Monday, September 2, 2013

Season 2, episode 11: The Heart Attack

“Women go after doctors like men go after models. They want someone with knowledge of the body. We just want the body.” – Jerry

“A rebel? Johnny Yuma was a rebel. He’s a nut.” – Jerry

“You could do your taxes in the time it takes me have an orgasm.” - George

The Heart Attack begins with Jerry in his apartment watching a B-movie, starring Larry David, to open up the B-plot of this episode. While sleeping Jerry gets an idea for a joke based on the movie and writes it down on his yellow note pad (which is how Real Jerry Seinfeld writes his material too. Fun Fact!)

The next day he’s having lunch with Elaine and George at Monk’s. No Kramer. Jerry is trying to read his note from the night before but can’t make out is own hand writing. “Fax…me…some…Halibut,” Jerry shrugs. “Is that funny?” This leads to Jerry asking everyone he comes in contact with to make out what’s written on his note paper. I wonder if any or how much of Real Jerry’s material has been lost to the comedic abyss because of something like this happening. Elaine thinks it says, “Don’t mess with Johnny.” “Carson?” Jerry thinks.

George reads the note. “I think I’m having a heart attack.” That’s not it, Jerry thinks, but George is really having a heart attack. At the Hospital, George learns he hasn’t had a heart attack, but they need to take his tonsils out. Kramer, after a trip to the hospital cafeteria (“It’s like Sizzler opened up a hospital.”), hears this and flips out, insisting they break George out of the hospital and visit his friend Tor, the holistic healer. “I thought he was doing time,” Jerry says. “No, he’s out,” Kramer reassures them. George is only reassured by the difference in cost. The healer only costs $38.

So they see the healer, Tor, played to perfection by Stephen Tobolowsky whom you may recognize from, like, just about everything that’s ever been made. In fact, he’s so good here that this would make my all-time top five Stephen Tobolowsky roles (and there’s a million to choose from). The other four, in no particular order would be Hugo Jarry from Deadwood, Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day, Sammy Jenkis from Memento and Len Dunkel from Curb.

This is the first time we’ve met an acquaintance of Kramer’s and they nailed it. He’s exactly as nutty as someone Kramer would know should be, giving the most absurd and random advice a healer could give: suggesting to George that he no longer use hot water in the shower, telling George he should have been born in August instead of April, telling Jerry to have less dairy, blowing in George’s face, and using conversational hand gestures that no normal human being, not even the most pretentious hipster on his worst day, would ever in a million years use. He gives George an herbal tea which results in George being rushed back to the hospital looking like the stand in for Violet Beauregarde.

While en route, the driver keeps arguing with the attendant over the candy Chuckles. They stop and fight off camera. The driver then continues without the attendant but is still arguing with Kramer and Jerry leading to him crashing the ambulance. Jerry and George reunite in the hospital, both in neck braces. Kramer, having chosen the holistic healer, is already better. While Elaine and Jerry are visiting George, the B-Movie from the beginning of the episode comes on and triggers Jerry’s memory of the joke he wrote down. He’s excited at his memory being jogged until he realizes the joke isn’t funny.

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