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Seinfeld - S08E14


Jerry's girlfriend, Ellen, seems perfect in every way, but everyone else seems to have a problem with her. George interviews candidates for the Foundation's first scholarship. The candidates seem over-qualified, until one comes in who is a lot like he was. Elaine is going to ghost write Peterman's biography. Kramer goes to Lorenzo's pizza, where he has an encounter with the Van Buren boys. He accidentally flashes their gang sign and saves himself. Peterman wants his day to day life covered in his bio; the exotic adventures are for the catalog. His day-to-day life is very boring. She tells him about Kramer's encounter with the gang and he suggests buying the story for his biography. George's scholar makes a change in his plans that causes George to disqualify him from the scholarship. Kramer sells Peterman all of his stories for $750 dollars. Elaine is put at his disposal. To Elaine, Kramer's stories aren't much more interesting. George and Kramer perform an intervention on Jerry's relationship with Ellen. George's scholar joins the Van Buren boys, who apply pressure on George to get the scholarship back. Elaine tells Kramer that he can no longer tell his stories, since they now belong to Peterman. Elaine tries to embellish Kramer's stories, but Peterman finds the rewrites ""too clichéd and obvious."" She tells him the real Kramer story that he finds much more interesting. He tells Kramer he can have his stories back. George tries to save himself from the Van Buren boys. Jerry flies his parents in to get their impression of Ellen. He begins to see the light.

Episode Title: The Van Buren Boys
Airs: 1997-02-06 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