Seinfeld (1989–1998)
8.4/10
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The Pen 

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."

Director:

Tom Cherones

Writers:

Larry David (created by), Jerry Seinfeld (created by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Jerry Seinfeld ... Jerry Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Elaine Benes
Michael Richards ... Kramer (credit only)
Jason Alexander ... George Costanza (credit only)
Barney Martin ... Morty
Liz Sheridan ... Helen
Sandy Baron ... Jack Klompus
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Evelyn (as Ann Guilbert)
Len Lesser ... Leo
Annie Korzen ... Doris
Magda Harout Magda Harout ... Stella
Roger Nolan Roger Nolan ... The Chiropractor
Tucker Smallwood ... The Photographer
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first time there was any explanation about why Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) didn't stay together after Seinfeld: The Deal (1991), which was supposed to be the season 2 finale. They had become romantic partners again, but in the first few episodes of season 3, they clearly were just friends again, but there was no resolution. See more »

Goofs

Jack Klompus (Sandy Baron) first says that the bill for his and his wife's dinner was $19.44, but later changes it to $19.45. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Spoofs A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Seinfeld Theme Song
Written by Jonathan Wolff
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The show's only episode without both Kramer and George is still an early classic, courtesy of Larry David's fantastic script
12 February 2018 | by SLionsCricketreviewsSee all my reviews

I think this is a very good episode and just like with the two previous episodes of this season, "The Pen" worked surprisingly better for me a second time around. That said, this might be my least favourite of the three episodes so far purely for the fact that it is missing another additional zany element to this episode that would have made it even more dynamic. 'Seinfeld' has already experienced itself without Kramer in the acclaimed "The Chinese Restaurant" and while George somewhat tempered what otherwise could have been a particularly detrimental element to that episode, he too is unfortunately missing in this episode. "The Pen" features neither Kramer, nor George, arguably the two most memorable and dynamic characters whose sheer presence pretty much elevates any episode.

Thankfully, we have the Florida characters coming in to cover some necessary ground. Jerry's parents are absolutely a delight, Jack Klompus who is introduced here and Uncle Leo too makes a return. Each of these characters adds a particularly valuable dynamic to the episode that makes it an often hilarious ride but George and Kramer are such unique and irreplaceable entities to 'Seinfeld' that no compensation feels like enough compensation. It's just a pity given how good Larry David's screenplay here is that the Kramer and/or George element could not be integrated.

All that aside, this is an extremely funny episode. It largely centres on a pen, as the title would have you believe, and the episode pulls it off spectacularly. More and more, 'Seinfeld' is becoming "a show about nothing" even if creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld did not necessarily intend for the show to earn itself that label. It is just abundantly clear watching the first three episodes of this season, and "The Pen" confirms this belief even further, that 'Seinfeld' is finally finding its stride. The way in which Klompus' astronaut pen weaves in and out of the episode's narrative is particularly funny, as is Elaine's dilemma in this episode after she injures her back sleeping on the Seinfelds' sofa bed. Nothing feels particularly expendable within this twenty two minute episode and almost everything has that 'punch' factor. A notable example of this would be the episode beginning with Morty Seinfeld complaining about the missing scotch tape and even how effortlessly and naturally that pays off, almost not calling attention to itself. This is classic 'Seinfeld', even if it is 'Seinfeld' without neither George nor Kramer.

I adore "The Pen". Where the episode may not have quite the same pacing or energy of the previous episodes for my money, the writing is particularly strong and it needed to be strong if the episode were to work without both Kramer and George. Jason Alexander, as is particularly known now, was especially infuriated to have been left out of this episode that he threatened to quit if his character were ever written out of another episode. George Costanza was based on Larry David and Jason Alexander seemingly channelled his inner Larry David. It has now come full circle.


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