The Merv Griffin Show (Seinfeld)
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|"The Merv Griffin Show"|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Bruce Eric Kaplan|
|Original air date||November 6, 1997|
The working title for this episode was "The Merv Griffin Set". It is one of the few episodes in which Jerry's apartment is not seen.
Kramer stumbles across the set of the old Merv Griffin Show in a large contracting dumpster on the street. George's girlfriend, Miranda, is disgusted when George runs over some pigeons with his car. George believes that pigeons and humans have a deal (pigeons are to move out of the way when humans approach, and humans will overlook the pigeons' statue defecation), and that the pigeons have broken that deal. Jerry is intrigued with his new girlfriend's (Celia played by Julia Pennington) antique toy collection that she won't let him touch. Elaine's new co-worker is a "sidler" (Brent Hinkley): he moves silently behind people. He causes Elaine to spill coffee on her jacket that creates a stain that looks like Fidel Castro (though Jerry mistakes it for Art Garfunkel).
Kramer takes the discarded set pieces and perfectly recreates The Merv Griffin Show set in his apartment. He pretends that the show is still on the air and acts as the new host, even using the show's theme when "guests" come onto the set, conducting interviews with everyone who enters his apartment. Kramer even stops interviews and cuts to a "commercial break" where he sips on a Diet Coke and eats from a bag of chips, before exclaiming "We're back!" Elaine schemes to "out-sidle the sidler" who might be "sidling her out of a job", by wearing wrestling shoes. While George swerves to avoid a pigeon, he instead hits a squirrel. Jerry schemes for an opportunity to play with Celia's toys. Kramer adds Newman as a co-host for his "show" to help relieve the pressure of being a host. On his "show", Jerry says he has finally found a way to play with the toys, by accidentally drugging his girlfriend with sleep inducing medication; Kramer is shocked by Jerry's scheme.
Miranda insists that George pay for a surgery required to save the squirrel's life instead of putting it to sleep. Elaine gives Tic Tacs to the sidler to make him noisy; unfortunately, the sound annoys J. Peterman, which reminds him of an old Haitian torture method and if he hears another rattle, Elaine will be fired (since he mistakenly believes it was her all along). Elaine confronts the Sidler and suggests an alternative, like gum; however the Sidler hates gum, but only enjoyed the Mickey Mouse gumball machine which "they stopped making 20 years ago." Jerry and George treat Celia to a dinner of turkey (which contains tryptophan) and red wine, followed by a boring home movie of George's boyhood trip to Michigan; she soon dozes off. Once she is asleep, Jerry and George happily play with the toys like children. Later, Elaine joins in to play with an Easy-Bake Oven (even though the batter, according to Jerry, is 30 years old).
Kramer is concerned about his "ratings" and decides to change the format of the show to "Scandals and Animals". On the "show" (still without cameras), Kramer gets Jerry to admit that he has been drugging his girlfriend. Kramer then brings out an angry Celia (who was "backstage"); she breaks up with Jerry as Kramer and Newman do their best to whip up the non-existent audience with "oohs" and "ahhs".
For the Animals segment of the show, Kramer invites old friend and animal expert Jim Fowler, who arrives with a hawk and asks Kramer, "Where are the cameras?" George brings the squirrel over to the set to get Fowler to take it off his hands for him, but the hawk goes after it and George (since he was holding the squirrel). The Merv Griffin set is destroyed in the process, and afterwards Kramer admits, "It was a grind having to fill ten hours a day." At Miranda's behest, a bandaged George still has to take care of the squirrel and sleep on the couch; he then warns the pigeons ("Laugh it up. I'm getting in my car now and the last thing I heard... we have NO DEAL!") The episode ends with Elaine and the Sidler knocking out Celia once again to play with her toys.