Seinfeld: Season 3, Episode 3

The Pen (2 Oct. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Jerry and Elaine travel to Florida for a dinner in honor of his father. Jerry gets into an argument with a neighbor of his parents over an "astronaut pen."



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Airs Thu. Oct. 02, 4:30 PM on TBS

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Title: The Pen (02 Oct 1991)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Kramer (credit only)
George Costanza (credit only)
Sandy Baron ...
Jack Klompus
Evelyn (as Ann Guilbert)
Magda Harout ...
Roger Nolan ...
The Chiropractor
The Photographer


Jerry and Elaine visit his parents in Florida and to attend a dinner in honor of his father. They meet the neighbors, Jack and Doris, and after Jerry admires Jack's astronaut pen, he offers it to him, which Jerry gladly accepts. He didn't really want to give it to him which leads to non-stop gossip. It all leads to an interesting dinner. Elaine meanwhile has an uncomfortable night on the pull-out bed - the lack of air conditioning doesn't help - hurting her back. Desperate to go back to New York, she is told by a chiropractor she has to stay for another 5 days. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

2 October 1991 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The pen shown in this episode is the bullet pen, made by Fisher. Although it does write upside down and in extreme temperatures, the bullet was not the pen used by NASA and taken into space. It was Fisher's AG7, a retractable pen and the first one invented by Fisher in 1966, that NASA used on all manned space flights. See more »


Helen Seinfeld: You're going underwater?
Jerry Seinfeld: Yes. Generally that's where scuba diving is done.
Helen Seinfeld: What do you have to go underwater for? What's down there that's so special?
Jerry Seinfeld: What's so special up here?
See more »


Spoofs A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Pure, irresistible nonsense
10 April 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

That Seinfeld's strength came mainly from its observational humor, which covered every possible topic, no matter how trivial, became a real benchmark from Season Three onwards. The Pen, in particular, shows exactly how insane the program's wit could become.

Unusually, the episode doesn't take place in New York. Instead, it's all the way down to Florida, where Jerry's parents live. Since there will be a dinner in honor of the old man, Jerry decides to pay a visit, and takes Elaine with him. Once there, he engages in a casual conversation with a neighbor regarding an "astronaut pen", which he is later given as a gift. The weekend rapidly deteriorates starting with the next morning, when the neighbor in question begins to insist the pen be returned.

A pen. That's right, a pen. With the notable exception of Tarantino, no one would be able to center a whole movie around that subject without hitting a narrative dead end. Fortunately this is TV comedy, where only 22 minutes are required, and Larry David, who wrote this story, is a genius in making the most boring item the core of a perfect gag mechanism, which is why the scenes where Jerry and everyone else argue about the pen are as hilarious as Elaine and Morty Seinfeld experiencing the side effects of a rather uncomfortable couch.

Sure, some viewers might be turned off by the complete absence of Kramer (who was missing in The Chinese Restaurant too) and George (a fact that irritated Jason Alexander so much he threatened to quit unless he was included in every other show, even in a one-scene gig), but come on, really, who needs them when we've got Elaine spoofing Marlon Brando's epic "Stellaaaaaa!" in a way not even The Simpsons would have gotten away with? It's absolute nonsense, from start to finish, but that's why it's so darn funny.

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