Seinfeld (1989–1998)
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The Understudy 

Jerry dates the ultra-sensitive understudy for Bette Midler in Rochelle, Rochelle: The Musical. When the Improv is scheduled to play Rochelle Rochelle in a softball game, George plows into ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Costanza
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Ruby (as June Kyoko Lu)
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Kim
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Adelaide Miller ...
Gennice
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Lotus (as Bok Yun Chon)
Vonnie C. Rhee ...
Sunny
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Player #1
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Player #2 (as Michael James McDonald)
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Stagehand
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Storyline

Jerry dates the ultra-sensitive understudy for Bette Midler in Rochelle, Rochelle: The Musical. When the Improv is scheduled to play Rochelle Rochelle in a softball game, George plows into catcher Bette Midler to score the winning run. Bette is injured because of the incident and is unable to perform in the Broadway premiere. Jerry, George, and the understudy are vilified for the incident, and Kramer goes out of his way to help Bette. Meanwhile, Elaine suspects that a local nail shop is making fun of her in Korean. She learns that George's dad Frank speaks Korean and brings him along to spy on them. Frank recalls his time in the Korean war and how he had an affair with a young Korean woman. Elaine gets kicked out of the nail shop and wanders around aimlessly, and has a chance encounter with catalog magnate J. Peterman, who hires Elaine to work for the catalog. Written by halo1k

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Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

18 May 1995 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elaine's adventure is based on an experience of writer Carol Leifer. Carol brought a spy with her to a nail salon in real life. See more »

Goofs

When George runs over Bette Midler while scoring the winning run, you can see someone catching Bette's stunt double as she flies backwards. In the next cut, she is lying unconscious against the fence giving the impression that she hit the fence after the blow. There is no sign of the person who caught her in the previous cut. See more »

Quotes

George Costanza: [Bette Middler is up to bat and George is playing catcher] I caught that Beaches on cable last night. 'Wind beneath my wings'? Give me a break.
Bette Midler: Hey, get some talent, then you can mouth off.
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Connections

Features Beaches (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Wind beneath My Wings
(uncredited)
Written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar
Performed by Bette Midler
Sung by Michael Richards
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User Reviews

 
"You know what? I didn't like the show. I didn't like you. It just really stunk. The whole thing real bad. Stinkaroo. Thanks for the tickets though."
18 October 2011 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

Season 6, Episode 23, "The Understudy"

It's possible that the terrific finales to seasons 3, 4 and 5 set the bar a little too high. After all, season 6 wasn't as strong as the previous ones, but it still had some terrific episode. "The Understudy", though, is a weak season finale by any standard. Guests stars playing themselves were used before with intelligence and creativity (Keith Hernandez) but this episode feels more like a Bette Midler vehicle than anything else.

Like any Seinfeld episode, this one has its highlights; mostly they're the scenes featuring Jerry Stiller. Everything else is pretty mediocre, and serve as a poor conclusion to the season, a conclusion that might have been better off giving some closure to the Tim Whatley or David Puddy characters. The only consequential thing it does is introducing the J. Peterman character, but at this point it feels like a one time gag. We just had to wait and see if season 7 had something more up its sleeve.


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