Episode 21: The Muffin Tops

Episode #155; 8:21

Our Summary

A guy asks George to watch his suitcase, doesn't come back, so George wears the clothing, and b/c of it, is mistaken for a tourist. This eventually leads to him getting traded "for a bunch of Tyler chicken." Kramer starts the "Peterman Reality Bus Tour", which is all about Kramer's life, as the book is all about his life. Elaine ends up joining with Lippman selling muffin tops, but can't get rid of the stumps. Finally, Jerry accidentally shaved his chest.

Our Commentary

I always knew this was a funny episode, but I didn't think that it would be a Top 10 episode. But it is! I was cracking up like crazy throughout the ep. However, before I start this commentary, I must give the kudos of the century to a Mr. Adam Somer for his brilliance during the viewing of this episode. We have seen this episode around a million times. We know all the hidden guys/jokes, such as our favorite jack of all trades having his biggest acting job in Seinfeld, otherwise known as Norman Brenner, Shlomo AKA Foreign Guy, and Chaim back in his alter ego of a Jiffy employee, this time as Jiffy Dump Guy instead of last time working at the Jiffy Park. What Adam realized during this 3rd Siyum is that we don't hear what Chaim says to Kramer but Kramer yells back at him that maybe he will take it up with Consumer Affairs. This is a link back to his first appearance when he tells George to take it up with Consumer Affairs. Stimply brilliant and hilarious. Kudos to Adam on his gem of the year. And now to the ep.

We start the ep off with the simple premise of a guy leaving his clothes with George, who ends up wearing them. He tells us about his new job of taking over Wilhelm's job, and by saying that for George's job "They got a new intern from Francis Louis High. His name is Keith. He comes in Mondays after school." Cut to Jerry's place, with Kramer asking Elaine if he should get Jerry while he's in the shower, then Elaine says: "Kramer, ahem, remember that whole deal with you selling Peterman your stories for his book and then he gave them back to you?", Kramer answers hilariously "Vaguely." Then, continuing with his no qualms about getting Jerry in the shower, he actually gets Jerry in the shower. Cut to Waldenbooks with Lippman now working for Pundant Publishing, and Kramer telling Peterman to calm down about him signing some books, as the oft quoted line of Kramer's retort goes: "Relax man. There's enough juice here to keep us all fat and giggley." George tells his new gal that he's from Little Rock, AK, then cut to Jerry's place for a hilarious scene, starting off with a classic Kramer line of "What's the matter with you?":

JERRY: (uncomfortably) Nothing.
KRAMER: No, no, no. Don't give me that. I know you. Something's wrong. What is it.
JERRY: I did something stupid.
KRAMER: What did you do?
JERRY: Well I was shaving. And I noticed an asymmetry in my chest hair and I was trying to even it out. Next thing I knew, (high pitched voice) Gone.
KRAMER: Don't you know you're not supposed to poke around down there.
JERRY: Well women do it.
KRAMER: (high pitched voice) "Well women do it." [I fall on the floor] I'll tell you what. I'll pick you up a sundress and a parasol and you can just (high pitched voice) sashey your pretty little self around the town square. [Laughing uncontrollable]
JERRY: Well what am I going to tell Alex?
KRAMER: Listen to me. You don't tell anybody about this. No one. You hear me?
JERRY: Um hum.
George enters
KRAMER: Hey, Jerry shaved his chest.
KRAMER: I forgot. Wait. Never mind.

Skip ahead a few scenes and we get a George as Avi with "Well I donít know anyone here Jerry, where am I gonna stay?", a funny line by Jerry: "So. I figure since she likes one hairless animal why not another.", and then Kramer starting the Peterman Reality Bus Tour, Elaine and Lippman getting at it at his store that he stole the idea for just selling the tops, and then cut to George and his gal at Monk's with a couple of funny lines:

MARY ANNE: So I notice you don't have much of an accent.
GEORGE: Yeah my parents have it. Sometimes it skips a generation.
MARY ANNE: Look george, I'm really enjoying spending time with you but I'm not sure this is going to work out. At some point you're going back to your job at Tyler Chicken and your three-legged dog Willie.
GEORGE: Willie. Yeah.

