|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Andy Robin|
|Original air date||March 18, 1993|
"The Junior Mint" is the 60th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld. It was the 20th episode of the fourth season. It aired on March 18, 1993. This episode won Michael Richards his first Emmy of the series.
Unable to remember the name of the woman he is dating (played by Susan Walters), Jerry tries to solve the mystery, as it would be too awkward given the time they have spent together to simply ask her. Given the clue that her name rhymes with a part of the female anatomy, Jerry and George come up with possible candidates: Aretha (for urethra), Celeste and Hest (for breast), and Bovary (for ovary), and finally George suggests Mulva (for vulva). The payoff to the joke comes at the end of the episode when she presses him to say her name. Jerry guesses Mulva, causing her to storm out of Jerry's apartment. As she is leaving, Jerry incorrectly guesses another name, Gipple (for nipple) and Loreola (for areola). Then, in a flash of insight, Jerry runs to the window and yells "Dolores!" (rhyming with a common pronunciation of clitoris). The character returns in season 8's "The Foundation". In this later episode, George and Jerry refer to Dolores as Mulva among themselves.
The Fat Artist and the Mint Incident
Meanwhile, Elaine goes to visit her ex-boyfriend Roy (played by Sherman Howard)—an artist who she dumped because he was fat—in the hospital. Noticing that he has slimmed down (due to depression from her breaking up with him), Elaine becomes interested in dating him again. Kramer and Jerry observe the artist's splenectomy in the hospital's operating theater and accidentally drop a Junior Mint from the viewing gallery into the patient's body (in actuality, a York Peppermint Pattie was used for filming this scene as a Junior Mint was too small for the camera). When George hears that Roy is in bad condition (after he develops an infection), he decides to spend $1900 (which he collected in interest from a bank account from the sixth grade) to buy some of Roy's art, thinking it will appreciate in value when Roy dies. Roy's condition suddenly turns around and he recovers. Although Roy attributes the change to George buying his art, the doctor attributes the limited effect of the infection to "something from above." (This marks the second time that George regrets his decision to purchase a piece of art. The first came in "The Letter", when he bought a piece of art from Jerry's girlfriend for $500.) The triangle art that George purchases in this episode can be seen on the shelves in his apartment in many subsequent episodes. As Kramer offers the doctor a Junior Mint, Elaine decides to cancel her date with Roy, whom she observes eating enthusiastically again in his hospital room after the surgery.
Two of the actors who played parts in "The Junior Mint" appeared again in different episodes of Seinfeld. The woman whose name Jerry is attempting to guess was played by Susan Walters. She appeared again (though with blonde hair) in the season 8 episode "The Foundation." Dr. Siegel is played by Victor Raider-Wexler, who also appears as a doctor in several other Seinfeld episodes. He portrayed the doctor who proclaimed Susan Ross dead in the season 7 finale "The Invitations" and was also George's doctor in the season 8 finale "The Summer of George". He appeared once more to testify against the "New York Four" in the finale of the show, and in those last two appearances he was given the name "Dr. Wexler".
Sherman Howard played the part of Roy, the artist. Howard is probably better known for his roles as Lex Luthor in seasons 2 - 4 of the Superboy television series and as Bub in George A. Romero's Day of the Dead.
According to the "Inside Look" from the DVD, the writers had trouble coming up with a name for Jerry's girlfriend, initially settling upon "Cloris". When filming the episode, a comedian would warm up the studio audience in between filming scenes and, as an exercise, asked audience members to guess Jerry's girlfriend's name; one audience member guessed Dolores, which was deemed a better fit than their first choice. Jerry Seinfeld approved of it in time to add it to the script and the scene was shot with that being the character's name. Afterwards, a producer for the show was amused to overhear the audience member's husband saying "you guessed right!"
Jerry's line concerning Roy, "Then we can go watch 'em slice this fat bastard up", was not in the original script; it was improvised by Jerry, and kept in the final episode.