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Seinfeld - S09E10


George, Elaine and Jerry attend Tim Whatley's Hanukkah party. Jerry meets an attractive woman with whom he sets up a date. Elaine meets a man in a bad denim vest and gives him her fake number. George is offended by Whatley's gift to him, a donation in his name to a charity. George is also reminded of the Festivus holiday his father created many years ago. Elaine's quest to become a submarine captain and get her free sub sandwich is ruined when she realizes she used her punch card at the party to give her fake number to the denim vested guy. Kramer gets word he can return to his job at the bagel place, it seems he has been on strike for the past 12 years. Elaine goes to the place, an off-track betting parlor, that her fake number reaches. She wanted to give them her real number, so when the denim vest guy calls, she can connect with him. The men at the parlor are interested in connecting with her, so she gives the number for the bagel shop where Kramer is working. Jerry meets his date, Gwen, at a restaurant, but it turns out she is two-faced. Sometimes Gwen looks great, other times she's plain; it all depends on the viewer's angle and the lighting. George decides to use the Whatley approach when giving out Christmas gifts at Krugers; however, he makes up his own charity called the "Human Fund." Kramer is intrigued by the concept of the Festivus holiday and contacts Frank, who becomes excited at the prospect of rekindling "Festivus for the rest-of-us." Kramer asks to get the 23rd of December off, when he can't get it, he resumes the strike; meanwhile Elaine waits at the bagel place for a phone call from the denim vest guy. The look of Jerry's girlfriend keeps changing. Jerry decides that Gwen looks best in the back booth at Monk's, something she grows to dislike. George passes out his gifts at Krugers and reaps great rewards. Kramer warns Elaine about the sabotage he committed; the bagel place becomes very steamy and makes Elaine look ugly. Kruger gives George a check for donates $20,000 to the "Human Fund" and later accounting informs him the charity doesn't exist. Gwen finds out from Kramer that Jerry is seeing another woman, Kramer has seen her and she's not Gwen. Gwen thinks Jerry is two-timing her with an ugly woman. George tries to convince Kruger that he passed out the fake gift cards because he didn't want to be ridiculed for the holiday his family traditionally celebrates, Festivus. To prove it, George brings Kruger to his father's Festivus dinner, where everyone comes together.

Episode Title: The Strike
Airs: 1997-12-18 at
  • Howard Rosenberg

    This is just the kind of amusingly off-center comedy now missing from NBC's lineup, one of those rare, delightful meshings of concept, cast and execution, with producer Tom Cherones providing inspired direction. Nothing is forced. [31 May 1990, p.F9]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    The weakest aspect of Seinfeld is a wacky next-door neighbor played by Michael Richards. Richards is doing little more than an impersonation of Christopher Lloyd's Jim on Taxi, and he ought to cut it out.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    Funny. The characters, even the hip comic star, become likable very quickly. Despite yourself, you'll be laughing before the first commercial. [31 May 1990, p.C11]

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ann Hodges

    It works. It's different. It's fun, offbeat and charming. [31 May 1990, p.5]

    Houston Chronicle Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    One weak link is fellow stand-up comic Michael Richards as Seinfeld's wacky neighbor. He isn't wacky or neighborly enough; it just doesn't work. But he's in the minority where "Seinfeld" is concerned. You may not convulsively guffaw, but you're bound to convincingly smile. Here's one that worked out just right.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ben Kubasik

    Seinfeld's gentle humor is easy to take. Unlike other current comedians, such as Andrew Dice Clay or Sam Kinison, Seinfeld isn't angry: He's more awed by the wonder of it all. [13 May 1990, p.13]

    Newsday Full Review
  • John Engstrom

    The writing - so thankfully different from the hammering rhythm of most sitcoms - comes from Seinfeld and Larry David ("Saturday Night Live"). [31 May 1990, p.C5]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Rick Kogan

    There are some who might be jarred by the format, seamless as it is. And still others might be compelled to argue that with this format one gets neither a sitcom nor a comedy show, but insufficient portions of each...But there is an intriguing honesty to this method, and, in its fashion, it shows how life's tiny travail can work its way into comedy club laughs. [31 May 1990, p.C4]

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Lacking much in the way of attitude, the show seems obsolete and irrelevant. What it boils down to is that Seinfeld, likable as he may be, is a mayonnaise clown in a world that requires a little horseradish. [31 May 1990, p.3D]

    USA Today Full Review