Cut to Jerry's place with Kramer explaining the tour to Jerry and George:

KRAMER: Peterman's book is big business. People want to know the stories behind the stories.
JERRY: Nobody wants to go on a three hour bus tour of a totally unknown person's life.
KRAMER: I'm only charging $37.50, plus you get a pizza bagel and desert.
GEORGE: What's desert?
KRAMER: Bite-size Three Musketeers. [Hilarious] Just like the real Peterman eats.
GEORGE: He eats those?
KRAMER: No. I eat those. I'm the real Peterman.
[Now, this is totally easy to understand, but George needs to make it difficult]
GEORGE: I think I understand this. J. Peterman is real. His biography is not. Now, you Kramer are real.
KRAMER: Talk to me. [Nice]
GEORGE: But your life is Peterman's. Now the bus tour, which is real, takes you to places that, while they are real, they are not real in the sense that they did not *really* happen to the *real* Peterman which is you. [Which is wrong, as the tour takes people to places involving Kramer]
KRAMER: Understand?
JERRY: Yeah. $37.50 for a Three Musketeers. [Nice]

Elaine and The Lipp at Monk's with a nice link back to their reverse arguing about exclamation marks/points in 5:4 The Sniffing Accountant. Cut to Jerry's place, where Kramer walks in on Jerry shaving his chest in one of the funniest Seinfeld moments, which words won't do it any justice, but must be seen or heard:

KRAMER: You can't keep this up. Don't you know what's going to happen? Everytime you shave it, it's going to come in thicker and fuller and darker.
JERRY: Oh that's an old wives tale.
KRAMER: Is it? Look at this.
Kramer walks off-screen and opens his shirt. On-screen, Jerry reels from the sight.
KRAMER: (high pitched voice) Look at it! Look at it! And it's all me. I shaved there when I was a lifeguard.
JERRY: Oh come on. That's genetics. That's not going to happen to me.
KRAMER: Won't it? Or is it already starting to happen?

Although it was hilarious, it was an error, as explained in the stats below. Also, on a total side note, having nothing to do with Seinfeld, I always wondered about the expression "an old wives tale". Is it a tale told by old wives, or is it an old tale told by any aged wives, or is it an old tale by old wives. Anyway, back to the ep. Cut to the muffin shop, where Rebecca DeMornay played by Sonya Eddy makes her first of two appearances, the second being in 9:17 The Bookstore, with her nuttiness and oftquoted line of "The homeless don't like them." changed in our house and surrounding neighborhoods in which we traverse, "The homeless DON'T want 'em!"

Cut to our first glimpse of the tour, which is hilarious and includes the big fella and links to back forward and all over the place:

KRAMER: Comming up on the right, if you glance up you can just make out my bedroom window. It's the one that's covered in chicken wire. [This could be a link back to 8:11 The Little Jerry, and it is definitely a link forward to 9:2 The Voice]
WOMAN: Hey if you're the real Peterman, who come you're wearing those ratty clothes? The're not very romantic.
KRAMER: (over the speaker) Well that's your opinion.
MAN 1: Can I have another Three Musketeers? They're rather small. [Big Fella]
KRAMER: Forget it. Okay Newman's postal route is around here somewhere.
MAN 2: Who's Newman?
MAN 3: Who cares.
MAN 4: Hey fake Peterman, let me off. I'm nautious.
MAN 1: Can I have his candy bar? [Big Fella comes back for more]
KRAMER: Ahh. Everyone just settle down. We have three hours left on this thing, and I can't drive and argue with you rubes all at the same time. [HILARIOUS!]
KRAMER: Okay. Lomez's place of worship is right on the right here. [Link to Lomez being an Orthodox Jew]

Cut to Jerry's place with an hilarious line of "Jerry you're a minor celebrity. If you go on this thing, it could create a minor stir. Bring that girlfriend of your and I'll only charge to 60 bucks." Cut to George's office for a hilarious scene with another big fella, Steinbrenner:

