Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 6, Episode 11, “The Switch.”
Seinfeld Post Show Recaps: The Switch
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur have already revealed their names, aren’t wasting perfectly good meals, and have no need for a $300 tennis racket, but they do continue to bring you a new Seinfeld recap week after week. This time they break down “The Switch”, which first aired January 5, 1995 (the back nine of Hammer Time) as part of season six. The episode was written by Bruce Kirschbaum and Sam Henry Kass.
News – Rob talked about how Shawn Falconer worked his magic once again, answering Rob’s recent question about when Seinfeld peaked. He was able to determine that season five and season seven had similar peaks after running many different rankings through his algorithm. Akiva also saw a Seinfeld related tweet from Jay Mandium that joked how Gammill and Pross are now writers for Fuller House.
Jerry’s story – Jerry is dating a woman named Sandy who doesn’t laugh at Jerry’s jokes, which is a problem for a comedian. When he goes to her apartment, he meets her roommate Laura, who has a terrific laugh that she puts on display for Jerry. This leads him to think he got stuck with the wrong roommate, but George comes up with a plan to turn off Sandy The plan is to ask Sandy to have a ménage a trois and get her to dump him when offended, then ask out the roommate a week later. When he presents the idea to Sandy, she’s into it, and so is Laura. George is thrilled when Jerry tells him this, but Jerry just can’t be a threesome guy.
George’s story – George is dating a model who eats like a horse, but immediately goes to the restroom after eating, leading him to suspect she is purging the food. He is concerned about this, but only because he feels it’s wasting money to not digest the food. He devises a plan to try to catch her in the act of purging, but needs a woman to be in the bathroom to confirm it. Jerry shares how Kramer’s mother is a matron (bathroom attendant), and if they eat at her restaurant, she can make it happen. When George gets to the restaurant, he learns from a waitress that Babs had quit, so he bursts into the bathroom when he hears retching, only to discover it wasn’t Nina.
Elaine’s story – Elaine runs into the woman Mrs. Landis she interviewed with at the tennis club when she was picking up Mr. Pitt’s racquet. She is taken with the fancy racquet of Pitt, so Elaine lets her borrow it in hopes of earning goodwill getting a second shot at a job at Doubleday Publishing. When Elaine goes to pick up the racquet, she sees that Landis has badly hurt her arm, making Elaine feel bad and not ask for the racquet back. She later sneaks into the office to get it back, but is caught by one of Landis’ assistants, again ruining her chance at a job there.
Kramer’s story - Kramer has an iconic storyline this episode. Jerry reveals Kramer’s mother is a matron at a restaurant and can help George determine if his girlfriend is actually bulimic. When they go to see Babs, she calls Kramer by his first name, Cosmo, leading George to immediately tell Jerry and Elaine when he sees them next. When they tease Kramer about it, he tells them while he’s run from the name his whole life, he’s now ready to embrace it. He even reconciles with his mom, convincing her to quit her job as a matron and start enjoying life now that she’s clean and sober. This foils George’s plan to have Babs confirm if Nina is purging. The reunion with his mom takes a sour turn at the end of the episode when he walks in on Babs making out with Newman, who she was charmed by earlier in the day.
Rob and Akiva tangents – Rob and Akiva role played a way for Elaine to effectively ask Landis for the racquet back. They talked about how NBC really publicized the Kramer first name reveal. They also spent some time breaking down George and Jerry’s three way plan, but Rob concluded that their ideas were less funny, sexy and interesting than what the writers came up with. Akiva came up with another logical way for George to get out of bursting into the woman’s bathroom, but both realized it’s not funny. During the emails, Rob posed a question to fake Jerry asking if anything interesting ever happened to the characters outside of what happens on the show. Akiva also shared that Chester’s first name is Alexander, and Chester’s dad told Akiva he doesn’t like him.
What doesn’t work in 2016 – In 2016, bulimia would not be a subject to be taken so lightly. Also, Elaine could easily contact Landis and Jerry could private message Laura the roommate via Facebook.
Grades and Ranking – The guys started with Elaine, thinking it was the least interesting, so Akiva gave it a B- and Rob thought it was a C. Both gave Kramer an A+ for the reveal of the first name. For Jerry, they both thought it was a fantastic storyline, so they also gave it an A+. Lastly, they agreed that George was great too, earning an A+. Akiva loved the episode, slotting it at 25, the second straight episode in the top 25.
Emails - Johnny De Silveira noted that the name of the episode was supposed to be “The Bulimic”, but they changed it late in the game. He also asked them how Kramer and Newman are still friends after witnessing him with his mom, to which the guys thought Kramer might hold it against Babs more than Newman. Harry the fake movie correspondent noted that the Frankenstein movie Jerry and Sandy see is actually real, but Mr. Pitt’s racquet is fake. Jessica thought it was interesting that no one noticed that Elaine’s racquet was for a man not a woman. Lindsay emailed in noting Jerry’s opening standup about tennis would work better in “The Lip Reader” instead. Dr. Thomas wrote in to critique the area of the arm that Landis injured, noting what they said she hurt was a real body part, but not one that would cause that injury.
Amir found it odd that a wealthy woman like Landis wouldn’t have a fancy tennis racquet, but Rob thought she could have just had a different fancy racquet. He also wondered why George needed such an elaborate plan to catch Nina, when any woman would do. Chester wrote in to question the entire premise of “The Switch”, which caused the guys to call him out for bragging. He also added that Jerry turning down the threesome was Jerry’s biggest mistake. He lastly asked if Newman could be considered the worst person in the show for trying to sleep with his best friend’s mother.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Label Maker”. 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. You can get a discussion going about the podcast by leaving a comment on the show page, and as always, you can follow them on Twitter @robcesternino and @keev26.
Special thanks to Mike Moore for writing this week’s episode summary
Akiva Wienerkur is a former high school English teacher and NBC Sports researcher who now works for a tech start-up. He loves the Jets, the Mets, his wife, his son and 2 daughters- not necessarily in that order.