Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Season 2, episode 2: The Pony Remark

“It’s not that I think you can’t. I know that you can’t and I’m positive that you won’t.”

The above quote is, of course, from the conversation where Kramer reveals to Jerry his plan for levels in his apartment. I’d completely forgotten that this was part of the Pony Remark episode. I thought for sure that it was several seasons later. Kramer never builds the levels and says the bet is off to which a stunned Jerry says, “But that was the bet!” This is the funniest material so far and it’s only the B story!

The main thread is the dinner Jerry’s parents (now with Barney Martin as Jerry’s dad) force him to go to where he has to put up with a bunch of people he doesn’t really know, plus Uncle Leo (in his first appearance). After some innocently awkward small talk Jerry blurts out that he hated anyone who had a pony, offending Manya who leaves in a huff, leading to Jerry stumble through a long, uncomfortable justification finishing with the classic line, “Who figure’s an immigrant’s going to have a pony?!”

That second classic line from this episode which Jerry later repeats as the final line of the story before the end stand-up scene. The best part about the line is the second time: Jerry, Elaine and George are in the coffee shop discussing Jerry’s worst softball performance in his life, which Elaine blames on Manya’s spirit when Jerry responds with that line. And even knowing the line is coming you can see Julia begin to smile before he says it, and just completely break character right before it cuts away.

What makes this such a classic is that it’s that perfect Larry David episode that straddles the line of being completely believable and completely unbelievable. Every event seems completely crazy on the surface but when you linger on it a few seconds you think, well I guess I could see that happening.

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