MARY ANNE: Wow this is your office.
MR. STEINBRENNER: Whoa. Hello. Sorry George, didn't know you got a girl in here. Give me a signal on the doornob like a necktie or a sock or something. Come on George, help me out. [Hilarious]
MARY ANNE: Mr. Steinbrenner, I would like to thank you for taking a chance on a hen supervisor at Tyler Chicken like our boy George here.
MR. STEINBRENNER: Hen supervisor from Tyler Chicken?
GEORGE: Yes. Very nice to have had her to mention... (starting to leave)
MR. STEINBRENNER: Wait a minute George.
GEORGE: Be right with you. Look Mr. Steinbrenner.
MR. STEINBRENNER: Moonlighting for Tyler Chicken. [Laughing] Pretty impressive George. Days with the New York Yankees and nights in Arkensas with a top flight bird outlet. [Have fallen on the floor] And a hen supervisor to boot. [Convulsions] I am blown. Bloooown away. Blown George. (vibration in the "o"'s) Bloooooooooooooooooooown. [Foaming at the mouth]

Cut to the tour, where Kramer has given pizza bagels out on a donut and a raisin bagel, which while writing this commentary a month or 2 after watching the episode, and having just seen 9:10 The Strike, realizing that this is an error, b/c how could he have not known what a raisin bagel is in H&H, if he used one here to make the pizza bagel, and as such, will now add that to the errors of this episode and that episode, when I get up to it. Anyway, we then get Kramer's love of audio tapes with the guy who instructs you, like in 9:6 The Merv Griffin Show, and then a nice funny scene:

JERRY: Can we just go?
KRAMER: And go we will.
MAN: What is this? A piece of pound cake?
KRAMER: We have a bonus reality stop today. We will be hauling muffin stumps to the local repository.
MAN 2: We're going to a garbage dump?
KRAMER: And we're off.

Then a great hilarious scene, with Steinbrenner and John Tyler, who, b/c he heads a chicken outfit, acts like a chicken, bobbing his head back and forth, and I'll just include their hilarious convo, arguing over George, when Tyler doesn't even know who he is, and Steinbrenner's "Johnnyboy", and a favorite of JJ's, "al-co-ho-lic chicken", hilarious:

Mr. Steinbrenner is sitting at his desk on the phone with the manager at Tyler chicken who is also sitting at his desk.
MR. STEINBRENNER: (the back of his head to the camera) John Tyler? George Steinbreener here. I want to talk about George Costanza. I understand he's been dividing his time between us and you. I cannot have that.
JOHN TYLER: (the back of his head also to the camera) Well I don't know who he is but if you want him that bad I'm not giving him up that easily.
MR. STEINBRENNER: Oh is that so. Playing a little hardball huh Jonnyboy?
JOHN TYLER: How about this. You give me Castanza, I convert your concessions to all chicken no charge. Instead of hot dogs, chicken dogs. Instead of pretzels, chicken twists. Instead of beer, alcoholic chicken.
MR. STEINBRENNER: How do you make that alcoholic chicken?
JOHN TYLER: Let if ferment, just like everything else.
MR. STEINBRENNER: That stuff sounds great. All right. I'll have Costanza on the next bus.

Then we cut to Chaim J, reliving his Emmy Award winning role of a Jiffy employee, this time of the Jiffy Dump and not of Jiffy Park, including classic Season 8 nuttiness, as well as another oft-quoted line at the very end of the scene:

Kramer at a garbage dump carrying a garbage bag.
MAN: Hey hey hey hey hey. Where do you think you're going?
KRAMER: I was going to dump this.
MAN: It doesn't look like garbage.
KRAMER: Well it's muffin stumps.
MAN: Where are the muffin tops? [Could this be more of the epitome of Season 8 nuttiness, and hilarious while I'm at it]
KRAMER: This is a garbage dump. Just let me dump it.
MAN: Can't do it.
KRAMER: Is this a joke?
MAN: That's what I'd like to know about it. [Oft quoted to say the least, no need to add "about it", but Season 8 nuttiness, coupled with the need to be funny and Chaim J's character, you gotta add "about it"]

Then we have Adam's brilliant chidush this time around with figuring out when Kramer says, while getting back on the bus, "Well maybe I will take it up with Consumer Affairs.", back to Chaim J's first instance at Jiffy Park, back in 7:19 The Wig Master, where he said the same thing. Brilliant. (Even though JJ claims to have known about it before) We then get some great banjo music, sounding like something out of Splash Mountain. Hilarious with no garbage dump wanting to take the muffin stumps, someone vomiting on the bus, then "Kramer is driving. He is sleepy. His head nods down onto the horn. The horn blows. Startled, Kramer sits back up." Then cut to George telling about his being traded, the man who's clothes he was supposed to watch, gets the clothes, leaving George supposedly naked, which we see is true soon after, and then cut back to the bus, where Kramer has a good feeling about the next dump, but Jerry needs to scratch his chest b/c it's itching like crazy, with hilarious lines and great spoof of Wolf, which I've actually never seen, but how can you not know it:

Kramer gets off the bus, carrying a garbage bag.
Eerie music is playing. Jerry looks out the bus window at a full moon. A dog starts barking.
JERRY: I can't sit on this bus anymore. I think I'll go play with that dog. [Hilarious]
KRAMER: I don't know where the tops are.
Jerry runs past Kramer and another person. Eerie music still playing.
KRAMER: Jerry what's the matter?
In slow motion Jerry runs into the woods. At normal speed he runs behind a tree. Camera shot down on him as he starts scratching his chest.
JERRY: (for the first half of the howl, a dog howls along with him.) Awoooooo-oooooooo, that feels good.

Cut to George being found by Mary Anne, with the city eating him alive, losing his job and standing in the men's room on 43rd Street, naked. Then cut to the muffin shop, where Newman enters spoofing two movies at the same time, The Professional and Pulp Fiction, while eating all of the muffin stumps with an 8 oz. glass of milk to close out this hilarious, well deserved to be among, Top 10 episode. Adam - Some hilarious hijinks in here. Got Jerry shaving his chest and saying "Well women do it", and Kramer with his "I'll tell you what. I'll pick you up a sundress and a parasol and you can just (high pitched voice) sashey your pretty little self around the town square." You've got Kramer's reality tour which is just too funny and who can't forget Shlomo the truckdriver, who was unbeknownst to us as of yet, only as pizza poundcake man, and so many, so many more. That is all. Beautiful Top 10 episode.

EPISODE GUIDE from Jerry Seinfeld: The Entire Domain by Kathleen Tracy

155."The Muffin Tops" (May 8, 1997)

SUMMARY George watches a bag for a tourist who never comes back, so he starts wearing some of the clothes. Elaine tells Kramer that the stories he sold to Peterman were put into the book. Kramer goes to the book signing, claiming he is the real Peterman. Elaine goes into business selling just the tops of muffins. George pretends he is a tourist to get a girl. Jerry takes shaving a bit too far and ends up shaving his entire chest.

OF SPECIAL NOTE This episode incorporates one of Seinfeld's personal quirks of eating just the muffin tops and leaving the bottoms.

"Tyler Chicken" was supposed to be "Tyson Chicken" at one point but was changed to avoid any legal entanglements.

DIRECTOR Andy Ackerman

TELEPLAY Spike Feresten

GUEST CAST Rena Sofer (Mary Anne); Melinda Clarke (Alex); Chaim Jeraffi (Jiffy Dump Guy); Sonya Eddy (Rebecca); Barry Kramer (Bag Guy); Elayn Taylor (Book Fan); Paige Moss (Girl); Viola Kates Simpson (Old Woman); Jack Riley (Rider); Bunny Summers (Rider); Earl Carroll (Rider); Norman Brenner (Rider); Reuven Bar (Foreign Guy); Vince Donvito (Passerby); Chris Burmester (Passerby); Deck McKenzie (Man); Victoria Fischer (Bartender); Keith Sellon-Wright (Guy)

RECURRING CAST Richard Fancy (Lippman); Wayne Knight (Newman); John O'Hurley (J. Peterman)


2nd Siyum

Kramer shows Jerry his chest hair, and it scares Jerry because it was so dark and thick, yet in many episodes Kramer has his shirt off and itís normal, and Jerry doesnít freak out from it

Mary Anne - George

Norman Brenner
Peterman Reality Tour Rider

George as Avi
Well I donít know anyone here Jerry, where am I gonna stay?

Movie Spoofs
WOLF - (Jerry at the end of the episode)
THE PROFESSIONAL - (Newman at the end of the episode)
PULP FICTION - (Newman at the end of the episode)

3rd Siyum

Kramer uses a raisin bagel to make the pizza bagel in this episode, but in 9:10 The Strike, he doesn't know what a raisin bagel is when he comes back to H&H

Full Script