The Gum

The Gum

Infobox Television episode
Title = The Gum
Series = Seinfeld


Caption = Kramer, Jerry, and Elaine at the movie theater.
Season = 7
Episode = 120
Airdate = December 31, 1995
Production =
Writer = Tom Gammill & Max Pross
Director = Andy Ackerman
Guests = Matt McCoyRuth Cohen
Episode list = List of "Seinfeld" episodes
Season list = Infobox Seinfeld season 7 episode list
Prev =
Next =

"The Gum" is the 120th episode of NBC sitcom "Seinfeld". This was the 10th episode for the 7th season. It aired on December 14, 1995.

Plot

Kramer is active in the re-opening of the Alex movie theater. George's friend Lloyd Braun, who had a mental breakdown after messing up David Dinkins reelection campaign in The Non-Fat Yogurt, has a pack of Chinese chewing gum that Kramer insists everyone tries. George begs off, stating that he doesn't chew gum.

At the theater, Elaine doesn't want to sit near Braun, so she invents the story that she has to sit with Jerry close to the screen because he supposedly forgot his glasses. While watching the movie, an ivory button of Elaine's falls off, and she accidentally "reveals herself" to Lloyd and Kramer. Elaine's exposed blouse convinces a policeman to tell a florist to disconnect a hose he was washing the sidewalk with.

George visits a friend, Deena, and her father who had a mental breakdown. Deena's father starts tinkering with George's car's engine. George thinks a cashier at Monk's kept a 20 dollar bill of his that he doodled on. He pursues her, and has to buy a pack of gum to look inside the register, much to the surprise of Lloyd, who thought George didn't chew gum. While confronting the cashier in her car on the street, George's "Jon Voight Car" catches fire from the above mentioned engine work, and it can't be put out by the hose because the florist had to disconnect it.

Jerry must wear glasses while around Lloyd to keep with Elaine's excuse. He exchanges glasses when the ones he got from the lost and found were discovered to belong to an elderly man who owns a film costume institute. The new glasses Jerry wears make it impossible to see clearly, and he inadvertently gives Lloyd a $100 bill to buy the Chinese gum. Kramer eats a hot dog "from the Silent era" and throws up on the sidewalk, and the florist brings his hose back out to clean it. Elaine confronts him about this and he accidentally sprays her. When she comes to the Alex in a wet shirt, Kramer reprimands her because "the Alex is a family theater."

George's friend Deena thinks he is showing signs of being on the verge of a breakdown, when he tries to explain the true situation, which sounds ridiculous to her. George wears a Henry VIII costume for a movie, and discovers he had the $20 bill all along, but Deena sees him in the costume and think he has had a breakdown. Elaine sees the button on the elderly man and undoes it.

Trivia

* When Elaine wonders if her breakup with Lloyd Braun may have had something to do with his mental breakdown, Jerry makes a sarcastic comment about his breakup with Elaine and Elaine replies "Oh, yeah? Well I got news for ya..." Elaine says something else but the audio is deleted. You can clearly see that her mouth is moving for a second but the camera and the audio switch to George.
* The two films that are shown at the revival theater, "Spartacus" and "The Private Life of Henry VIII", both star Charles Laughton.
* This is Larry David's last brief onscreen appearance on the show. He appeared as a newsstand worker who wouldn't accept money from George. He would later voice an unseen minor character in both "The Wig Master" and "The Finale, Part 2", as well as continuing his recurring role as the voice of George Steinbrenner.
* The car owned by series writer Tom Gammill is used again in this episode, having previously appeared in "The Mom and Pop Store" in Season 6. The storyline is also inspired by real-life events - Gammill was driving to work one day when his car engine began making strange noises. Upon inspection, the engine burst into flames, rendering the car undriveable. Look closely as George beats back the flaming engine with the broom; the car's faux-wood paneling is already twisted and melted as a result of the engine burnout that the car suffered in real life.
* When Jerry is in the car with Lloyd at the very end, you can see some lights from backstage in his glasses in his closeup shot.
* The Alex Theatre is actually in Glendale, California and not New York City. The marquee used in the show is the Alex in Glendale.


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