The Checks

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"The Checks"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 7
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Written by Steve O'Donnell & Tom Gammill & Max Pross
Production code807
Original air dateNovember 7, 1996
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
"The Fatigues"
"The Chicken Roaster"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Checks" is the 141st episode of the sitcom Seinfeld . This was the seventh episode for the eighth season. It aired on NBC on November 7, 1996.

<i>Seinfeld</i> American sitcom

Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that ran for nine seasons on NBC, from 1989 to 1998. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, with the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself. Set predominantly in an apartment building in Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York City, the show features a handful of Jerry's friends and acquaintances, including best friend George Costanza, friend and former girlfriend Elaine Benes, and neighbor across the hall Cosmo Kramer. It is often described as being "a show about nothing", as many of its episodes are about the minutiae of daily life.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.



Elaine's new boyfriend, Brett (James Patrick Stuart), is obsessed with furniture designed by (the fictional) Karl Farbman, and the song "Desperado" by the Eagles; he is so obsessed with the latter that he insists Elaine be silent whenever it plays. Jerry spots an umbrella salesman using the sales technique he invented, "The Twirl", but the salesman explains that it was in fact invented by Teddy Padillac, a longtime umbrella salesman Jerry once worked with.

Elaine Benes main character on the TV show Seinfeld

Elaine Marie Benes is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Elaine's best friend is her ex-boyfriend Jerry Seinfeld, and she is also good friends with George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer. Julia Louis-Dreyfus received critical acclaim for her performance as Elaine, winning an Emmy, a Golden Globe and five SAG Awards. Julia Louis-Dreyfus reprised the role during season 41 of Saturday Night Live.

James Patrick Stuart actor

James Patrick Stuart is an American actor and voice actor, currently portraying Valentin Cassadine on the daytime soap opera General Hospital.

"Desperado" is a song by the American rock band Eagles. It was written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley and appeared on the 1973 album Desperado as well as numerous compilation albums. Although the song was never released as a single, it is one of the group's best known songs and ranked No. 494 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Meanwhile, hundreds of twelve-cent royalty checks keep arriving from Jerry's brief appearance on a Japanese television show, the "Super Terrific Happy Hour". Kramer warns George that the carpet cleaners he hired are actually a front for a religious cult. Intrigued, George waits for them to give their religious pitch, but they're not interested in him.

Cosmo Kramer main character on the TV show Seinfeld

Cosmo Kramer, usually referred to as simply "Kramer", is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), played by Michael Richards.

George Costanza main character on the TV show Seinfeld

George Louis Costanza is a character in the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), played by Jason Alexander. He has variously been described as a "short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man" and "Lord of the Idiots". George and Jerry were junior high school friends and remained friends afterwards. He is friends with Jerry Seinfeld, Cosmo Kramer, and Elaine Benes. George appears in every episode except "The Pen".

Cult Social group

In modern English, the term cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. It is usually considered pejorative.

Kramer meets some Japanese businessmen on vacation and takes them on a tour of the city. Confused about the value of ¥30,000 (about $250), Kramer spends all their money on expensive clothing and souvenirs. Brett delivers an oversized chest of drawers to Kramer and thinks Jerry might be jealous. Kramer thinks Jerry and George's TV pilot would be perfect for Japanese television. They pitch it to a couple of Japanese TV executives who are uninterested and tell Jerry and George to leave. Suffering from writer's cramp after endorsing all the royalty checks, Jerry spills his coffee and leaves a stain on the carpet.

Japanese people ethnic group native to Japan

Japanese people are a nation and an ethnic group that is native to Japan and makes up 98.5% of the total population of the country. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to Japanese people, as well as to more specific ethnic groups in some contexts, such as Yamato people and Ryukyuan people. Japanese are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.

Chest of drawers piece of cabinet furniture

A chest of drawers, also called a bureau, is a type of cabinet that has multiple parallel, horizontal drawers usually stacked one above another.

"The Pilot" is the two-part season finale episode of the fourth season of Seinfeld. It makes up the 63rd and 64th episodes and first aired on May 20, 1993.

