The Switch (Seinfeld)
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Bruce Kirschbaum & Sam Kass|
|Original air date||January 5, 1995|
"The Switch" is the 97th episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 11th episode for the sixth season. It aired on January 5, 1995. This episode is particularly notable for revealing Kramer's first name.
After playing tennis, Elaine is recognized by Mrs. Landis (Gail Strickland), a former potential employer from Doubleday. Elaine lends Mr. Pitt's tennis racket, a Bruline, to her in hopes of getting a new job. Meanwhile, Jerry is dating Sandy, a "non-laugher". George is dating Nina (Charlotte Lewis), a model who eats a lot and whom Kramer thinks may be bulimic.
George has dinner with Nina; she devours the food and then excuses herself to the bathroom to "freshen" herself. Jerry has dinner with Sandy; he keeps making funny remarks but she does not laugh, instead replying "that's funny" in an emotionless manner. Back at the apartment, Jerry describes how his jokes just bounce off his girlfriend. George now strongly suspects his girlfriend is bulimic because he heard a "blah" in the bathroom, and wants a matron to spy on her to verify that she intentionally throws up. Kramer's mother Babs (Sheree North) is introduced, who happens to work as a matron, but Kramer doesn't want anything to do with her. When she first sees her son, she yells out his first name in shock, the first time in the series the audience learns Kramer's first name. A bewildered George, who went with Kramer, confusedly repeats his name, "Cosmo"?
Mrs. Landis, who injured her humeral epicondyle playing tennis, is devastated and states she has no reason to live if she can't play tennis, and Elaine doesn't have the heart to ask for the racket back. Back at the apartment, Elaine says Mr. Pitt needs his racket for a match against Ethel Kennedy. George arrives with the news of Kramer's name, much to everyone's delight. Kramer accepts his name and says he was running from his true self.
When Jerry goes to his girlfriend's apartment he meets Laura, Sandy's roommate, who does laugh at his jokes. Later, he talks with George, saying he intends to try the "switch". George declares it is impossible: no one in Western history has ever switched a girlfriend for her roommate. Jerry and George spend long hours devising a plan to accomplish the switch. Finally, George comes up with the plot: Jerry will suggest a ménage à trois, Sandy will be disgusted, break up with Jerry, and tell Laura, who in turn will feel flattered, thus paving the way for Jerry to date her.
While Mrs. Landis is out for lunch, Elaine sneaks into her office to retrieve the racket. However, she is caught by Mrs. Landis's assistant.
Kramer now uses his first name regularly. He tells his mother to quit her job as a matron. George's plan for Nina goes wrong because of this, so he goes into the women's bathroom himself to spy on her. He hears the noise of someone being sick and shouts "Aha!" but it turns out to be another woman he hears and his date walks out on him.
Meanwhile, Jerry's "switch" scheme takes an unexpected twist when both Sandy and Laura agree to the ménage à trois. George is ecstatic about it, but Jerry will not go through with it because he is not "an orgy guy" and because it'll "change him" and he's not "ready for it". Lastly, Newman, a good tennis player, is out of town, so Kramer uses his keys to retrieve a Bruline tennis racket just like Mr. Pitt's. When they open the door, they see Babs in a compromising position with Newman. After she exclaims her son's name in surprise, Newman, looking as surprised as ever, echoes, "Cosmo?"