IMDb > "Seinfeld" The Contest (1992)
"Seinfeld: The Contest (#4.11)"
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"Seinfeld" The Contest (1992)

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Larry David (created by) &
Jerry Seinfeld (created by) ...
View company contact information for The Contest on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
18 November 1992 (Season 4, Episode 11)
After George's mother catches him alone in a somewhat embarrassing situation, Jerry, George, Elaine... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
"I'm out!" See more (5 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Tom Cherones 
Writing credits
Larry David (created by) &
Jerry Seinfeld (created by)

Larry David (written by)

Peter Mehlman (story editor)

Produced by
Larry Charles .... supervising producer
Tom Cherones .... supervising producer
Larry David .... executive producer
Tim Kaiser .... coordinating producer
Suzy Mamann-Greenberg .... associate producer (as Suzy Mamann Greenberg)
Andrew Scheinman .... executive producer
Jerry Seinfeld .... producer
George Shapiro .... executive producer
Nancy Sprow .... associate producer
Joan Van Horn .... line producer
Howard West .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jonathan Wolff 
Cinematography by
Wayne Kennan (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Janet Ashikaga 
Casting by
Marc Hirschfeld 
Brian Myers 
Production Design by
Thomas Azzari  (as Tho. E. Azzari)
Set Decoration by
Bruce Kay 
Makeup Department
Shirley Beck .... hair stylist (as Shirlee Beck)
Robin LaVigne .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jeffrey Stott .... executive in charge of production
Joan Van Horn .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jason Saville .... second assistant director
Joan Van Horn .... first assistant director
Art Department
Stan Ascough .... property master
Suzanne Feller-Otto .... set designer
Dennis Riewerts .... draper (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charlie McDaniel .... post-production sound mixer
Craig Porter .... post-production sound mixer
Pete San Filipo Sr. .... sound mixer (as Peter San Filipo)
Dennis Kirkpatrick .... boom operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Marcos .... gaffer
Ed Nielsen .... camera operator (as Edward Nielsen)
John Oteri .... camera operator
Pete G. Papanickolas .... key grip (as Pete Papanickolas)
Herb Roberts .... camera operator
Charles R. Young .... camera operator (as Charlie Young)
George La Fountaine Jr. .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charmaine Nash Simmons .... costume supervisor (as Charmaine Simmons)
Editorial Department
David J. Downing .... on-line editor
Morgan Sackett .... post-production coordinator
Tom Sartori .... colorist
Music Department
Jonathan Wolff .... composer: theme music
Transportation Department
Frank Khoury .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Carol Brown .... assistant: producers
Jon Hayman .... program consultant
Janet Kagan .... script supervisor
Eugene Lew .... assistant auditor
Bill Masters .... program consultant
Bob Shaw .... program consultant
Steve Skrovan .... program consultant
Brady Thomas .... production assistant
D. Owen Trainor .... technical coordinator (as David Trainor)
Karen Wilkie .... assistant: writers
Jeffrey Yerkes .... assistant: writers
Larry Charles .... executive story editor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

23 min
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating)

Did You Know?

Is ranked no 1 episode by "TV Guide's Top 100 T.V. Episodes" of all timeSee more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Jerry and Marla are making out on the couch someone walks past the bathroom window.See more »
[after Elaine is out]
Jerry Seinfeld:All right, Costanza. It's you and me.
George Costanza:And then there were two.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) (TV)See more »
Seinfeld Theme SongSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
33 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
"I'm out!", 26 September 2010
Author: Max_cinefilo89 from Italy

Whenever there's a poll for the greatest Seinfeld episode, The Contest - which happens to be the show's fiftieth, not counting the original pilot - usually comes on top, and for good reason: it perfectly embodies the creative boldness the series is known for, and uses all four of the main characters - plus a couple of guest stars - in the best possible way. Even now, years after Seinfeld went off the air, its brilliance is unmatched.

Premise: having been caught masturbating (!) by his mother (Estelle Harris), George vows never to do it again. When Jerry suggests he could last longer, all four decide to make a bet to see who can refrain from their impulses the longest. Naturally, problems arise almost immediately: Kramer is tempted when he sees a naked woman in the building across the street, George fantasizes about the nurses in the hospital where he goes to visit his mom, Elaine has a run-in with John Kennedy Jr. and Jerry is nervous because Marla still hasn't agreed to sleep with him. The contest can begin...

Based on a real incident involving, among others, Larry David (who won a deserved Emmy for the script), the concept is still incredibly brave from a conceptual standpoint, at least for network television: even more than a decade later, few producers would green-light an episode that's entirely focused on masturbation. That they did is purely down to the ingenious writing: by replacing the "dirty" word with the now classic euphemism "master of his domain", David draws huge laughs from a subject few mainstream comedians had contemplated joking about, and the self-censorship is part of the episode's appeal: if the word had been used even once, it wouldn't be as funny.

Alongside the snappy dialogue, the other source of comedy gold is the cast. As expected, Richards (who won his second Emmy thanks to this episode) and Alexander make the most of it, with the former delivering the single funniest line of the entire season and the latter enjoying his first on-screen pairing with Harris, a TV mom to be reckoned with. As for the other leads, Dreyfus brings a welcome feminine view on the matter, while Seinfeld himself has to carry an excruciating payoff scene with Jane Leeves that plays out like a cringe-worthy Curb Your Enthusiasm with an added studio audience.

Proving once again, and perhaps in the strongest fashion, that no subject is taboo in American sitcoms, The Contest is the definitive Seinfeld episode, and a milestone in US television. How many other shows can boast an Oustanding Comedy Series Emmy on the grounds of a script about masturbation?

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