Seinfeld: Season 1, Episode 2

The Stakeout (31 May 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.8
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Jerry and George stake out the lobby of an office building to find a woman Jerry met at a party but whose name and phone number he didn't get.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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...
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Lynn Clark ...
Philip Bruns ...
Dad (as Phil Bruns)
...
Mom
Maud Winchester ...
Pamela
William Fair ...
Roger
Ron Steelman ...
Artie
Joe George ...
Uncle Mac
...
...
Woman
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Storyline

Elaine drags Jerry to a birthday dinner for one of her friends where he meets an attractive woman. He promptly forgets her name and refuses to ask Elaine who she is but remembers where she works. Jerry's parents are in town to go to a family wedding and his Dad suggests he stake-out the lobby around lunchtime. George tags along but they can't quite seem to get their stories straight. Elaine hears about it making them both uncomfortable. Written by garykmcd

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Comedy

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31 May 1990 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

WHERE'S NORMAN COUNTER: #1-Tall man entering the elevator. The actor Norman Brenner for 9yrs worked as Michael Richards' stand-in. So, besides the main cast, Brenner has probably appeared in more shows than anyone else. See more »

Goofs

In the video store scene, the sticker on the top of the adult VHS tape Elaine is holding appears and disappears throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

Jerry: [of George's fanny pack] Looks like your belt is digesting a small animal.
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Connections

References The Seinfeld Chronicles - Pilot (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Art Core... velay"
6 November 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The Stakeout can be considered the proper start of Seinfeld, as the pilot had no Elaine and the other characters, bar Jerry, weren't that well defined, and boy, does it deliver: while most shows, especially sitcoms, improve in later seasons (even cult phenomenon Happy Days had a few sub-par moments in its first year), the series "about nothing" started superbly and never lost its edge over the course of 175 episodes.

This is the episode where Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) makes her first appearance, and in true Seinfeld fashion her debut doesn't go unnoticed: she and Jerry have a nice chat in a video store, discussing whether they should go to a dinner and telling a "dirty" joke that was pretty bold for 1991 (the stand-up comedian imagines a porn star's father referring to his son as a "public fornicator"). Subsequently, Jerry goes home to find his parents using his couch as a bed (priceless) and then attends the aforementioned dinner, where he meets a woman he is quite attracted to ("Do you date immature men?" "Almost exclusively"). Regrettably, he doesn't remember her name (Vanessa), nor did he ask for her phone number. All he remembers is the name of the law firm where she works (Sagman, Bennet, Robbins, Oppenheim and Taft - try forgetting THAT!), meaning he and George have to wait for her outside the building pretending they popped up by chance.

Taking everything that made The Seinfeld Chronicles excellent and fine-tuning it, Larry David and the protagonist define the formula that would make the series immortal: brilliant dialogue about rubbish topics (women using cheques), Jerry's monologues between one scene and the next, and one key moment for each cast member. In the case of this episode, the highlights are the bits featuring Kramer and George: the former shows up to play scrabble with Helen and Morty Seinfeld and invents the word "quone" (as in "to quone something"), while the latter, having to make up an excuse for him and Jerry being outside Vanessa's office, spawns one of the show's best recurring gags ("Art Vandelay. I'm an architect").

In short, The Stakeout is a quintessential Seinfeld episode: clever, well-written and, most of all, endlessly funny. A classic.


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