The Trip (Seinfeld)
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|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry Charles|
|Original air date||Part 1: August 12, 1992
Part 2: August 19, 1992
|Running time||42 minutes|
Jerry is offered two free tickets from New York City to Hollywood to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He offers one to George and they decide that while they are in Los Angeles they will track down Kramer, who headed to Los Angeles in the previous episode, "The Keys", to become an actor. A dead woman turns up in another part of LA and Kramer's script he had given to her is found on her body. George thinks he has insightful conversations with the talk show guests (Corbin Bernsen and George Wendt) but they both call him "some nut" when they appear publicly. Jerry can't remember the wording for a joke and blames the hotel maid, Lupe (Dyana Ortelli), who threw it away while cleaning the room. As Jerry and George leave The Tonight Show, they see Kramer's picture on the news. He is the main suspect for the "Smog Strangler".
Kramer is arrested when he is mistaken for "The Smog Strangler," a serial killer roaming the streets of Los Angeles. While also in L.A., Jerry and George try to help resolve the accusation. They use a pay phone to call the police and they say they have some important information regarding the stranglings. Two policemen in a police cruiser come to pick them up and take them back to the station. On their way, the officers see a man (Clint Howard) trying to break into a car. They arrest him and put him in the back with Jerry and George; Jerry and the man get into an argument about tipping, with the latter insisting that Jerry's tipping habits are too cheap. They have to stop again when they get a police call regarding to the "Smog Strangler" and happen to be close to the scene. Jerry and George want to make sure Kramer is not imprisoned, so they open the door of the car, and, in their hurry, leave the door open. The man who was breaking into the car escapes.
Kramer is taken to the police station and is brutally interrogated by the lieutenant (Peter Murnik), causing Kramer to have a nervous breakdown, which leads to him hysterical sobbing. While he is being questioned, the lieutenant receives a phone call stating that the Smog Strangler has killed another victim while Kramer was in custody, and so he is allowed to leave. After Kramer is exonerated, Jerry and George decide to return to New York, but Kramer opts to remain in Los Angeles. However, by the end of the episode, Kramer has returned to New York and is once again living across the hall from Jerry. He offers no explanation of his return, other than he lives there.
At the end of the episode, it is revealed that the Smog Strangler is suspected to be the man that was in the back seat with George and Jerry, the one they accidentally let escape. It is broadcast on a news program that his whereabouts are unknown, but that he is a generous tipper.
The scene in which the man breaks into the car was shot near the Bicycle Shack on Ventura Place in Studio City, California, a short distance from CBS Studio Center, the main studio for Seinfeld. When Kramer is confronted by the police at his apartment (about 12 minutes into the episode), Larry David and episode writer Larry Charles can be seen standing in the crowd behind the officers, at the far right of the scene. The cop riding shotgun is the same actor that would later portray Jake Jarmel. The Hotel/Apartment that Kramer is staying in while in Hollywood is in the same building that was used in Pretty Woman, in which Jason Alexander co-starred.
This was the only two-part episode of Seinfeld in which both parts had the same name but were aired on two separate dates instead of a one-hour special. However, "The Wallet"/"The Watch" is a continuation episode pairing which also aired on separate dates with a "To Be Continued" at the end of "The Wallet".
Kramer's first name is missing from the script found on the dead woman's body, a reference to how—at this point in time—no one knows his full name.
The episodes were broadcast much earlier than normal, as NBC wanted to cash in on ratings from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (which NBC also covered) and as such these two episodes got some of the highest Nielsen ratings thus far.