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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 21, “The Smelly Car.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur had their tomato sauce baths ready as they hopped right into “The Smelly Car” on this week’s Seinfeld Post Show Recap. “The Smelly Car” first aired April 15, 1993 as part of season four.
Akiva had a unique Seinfeld news story to share this week about the statistical data of the show. Some of the data broken down in the Slate Magazine article was percentage of lines per character and how many scenes per episode do certain seasons average. Akiva had Rob guess the top eleven side characters in terms of how many lines they have on the show. Rob was able to name everyone on the list with no trouble. Akiva did not have luck on the Seinfeld Scene It trivia question, even though it was from a covered episode. With the end of his win streak, his record drops to 3-2.
Jerry’s opening standup was a bit about doggy bags at restaurants. The episode opens with Jerry and Elaine outside a restaurant waiting for the valet to bring the car around. When they get into the car, they both notice a strong and fowl odor, deciding that it’s B.O. from the valet driver, with the “O” detaching from the “B”. Akiva and Rob pondered a few other scenarios that could have brought about this smell.
After dinner, Elaine is at her boyfriend Carl’s apartment kissing on the couch, when he smells the awful smell in her hair, prompting him to end the night early. In the next scene, George and Kramer are at the video store, George returning a copy of Rochelle, Rochelle. George notices lesbians holding hands, and when they turn around, it’s his old girlfriend Susan. After the awkward conversation with Susan, George learns he would have to pay an extra two dollars for not rewinding the video, so Kramer recommends keeping it an extra day, since it would cost him less.
At Jerry’s apartment, he and Elaine are discussing how the odor in the car seems to have gotten stronger overnight. Elaine mentions how Carl said he had to get up early, to which Jerry confirmed he must have been lying, since men would always trade sleep for sex. Kramer comes in complaining about the Yankees, and soon notices that Jerry smells bad. Jerry and Elaine realize that the smell in the car has transferred to their hair and clothes.
Later on, Jerry and George are in the car on their way to complain to the restaurant about the smell. George is debating whether he actually drove Susan away from men, noting that he now finds her more attractive because of all of this. At the restaurant, Jerry forces the maître de to get in the car and smell it, which causes him to agree for the restaurant to pay for half of the cleaning bill. George realized that his video tape on the dashboard has been stolen, since they had to leave the windows open.
Elaine is back at Carl’s explaining the stench. She assures him that she’s washed several times over, but he still notices the smell in her hair. Back at the video store, George asked Susan to meet him there so he can find out if he drove her away from men. She finds the question and his follow up questions ridiculous, then she tells him he smells as she leaves. When he tells the clerk he lost the video, he’s saddled with a $98 bill. Akiva and Rob discussed how they experienced no hassle when they’ve lost Netflix DVDs.
In the next scene, Susan’s girlfriend Mona rendezvous’ with Kramer, who has won her over. Jerry is at the car dealership hearing the extensive cleaning they are about to do. At the same time, Elaine is at a hair salon hearing the long list of treatment they intend to do to rid her hair of the odor. After both Elaine’s hair and Jerry’s car are cleaned, the “beast” odor still remains. Jerry is so fed up with this, he decides he is going to sell his car for whatever he can get. They hear banging on Kramer’s door and realize that it’s Susan, there because he has stolen Mona away from her.
Kramer explains to George and Jerry how he and Mona hit it off because she is a golf instructor and helped him with his swing at the video store. Later at the diner, George is having lunch with Susan, giving her a pep talk about how great a catch she is. The woman George dated after Susan walks by, and she and Susan exchange a glance.
At the car dealership, Kramer is explaining how things were going great with Mona until she suddenly had to leave. Jerry realizes it was because Kramer was wearing Jerry’s jacket that was carrying the stench. The car salesman immediately tells Jerry he can’t sell the car after getting in and smelling it.
The last scene has Jerry abandoning the car in a seedy neighborhood, and when a vagrant gets in to steal it, he’s overwhelmed by the smell. Jerry’s closing standup is a bit about how body odor is so bad as a result of doing something good like exercising or working hard.
In 2015, a few things would be different in this episode. First, there would be no video store. Also, you could Google a solution to the smell problem, and George could have found out about Susan’s new relationship through Facebook. Akiva ranked this episode rather low in comparison to the last few episodes. He ultimately put it at 150, mainly because the ending of the episode was incomplete. He did feel he would rank it higher were he to redo the list.
There were a few emails this week. Johnny De Silveira kicked it off with a comment about how writer Peter Mehlman got the idea from the episode from a friend who went through this. He also pointed out that Jason Alexander hosted Saturday Night Live the same week this episode aired. Craig noted that the rewinding of the tape might be the most outdated thing of the episode.
Amir felt that this episode was a better rewatch than he expected, though he did feel there was some clumsiness in the writing. He also noted that George continues to prove his point that he only likes women when they don’t like him. Chester disagreed with Amir, feeling that this episode is the thing that stinks the most. He asked how a restaurant in Manhattan would have valet service, feeling that is more in line with LA, not New York City. He also asked why there weren’t more “victims” of smelly cars from all the patrons that had this valet park their car.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Handicap Spot”, where we get the first appearance of Frank Costanza. 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.