Elaine suggests various songs she and Brett could share, including "Witchy Woman", also by the Eagles, but he rejects them out of hand; Elaine then suggests they share "Desperado", but Brett says it's "his". Having run out of money, Kramer puts his Japanese friends up at his place, sleeping in the chest of drawers (much like a capsule hotel), and has fun drinking with them in his hot tub. Jerry, caught in the rain and needing an umbrella, runs into his former co-worker, the umbrella salesman Teddy Padillac. Padillac, incensed that Jerry is trying to take credit for "The Twirl", demands $200 for an umbrella. Unable to come up with the money, Jerry is left standing in the pouring rain. Brett happens to drive by and converses with Jerry for a moment. He is convinced that Jerry is down on his luck since he is unable to afford an umbrella and says that he would offer him a ride, but he's with Karl Farbman in a two-seated car.

Witchy Woman 1972 single by Eagles

"Witchy Woman" is a song written by Don Henley and Bernie Leadon, and recorded by the American rock band Eagles. Released as the second single from the band's debut album Eagles, it reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop singles chart and is the only single from the album to feature Henley on lead vocals.

Capsule hotel hotel type

A capsule hotel, also known as a pod hotel, is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of small bed-sized rooms known as capsules. Capsule hotels provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require or who cannot afford larger, more expensive rooms offered by more conventional hotels.

George gets the cleaners to do the offices at Yankee Stadium, where they find a new recruit—George's boss, Mr. Wilhelm. He joins under the name Tania (the name Patty Hearst took after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army). Upset, George asks the head cult cleaner, "Him you brainwashed?? What's he got that I don't have?!" The cleaner simply shrugs. Because of the humidity from the hot tub, the wooden chest warps and Kramer's guests, who, just before the meeting, along with Kramer, convince George to come in the tub, get stuck in the drawers, because of the sake they had. Still having writer's cramp, Jerry uses a fire ax from the hallway to smash open the chest, which scares the Japanese guests and injures Brett, who is knocked unconscious when he attempts to stop Jerry from damaging the chest. The scared Japanese tourists tell the Japanese TV executives about the incident, ruining any chance of selling the "Jerry" pilot to Japanese television. During the coda, it is strongly implied by the sound of a heart rate monitor flatlining and the nurse saying "we're losing him" that Brett dies from his earlier injury when the surgeon operating on him becomes distracted by the song "Witchy Woman" playing in the background in much the same way Brett was distracted by "Desperado".

Patty Hearst American newspaper heiress, actress

Patricia Campbell Hearst is the granddaughter of American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who became internationally known for events following her 1974 kidnapping and physical violation by a domestic American terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hearst was found nineteen months after being abducted, by which time she was a fugitive wanted for serious crimes. She was held in custody, despite speculation that her family's resources would prevent her from spending time in jail. At her trial, the prosecution suggested that she had joined the Symbionese Liberation Army of her own volition, a claim that conflicted with Hearst's own account that she had been raped and threatened with death. In 1976, she was convicted for the crime of bank robbery and sentenced to 35 years in prison, later reduced to 7 years. Hearst's sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and she was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

The United Federated Forces of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was an American left-wing militant organization active between 1973 and 1975 that considered itself a vanguard army. The group committed bank robberies, two murders, and other acts of violence.

A post-credits scene is a short clip that appears after all or some of the closing credits have rolled and sometimes after a production logo of a film, TV series, or video game have run. It is usually included for humour or to set up a possible sequel.


The opening scene of the episode was filmed on September 29, 1996. The scene was also originally intended for the episode "The Fatigues". The second scene was filmed on October 7, 1996, while the third scene was filmed on October 8, 1996.

The last line before the credits had two versions made—one for if the New York Yankees won the World Series and one for if they lost the World Series. Two of the episode's guest stars (Richard Herd and Sab Shimono) had both previously appeared in the 1980 M*A*S*H episode "Back Pay".

Brett drives around with furniture designer Karl Farbman. In the episode "The Hamptons," the doctor on whom Elaine has a crush notes that the homes in the area were designed by a man named Mark Farbman. In the scene where Jerry is denied the purchase of an umbrella on the street by former colleagues a man walks by wearing an 'urban sombrero'. The 'urban sombrero' was featured in the season eight premiere episode "The Foundation". It was an item placed on the cover of the J. Peterman Catalog by Elaine after she is left in charge following the disappearance of Peterman to Burma after an apparent nervous breakdown.

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