Seinfeld: The Understudy | Episode 110 Recap Podcast


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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss the Season 6 Finale, Episode 24, “The Understudy“.

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  • Claire

    Hi Rob and Akiva,

    I am a millennial, born in 1987, and I remember the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan story very well. I remember nearly every part of the story, from Nancy screaming, “Why, why…” through Tonya pointing to her laces for the judges and asking for a re-do. I was also a skater, so I may not be a typical example of a child during that time. Still, it was all over the news, and all anyone talked about. My cousin, who was born in 1995, said she also knew about it just from hearing stories, and seeing news clips. Andy Cohen recently did a show all about 1994, and covered this story in detail.

    Regarding your understudy question: Typically, a show will cast a principal understudy for all the main roles, as well as a list of other understudies. The understudies are part of the regular cast (usually in the chorus) every night. On a Playbill, you will usually see the actor listed like, “Chorus/Understudy Rochelle.” The show also casts several swings. A swing is someone who knows most, or even all of the main roles for his or her gender. Swings will sometimes also be in the chorus as well, but not always. If they are just a swing, they won’t have a regular part in the show at all, and will not appear unless someone is out. It depends on the show though, because sometimes (in smaller productions) the swings are also cast as understudies, or in the chorus. It would say on the Playbill either, “swing,” “swing/understudy,” or “chorus/swing.” To complicate it even more, the large productions will also usually have a standby, who’s not in the show unless the main actor is out, and waits around in case something goes wrong.

  • Craig

    Isn’t this amazing that you guys are doing this episode the weekend of the Tony’s? I really find it amazing how many times the podcast is released around an event that corresponds with the event.

    The nail place is the same thing in my community. In the last few years, a new development has opened up in my area and in this 2 block radius with about 7 apartment buildings with storefronts, and in this two block radius it seems like 80% of the businesses there are Korean nail salons, or Korean hair salons. The area is basically devoid of any kind of people or life most of the time, despite the fact that it is a full new development.

    Such hate for O’Hurley/Peterman in this podcast. I did not see that coming. As for O’Hurley on DWTS he was part of one of the shows more controversial moments. In the shows first season, he made it to the finals against Kelly Monaco, and he was the favourite to win, but in the end, Monaco won. It is widely thought that O’Hurley should have won, but ABC fixed the results to give the title to Monaco, because Monaco was on General Hospital, an ABC owned property. I feel the need to state that though I know this moment, I actually really hate DWTS.

    I’m for not doing the first episode again. This shows too young to be going into reruns.

    Hey Akiva, the Canadian Football League season begins on June 23, so there’s still time to get in a 9 teams in 9 days podcast before the start of the season!

    • Hornacek

      I agree about the Peterman hate, seemed to come out of nowhere. Also remember the O’Hurley scandal on DWTS; I also hate DWTS but remembering hearing about him not winning and fan-outrage was very vocal with many saying it was fixed. From what I recall, he was a class act and made public statements that he had lost fair and square.

  • Russ W

    “Frankfurter” may be dated, but Jerry’s related joke quoting The Patty Duke Show theme song has to be be the most dated element of the episode. “… a hotdog makes you lose control?”

    • Hornacek

      I think “frankfurter” means the actual wiener, not that entire hot dog. So since she still held the bun in her hand and only the wiener fell on the ground, she was right to say that her frankfurter fell on the ground. If she had said “my hot dog fell” that would have been incorrect. Maybe the show didn’t want (or wasn’t allowed) to say the word “wiener”?

  • Hornacek

    When Jerry and Gennice are watching Beaches, it is being aired on TV. Both George and Kramer later state that they watched Beaches when it aired “the other night”.

    You see more members of the Improv baseball team than just Jerry and George, I don’t know what Akiva is talking about. You see at least 1 behind Jerry when he is talking to Elaine about Frank speaking Korean. When Gennice comes up to them you see a second player behind Jerry, and another player behind Kramer (behind the fence). We see a player close behind Jerry when he is on the pitcher’s mound (I don’t know baseball but I’m guessing this might be the shortstop) and another player further out (second baseman?). When George is running home we see 6 players standing behind the fence. Was Akiva not paying attention?

    Surprised Rob and Akiva didn’t mention the great pantomiming between Jerry and George all the times Gennice is crying.

    When Frank says he had an “affair” with a Korean woman, it doesn’t necessarily mean he cheated on Estelle. Merriam-Webster defines “affair” as “a romantic or passionate attachment typically of limited duration” – no mention of one person cheating on a spouse/partner.

    When George is running to 3rd base, Jerry is the one who yells at him to keep going, which helps with the idea that it was a plot between him and George to injure Midler.

    Rob and Akiva say that it must have been a slow news day for Midler’s injury to be on the news. If a movie star of Midler’s stature was injured during a baseball game, it would definitely be included on the news.

    I liked the callback to The Keys when Kramer jingles his giant keyring after unlocking Jerry’s door.

    I don’t know why Akiva is so down on the “Jerry and George being chased scene” – it’s funny, and it’s very brief. Akiva talked like it was 1/3 of the episode when it’s only about 10 seconds.

    The discussion in this episode about J. Peterman is bizarre. I get that comedy is subjective and that Rob and Akiva may not find him funny here, but they seemed to miss the entire point of why he’s in this episode – to introduce Elaine’s new status quo working for him. And the scene of Elaine and Peterman in the restaurant that Rob and Akiva said had no point – it did have a point, to show that Elaine is good at coming up with the clothes descriptions resulting in Peterman hiring her. This is pretty important for Elaine’s future plots.