The Wizard (Seinfeld)
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Steve Lookner|
|Original air date||February 26, 1998|
Jerry buys his dad a $200 Wizard organizer for a birthday present. George receives a message from Susan's parents, the Rosses. Jerry and George debate about the race of Elaine's new boyfriend and that intrigues her – is he black? George returns the call from the Rosses; the Foundation is having an event this weekend, but George doesn't want to attend, so he comes up with a story that he has to close on his house in the Hamptons. Kramer announces his retirement, a Hollywood big shot has optioned his coffee table book about coffee tables. Kramer even comments that the toy ray guns were the inspiration to Independence Day. Elaine finds evidence that leads her to believe her boyfriend is black. Susan's parents see George on the street in the city, during the time he is supposed to be in the Hamptons.
Jerry is woken up early in the morning at his parents' house and gives his father the Wizard, which Jerry claims he got from a deal at only $50. Morty is only impressed by it being a "tip calculator", although Jerry claims it does other things. Later he discovers that Kramer has moved to Del Boca Vista phase III to join the other retirees as he lives next door to Morty and Helen after Mr. Kornstein died. Elaine laughs when Susan's parents ask her about George's house in the Hamptons, revealing the lies.
An election is held for president of the Del Boca Vista condo association. Jerry recalled how his father can't because he was impeached from The Pines of Mar Gables phase II. Morty comments "I was never impeached. I resigned." Helen then comments that the press from the local newspaper The Boca Breeze would bury Morty. After hearing from one of the residents that Kramer had won a date with the aquacise instructor, Morty decides that Kramer should be elected condo board president of Del Boca Vista phase III, so Morty will run things from behind the scenes, like a "puppet regime".
Elaine schemes to try to determine her boyfriend's race. As George finds out the Rosses knew that he lied, and they allowed him to continue lying, he keeps building on his lie and picks up the Rosses to take them to the Hamptons, to "see who'll blink first".
Kramer begins his campaign and The Boca Breeze has good things to say about him. It was mentioned by Jerry in his call to Elaine that Kramer's opponent is an unnamed guy in a wheelchair. He does things like kissing babies and putting his campaign stickers on things including the ambulances. When Elaine's boyfriend says they are an interracial couple, she is convinced he is black.
Kramer receives some bad press from The Boca Breeze where it was stated that Cosmo Kramer was caught barefoot at the clubhouse which Morty states is against the rules. Kramer states that he couldn't find his shoes. Jerry quotes "These people work and wait their whole lives to move down here, sit in the heat, pretend it's not hot, and enforce these rules." Morty then states that this is a huge scandal and that they need damage control. Kramer suggests buying each of the 20 members of the condo board one of those Wizard "tip calculators". Jerry knows he can't get the deal he told his father he'd received since there was no sale on them. Kramer says not to worry, Bob Sacamano's father lives in Florida and can help them out. Elaine discovers her boyfriend is not black, and that he referred to them as an interracial couple because he thought she was Hispanic.
Sacamano's father comes through with what was said to be Wizards where Kramer and Morty have just given them out to the remaining condo board members. One of the residents tells Morty that his "Wizard" overtipped him for the BLT he had. Morty identifies the item as a "Willard" as Jerry comments that Bob Sacamano's father ripped him off. The Willards are shown to not calculate tips properly and in some cases lack a full complement of numerals. Jerry then admits to his father that the Wizard costs $200 and that there was no deal. The old man tells Morty and Kramer that their election campaign is over as he leaves telling everyone to vote for the guy in the wheelchair. Jerry apologizes to his father that there was no sale on the Wizard. Morty quotes "You should be. How could you spend two hundred dollars on a tip calculator?!" Jerry once again reminds him that it does other things.
During the credits, George and the Rosses reach the Hamptons, where he blinks first and the truth is revealed. The Rosses confirm that they dislike George, and blame him for Susan's death. The three of them then head back to Manhattan.
Tim Delaney, in Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld, wrote that "The Wizard" "does a wonderful job of illustrating the delicate nature of discussing race, even when it's between friends, who assumingly, are not racist." Albert Auster, of Fordham University, wrote of the episode: "If the series did have one strong point in its dealings with race, it was with the embarrassment and uneasiness that middle-class whites often feel about the issue."
- "The Wizard" - TV.com
- Lavery, D. & Leverette, M. (2006) Seinfeld, master of its domain: revisiting television's greatest sitcom, Continuum International Publishing Group, p214-5
- Delaney, T. (2006) Seinology: the sociology of Seinfeld, Prometheus Books, p171
- Auster, A. (1998) "Much Ado About Nothing: Some Final Thoughts on Seinfeld," Television Quarterly, no. 29, pp. 24–33