“The Butter Shave”
First Script Read: August 20, 1997
Filmed: Wednesday, August 27, 1997
Aired: September 25, 1997
Nielsen rating: 24.6
Audience share: 37
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel
Have you ever noticed how often the Seinfeld gang fakes a physical disability or ailment? The technical term for this is malingering, and various characters have done it a handful of times:
- In "The Lip Reader" Elaine pretends to be deaf in order to avoid the nuisance of having a conversation with her driver. The driver catches her and yells at her.
- In "The Non-Fat Yogurt" George keeps up a fake arm spasm after Lloyd Braun catches him elbowing Jerry. George is confronted by Lloyd Braun's recommended doctor as a factor, but on his way out of the office he bangs his arm and his arm actually does start to spasm.
- In "The Jimmy" Kramer is mistaken to be mentally challenged, and gets to be the guest of honor at a charity benefit featuring Mel Torme. He is never caught.
- In "The Friars Club" Elaine suspects her new co-worker is pretending to be deaf to get out of work. Ultimately, it seems that her co-worker really is deaf - his hearing aid is functioning - but he also only pretends to be unable to hear sometimes.
- In "The Fatigues" George successfully pretends to be blind, flunking an eye test to qualify for Reading for the Blind audiobooks.
- This is a stretch, but in "The Little Jerry" George compares Elaine's boyfriend's habit of shaving his head bald for no reason to "using a wheelchair for the fun of it!"
All in all, it's about as despicable as George gets.