Seinfeld: Season 1, Episode 4

Male Unbonding (14 Jun. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.6
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Jerry tries various excuses to avoid meeting with an old friend with whom he no longer shares any interests.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Joel
Anita Wise ...
Waitress
Frank Piazza ...
Customer
Kimberley LaMarque ...
Teller
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Storyline

Jerry desperately wants Joel Hornek, a childhood friend who keeps calling him and wanting to hang out together, to leave him alone. George suggests Jerry tell him the truth and break up with him much as he would with a girl. Joel doesn't take the news very well and Jerry backs off, even giving him George's ticket to an upcoming Knicks game. George meanwhile thinks he's blown it with a new girl after he lets he know he likes her. Kramer comes up with a new business idea - a make-your-own pizza place. Written by garykmcd

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Comedy

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14 June 1990 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kramer's phone number is 555-8643. See more »

Goofs

Jerry mentions in one scene how he would have been friends with Stalin if he had had a pool table. However, Josef Stalin died in 1953, while Jerry Seinfeld was not born until 1954. See more »

Quotes

George Costanza: [talking to the bank teller] You want me to roll 6000 of these? You want me to quit my job?
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Connections

Featured in Seinfeld: Highlights of a Hundred (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The one with no "The" at the beginning...
11 November 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Male Unbonding is the only Seinfeld episode that doesn't have a "the" in the title, but it is hilarious nonetheless, featuring some of the most brilliantly awkward moments in the history of American situation comedy.

As suggested by the title, this is a man-centric story, from the beginning, where Jerry delivers a monologue about men's obsession with tools. This is supposed to introduce the episode's "theme": male partnership. Problem is, Jerry sees it as a burden: an old friend of his, Joel Horneck (Kevin Dunn), keeps asking him to do stuff, even though our favorite comedian would rather engage in silly conversations with George and Elaine (with occasional input from Kramer). Unable to bluntly tell Joel to get lost ("As a guy, I don't know how to break up with another guy!"), Jerry has to come up with a list of excuses, which actually only makes things worse.

Being an early episode, Male Unbonding still suffers from some minor character development issues: while the protagonist, Elaine and especially Kramer (who plans to open a pizza place where you can make your own pie - excellent!) are already fully rounded, George is still somewhere between the confident sidekick seen in the pilot and the whining, insecure loser who went as far as being called "the greatest sitcom character ever" by Ricky Gervais (director/writer/star of the UK version of The Office, in case you didn't know). Fortunately, this flaw (which is probably the reason this show is listed as Episode 2 on the DVD, as the remaining Season 1 stories got the character right) is compensated by the presence of Dunn, who plays Joel as George's wimpy brother, all anxious and unable to do anything by himself: the "break-up" conversation between him and Jerry, which has a not-so-subtle homo-erotic connotation (still a bit risky in 1990), is embarrassing, ridiculous and very funny, spawning dozens of imitations (a couple of Friends episodes most notably) and making the character's disappearance after this episode a bit of a let-down. Maybe, though, his one-off guest spot was for the best: I'm not sure the show would have been as good with two George Costanzas in it.


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