"The Jacket"
The Jacket
Season 2
Episode 8
Air Date February 6, 1991
Writer(s) Larry David
Jerry Seinfeld
Director Tom Cherones
The Pony Remark · The Phone Message

"The Jacket" is episode 3 of Season 2, and it first aired February 6, 1991. It was written by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld and was directed by Tom Cherones.


When Jerry is shopping for clothes with Elaine, he finds a suede jacket that he likes. He doubts about buying the jacket because it is very expensive and has a candy stripe lining. He eventually decides to buy it. When Jerry is at home watching television, his neighbor Kramer comes in and likes the jacket, he is even more impressed when he discovers the price by reading the label. Kramer persuades Jerry to give him his old leather jacket as he will no longer be using it.

The following night, Jerry, Elaine and their mutual friend George have dinner with Elaine's father, writer Alton Benes. While preparing for the dinner, George arrives at Jerry's apartment with the song "Master of the House" from the musical Les Misérables stuck in his head. George and Jerry are both very nervous to meet Alton because he is such a famous author. When they are about to leave, Jerry puts on his new jacket. George is very impressed and attempts to get Jerry to reveal its cost. Kramer enters the apartment and asks for two minutes' help guarding his illegally parked car as he carries down some doves that he is looking after for a magician friend. However, they refuse to help because he often underestimates how long things take to do.

George is still singing as they enter Alton Benes' hotel. Elaine has not arrived yet, so they sit down with her father and nervously order drinks. They have an awkward conversation. Jerry eventually goes to the bathroom, abandoning George, who attempts to compliment Alton about his book. George is uncomfortable and tells Alton he has to make a phone call. He meets Jerry in the bathroom and they decide to go home if Elaine does not show up in the next ten minutes. When they return, Alton receives a message from Elaine, who will be held up for another half hour.

When Elaine finally arrives, she explains that Kramer promised her a lift if she would wait in his car for two minutes. He returned over twenty minutes later, and the car had been towed for being illegally parked. She was eventually forced to walk to the restaurant. Alton returns from the bathroom and greets Elaine, and tells Jerry and "chorus boy" George that they are going to a Pakistani restaurant five blocks away. On their way out, they notice it is snowing. Jerry knows snow would ruin his suede jacket and asks Alton if they can take a cab, but Alton replies that it is only a few blocks away. George suggests that Jerry could turn the jacket inside out, but because of the candy stripe lining, Alton tells him to turn it back, saying he looks "like a damn fool".

The next day Kramer notices Jerry's jacket hanging in the bathroom, badly damaged by the snow. Kramer takes it, lamenting that Jerry had already given him his older leather jacket as well. Elaine arrives, and tells Jerry that her father had a good time. She explains how he usually hates everyone but liked Jerry, as he reminded him of the funny guy from Korea. Meanwhile, as Alton drives home, he finds himself singing "Master of the House" as well.


  • "The back? They never find anything in the back. If they had anything good in the back they'd put it out in the front." - Elaine
  • "I'm worried I won't be able to talk to him [Elaine's father], he's such a great writer. Frankly, I prefer the company of nitwits." - Jerry
  • "Can I say one thing to you? And I say this with an unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality ... It's fabulous." - George on Jerry's new jacket
  • "We had a funny guy with us in Korea. A tailgunner. They blew his brains out all over the Pacific. ... There's nothing funny about that." - Alton Benes
  • "Pendant? Those bastards!" - Alton Benes
  • "Pipe down, chorus boy!" - Alton Benes to George

Notes About Nothing

  • Lawrence Tierney plays Elaine's father Alton Benes. Lawrence was known for his bad-guy roles in films during the 1940s and 1950s, such as Dillinger, The Hoodlum and Born to Kill. Tierney's appearance in the episode is one of his only comedic roles. Cast and crew members were very impressed with Tierney's performance, and intended to make Alton Benes a recurring character. However, they were frightened of him; during filming it was discovered that Tierney had stolen a butcher knife from the knife block in the Jerry's apartment set. Various cast members remember Seinfeld encountering Tierney and stating, "Hey, Lawrence, what do you got there in your jacket?" Tierney, realizing he had been caught, tried to make a joke about how he thought taking the knife would be funny, by reenacting a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), holding the knife above his head and making threatening motions towards Seinfeld. Tom Cherones, Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus saw this happen, and, as Alexander recalled, it "scared the living crap out of all of us." Cherones stated that, afterwards, Larry David would jokingly threaten to have Tierney back on the show if he did his work badly.
  • Bud Abbott, whom George mentions, is half of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello.
  • The store attendant in the clothing store scene was portrayed by Frantz Turner.
  • Kramer mentions this episode's misadventure with the doves, which we hear about but don't see, again in The Stranded.
Season Two Episodes
The Ex-Girlfriend | The Pony Remark | The Jacket | The Phone Message | The Apartment | The Statue | The Revenge | The Heart Attack | The Deal | The Baby Shower | The Chinese Restaurant | The Busboy

The Bet

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