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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 17, “The Outing.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur have spent the last year, and plan to spend the next two and a half more recapping each and every Seinfeld episode, not that there is anything wrong with that. This week, they’ll discuss “The Outing” which first aired February 11, 1993 as part of season four. This was one of the more famous episodes because the subject matter at the time was not talked about.
Akiva starts off the show by sharing a bit of current news in the Seinfeld universe. In addition to the show being released on Hulu, the one and only Soup Nazi showed up at the replica apartment that was on display in New York City this week. He also is currently appearing in a Pepsi Max commercial in Israel as his character. Lastly, a reporter who ranked all the episodes this week accidentally left out one, convincing Akiva that his rankings list will remain the “go-to”.
Rob wanted to introduce a new segment to the show this week, asking a Seinfeld Scene It question to Akiva each week. Akiva got this week’s question incorrect, affirming his claim that this isn’t the Seinfeld Know-It-Alls.
Jerry’s opening standup is a bit about birthdays being a celebration of not dying. The episode opens with George on a date with a woman Allison who can’t go on living without George. In the next scene, George is telling this story to Elaine, then they discuss how Elaine is getting Jerry a two line phone and George is getting him tickets to Guys and Dolls for his birthday. Jerry comes back from the payphone where he was setting up an interview with a college reporter. They have some random conversation about ugly people. While talking, Elaine figures out that the woman at the table next to them is eavesdropping, so she spices up the conversation by fake outing Jerry and George as being gay. George plays along, but Jerry is reluctant.
Back at the apartment, George is excited to share that if he were a porn star, his name would be Buck Naked. He asks Jerry what he thinks about his sweater, and Jerry hates it. When the reporter Sharon comes up for the interview, Jerry recognizes her, but not as the woman eavesdropping at the diner. As they are talking, she asks to talk to George too, which doesn’t seem out of the ordinary because they are co-writing a script for NBC. After a few petty arguments between Jerry and George, Sharon remarks that she and her boyfriend are the same way. When she asks them if their parents “know”, Jerry finally puts it together that she was the one they were feeding the fake story about being gay. Sharon scrambles out of there, with Jerry and George trying anything to refute this.
In the next scene, Elaine offers to talk to Sharon to set the story straight. Kramer comes in with a two line phone for Jerry’s birthday, ruining Elaine’s present idea. When Sharon calls, she tells him that she won’t report that they are gay, but when he puts her on hold to take George’s call, she overhears him sarcastically say that they “fooled” her into thinking they are straight. Jerry learns that she heard him on the other line when George confirms he heard him when he switched over to talk to Sharon.
Elaine goes to fix things with Sharon, but it goes terribly when Elaine refuses to take her coat off. Next, Jerry is opening his birthday gifts, and balks at George’s since it tickets to a Broadway show. George points out that the show is called Guys and Dolls, not Guys and Guys. Elaine, having to find a new gift since Kramer gave him the two line phone, gets him the collective works of Bette Midler.
Jerry notices a couple guys pointing at him, and they learn that Sharon did report they were gay, then the Associated Press ran the story as well. Jerry is upset, adding “not that there’s anything wrong with that”. Kramer comes in, upset that they didn’t share their secret with him. George picks up the phone and it’s Jerry’s mom, who thinks this confirms the story she read, adding “not that there’s anything wrong with that”. His dad comments that Jerry’s gay because Helen made him wear culottes.
After George hangs up, he runs out of the apartment yelling about his mom finding out this information. There is a shot for shot remake of his mom in a hospital bed, there from hearing the news about George being gay. Rob thought this was the best scene of the episode.
At the diner, Jerry decides he is going to skip out on Guys and Dolls. A military man walks up to Jerry and tells him that in light of his story, he is going to come out of the closet himself. After, Jerry and George are loudly arguing, causing the manager to tell them to quiet down. Rob found this scene to be a head scratcher, feeling it didn’t fit in with the rest of the episode.
Later on, George decides to have Allison read the article, but she doesn’t seem to get that it says they are gay, so he has to point it out to her. Meanwhile, Jerry is on his couch kissing Sharon, only to have George burst in with Allison to further the idea they are gay so he can get out of dating Allison. When Sharon storms out and Allison isn’t buying the story, George tells her that he’s actually a porn actor named Buck Naked. The episode ends with Kramer walking in to his apartment with a good looking guy there to fix the phone. The final standup is a bit about gay guys being thin, single and neat.
In 2015, a few things would be different about this episode. Sharon would have been able to look up Jerry on the internet, and if there was a rumor about Jerry being gay, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Also, it might not be considered politically correct to say “not that there’s anything wrong with that” nowadays. Rob and Akiva were both convinced that this is a pivotal episode in the series. Rob thought this was the second best episode of those covered so far in his loose rankings, but Akiva slotted it as his fifth best at number 15 overall.
As always, there were some emails this week. Stephanie B emailed to talk about George’s poor social skills being based on his need to be involved in all conversations, like adding his father is gay in this episode, or the bouillabaisse comment from last episode. Frequent emailer Johnny De Silveira answered the question they wondered about airports. He said that many fast food restaurants will buy space at a terminal, but he wasn’t sure if restaurants have deals with specific airlines. He also asked what the proper way for George and Jerry to discuss the reporter that wouldn’t have been misconstrued. Rob and Akiva thought it was a bit of micromanaging to deconstruct that scene differently.
Amir emailed in to comment on how many ideas from this episode would pop up later in the series, like George not liking his voice and Bette Midler. Finally Chester emailed in to wonder why Sharon would be kissing Jerry if she just mentioned having a boyfriend a few days earlier. He also wondered why an NYU student would do an interview with a comedian she knew nothing about. Akiva thought that it wasn’t out of the ordinary for the pre internet times. Lastly, he wondered why a guy would be coming by so late to fix the phone.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Old Man”. Send in your questions by emailing [email protected] . Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by going to postshowrecaps.com/seinfeldITunes where you can rate and review the podcast. And as always, you can follow them on twitter @robcesternino and @keev26.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Outing”. Send in your questions by emailing [email protected]. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by going to postshowrecaps.com/seinfeldITunes where you can rate and review the podcast. And as always, you can follow them on twitter @robcesternino and @keev26.
Special thanks to Mike Moore for this episode recap.