Monday, September 17, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 7, Episode 3 - The Maestro

“The Maestro”

First Script Read: Sunday, August 27, 1995
Filmed: Wednesday, August 30, 1995
Aired: October 5, 1995
Nielsen rating: 22.5
Audience share: 35
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writer: Larry David

In the first three episodes of season seven, Larry David launched Seinfeld's defining story arc (George's engagement), wove together smaller story lines and references from past episodes and seasons (Kramer spills coffee on himself in episode two and sues the coffee company in episode three. Poppie is referenced in this epiosde.), and introduced two memorable recurring characters (Jackie Chiles and the Maestro).

Chiles is played by Phil Morris. His casting created two coincidences. First, if Morris and Michael Richards really seem to click in their scenes together, it might be because they both acted together before in the sitcom "Marblehead Manor" (1987-88). But of course, EVERYONE knows that. The second coincidence is more remarkable. At David's urging, Morris played the lawyer, Chiles, as an imitation of OJ Simpson's famous lawyer, Johnnie Cochran. Morris was actually an old acquaintance of Cochran, having grown up together and even visited the same barber shop.

While Morris steals the scene with his over-the-top portrayal  of the fast-talking, slick Chiles, Mark Metcalf, who will always be better known as Neidermeyer in Animal House, plays the more restrained, odder, equally hilarious character of the Maestro. Do you remember what the Maestro's full real name is? It's just as funny as insisting to be called "Maestro" even though he only conducts the Policeman's Benevolent Association Orchestra which plays gigs as prestigious as the Queen's Convalescent Center (later this season in episode 17, "The Doll"). Give up? It's Bob Cobb! Brilliant.

Somehow in this 22 minute episode David manages to introduce these two characters and weave together four different storylines for all four characters. With his attorney, Chiles, Kramer pursues his lawsuit with Java World. Elaine begins a romance with Bob Cobb that takes them to Tuscany. Jerry also ends up in Tuscany after going to great lengths to disprove Bob Cobb's insistence that there are no houses to rent in Tuscany. And George spends the entire episode arranging to get a chair for the comfort of the security guard who works in Susan's uncle's clothing store. After this episode, David stepped back into the show runner chair, and wrote only two more episodes this season, the special hour-long episode, "The Cadillac," and the finale, "The Invitations."

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