"The Butter Shave"
The Butter Shave
Season 9
Episode 157
Air Date September 25, 1997
Writer(s) Alec Berg

Jeff Schaffer
David Mandel

Director Andy Ackerman
The Summer of George · The Voice
“The Butter Shave” is the first episode of Season Nine, and the 157th overall. It originally aired on September 25, 1997.


Over the summer both George and Jerry grow mustaches as a way of "taking a vacation from themselves"; they both admit it was a bad idea and Jerry suggests they should have taken real vacations. George quickly thinks a different style of facial hair might be the answer but Jerry tells George that he has to get a job. Not fully recovered from "The Summer of George", George is using a cane to get around. Jerry might have another shot at NBC, through an appearance on an NBC Showcase that might lead to another pilot. He is also annoyed that lame comic Kenny Bania's act is working, only because he is following on Jerry's coattails. Jerry refers to Bania as "a time-slot hit" (a reference to the success of many shows that aired between Seinfeld and ER). Bania also gets one of Jerry's ex-girlfriends.

George learns of a job interview with a playground equipment company. George is hired for the job at Play Now because they think he is handicapped due to his use of the cane. George takes full advantage of the situation after they offer him his own fully equipped handicap bathroom. While returning home from a month-long vacation in Europe, Elaine and Puddy break up, then getting back together on their long flight home, only to break up again.

Kramer finds butter is better than shaving cream. Kramer's skin feels so good with butter he takes to spreading it all over his body. Unfortunately, he falls asleep as he lies out in the sun where he begins to cook. Newman, reading the cannibalism-themed story Alive, finds the smell of a buttered Kramer appealing. In his disturbed state, Newman sees Kramer's head on a turkey in Monk's, panics, and runs out. George sprains his good leg and begins favoring the other leg, and Play Now buys him a motorized cart as a result.

Jerry is informed that Bania is going to follow him on the NBC showcase. Jerry then plans to sabotage his own act, surmising that Kenny's act will also bomb. George manages to keep up his handicap bluff until he gets into some trouble with old-timers after hitting their motorized carts (four volts), a very slow chase ensues. George's cart begins to die on him so he jumps off and picks up the cart and runs away from the mob only to run into his boss from Play Now. George, now concerned about what will happen to his job, is caught by the mob and one older gentleman hits George with his cane ("Eat hickory!"). After Jerry sabotages his act, Newman meets Kramer backstage. After Kramer accidentally has oregano and Parmesan cheese spilled on him, Newman then attempts to eat him. As Kramer fights off Newman, the two run onto the stage during Bania's act. After Bania's act, two NBC executives offer him a pilot on NBC, thinking Kramer and Newman running onto the stage was part of the act.

Critical Analysis

A blog dedicated to the legality of the issues that arise in Seinfeld episodes, Seinfeld Law, analyzed under what circumstances George could have sued Play Now for disability discrimination.  

Notes about Nothing

George's work sequence is set to the song "Morning Train (9 to 5)" by Sheena Easton.

George's line "I love that bathroom. It's got that high, high toilet. I feel like a gargoyle perched on the ledge of a building," is a reference to Jason Alexander's voice acting as Hugo the gargoyle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Season Nine Episodes
The Butter Shave | The Voice | The Serenity Now | The Blood | The Junk Mail | The Merv Griffin Show | The Slicer | The Betrayal | The Apology | The Strike | The Dealership | The Reverse Peephole | The Cartoon | The Strong Box | The Wizard | The Burning | The Bookstore | The Frogger | The Maid | The Puerto Rican Day | The Chronicle | The Finale, Part 1 | The Finale, Part 2
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