Sunday, January 22, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 2, Episode 12 - The Busboy

“The Busboy”

First Script Read: October 31, 1990
Filmed: November 6, 1990 at 7:30
Aired: June 26, 1991
Nielsen rating: 8.8
Audience share: 16
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld

This episode was the third episode filmed for the second season, but aired last by over a month. NBC didn't like the episode because there was no storyline for the titular character, Jerry Seinfeld. The plot, in which George tries to make up for getting a busboy fired and Elaine hopes to get a boyfriend back to Seattle and out of her life, is forgettable. However, this is a landmark episode because it contains the first scenes when any of the three supporting characters appear without Jerry.

Of course, that only happened because Jerry, himself, wrote those scenes. “That showed a generosity of spirit," says Jason Alexander (George), "that I- - I can’t imagine in any other situation.” Adds director, Tom Cherones, "I don’t think it ever bothered him if somebody else got the laugh instead of him.”

 And so, off they go. I wouldn't qualify any of the scenes as "classic," but the idea of following the other three characters beyond Jerry's perspective was seminal. It also serves to establish Jerry's position in this four-person community. Yes, the show is named after him. And, indeed, the only thing the characters originally have in common is him. But these are characters who exist independent of Jerry, and who can clearly be funny without him, too.

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