The Non-Fat Yogurt
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|"The Non-Fat Yogurt"|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry David|
|Original air date||November 4, 1993|
"The Non-Fat Yogurt" is the 71st episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. It is the seventh episode of the fifth season, and first aired on November 4, 1993. The episode is a fictionalized portrayal of the 1993 New York City mayoral election in which a yogurt shop patronized by the main cast and a name tag idea suggested by Elaine become key issues.
Jerry, Elaine, George and Newman are hooked on a new frozen yogurt shop in which Kramer has invested. They are delighted by the fact that the yogurt is advertised as non-fat. Jerry blurts out that it "is so fucking good" near the shop owner's wannabe-comedian son Matthew, who then begins to swear profusely. Jerry agrees to speak to him about the error of his swearing ways but Matthew destroys a cassette tape containing enough new comedic material for "a whole new Tonight Show," which causes Jerry to explode, "what the fuck are you doing, you little piece of shit?"
When Kramer notices that Jerry and Elaine have gained weight, they become suspicious that the yogurt may not be non-fat, so they send it to a laboratory for testing.
George runs into his childhood nemesis Lloyd Braun (Peter Keleghan) and makes a derisive nudge to Jerry to try to urge him to leave. When Lloyd notices, George pretends that it is an involuntary spasm caused by an injury. George then has to fake the spasm repeatedly. Lloyd refers him to a doctor, who concludes that George is faking it. As he leaves the doctor's office, George bumps his elbow on the desk and experiences a real spasm, which worries him.
Elaine starts dating Lloyd, who works as an aide to the New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who is running for re-election against Rudy Giuliani. When Elaine suggests an idea for everyone in New York to wear name tags in public, Lloyd takes the idea to Dinkins. The idea is ridiculed, Dinkins is made a laughing stock, and Lloyd is fired. Lloyd then breaks up with Elaine but she believes it is due to her weight gain from the frozen yogurt.
Kramer, fearful of losing his investment, tries to sway a lab technician to falsify the analysis of the yogurt. They make out, and accidentally knock a sample of blood into a test tube belonging to Rudy Giuliani. This causes Giuliani's results to show he has a high level of cholesterol. Jerry and Elaine see the announcement on television and call in a tip to Giuliani's campaign headquarters which prompts the prospective mayor to promise an investigation into the fraudulent frozen yogurt. The issue ignites voters, and Giuliani wins the election. The lab results show that the yogurt does in fact contain fat. When Jerry's local frozen yogurt shop switches to real non-fat yogurt, it tastes awful and business plummets. Matthew calls Jerry a "fat fuck" for ruining his father's business.
As the episode was to air two days after the 1993 New York City mayoral election, the production crew's solution was to produce two different versions of the episode: one in which Dinkins won, and another in which Giuliani won. The plot is the same in both versions; the Giuliani version simply replaced any reference to Dinkins with a reference to Giuliani, and vice versa. The Seinfeld crew recounted that Giuliani (who was a fan of the show) and his campaign staff were immediately supportive when consulted about the episode, and they made plans to have him appear in the episode. The Dinkins camp were more reluctant to get involved, and so Phil Morris was cast as a spokesman in lieu of Dinkins himself in the Dinkins version of the episode.
Because of the short interval between the election and the airing of the episode, Giuliani's scenes had to be filmed on the morning after his victory. Both versions of the episode were included on the season five DVD.
All instances of the profanities being uttered were censored; there is no uncensored version of this episode available.
The table reading for "The Non-Fat Yogurt" was held on October 20, 1993.
- Seinfeld Season 5: Inside Look - "The Non-Fat Yogurt" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005.