“The Millennium” is the 20th episode of the eighth season of Seinfeld, and the 154th episode overall. This episode first aired on May 1, 1997. It was written by Jennifer Crittenden and was directed by Andy Ackerman.
After being recruited by the New York Mets to be their head scout, George is told that they can only hire him if he gets fired from the New York Yankees. However, his increasingly dramatic attempts to get fired only end up making him look better. He wears Babe Ruth's uniform and deliberately gets food stains all over it, but Mr. Steinbrenner praises him, thinking it supports an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality. George then appears to streak through Yankee Stadium during a game, but he is actually wearing a flesh-colored body suit that makes him popular with the fans. Finally, he tries to destroy a World Series Trophy by hitching it to his Buick Regal and driving through the parking lot while screaming insults to the ball club with a megaphone. This finally brings the ire of Steinbrenner, before Mr. Wilhelm appears, takes credit for telling George what to do, gets fired, and then takes the job with the Mets.
Elaine tries to run an ethnic-themed clothing store called Putumayo out of business after receiving bad customer service. First, she tries shopping at a competing store, Cinco de Mayo, but discovers that the same woman from Putumayo owns both stores. Later, she tries to get Kramer, under an alter ego named H. E. Pennypacker, to change the price tags on the labels, but he accidentally destroys the pricing gun before he can finish. Instead, he tries to take the desiccant packs from the clothing as Plan B, so he only manages to ruin the clothes in about five years, making Elaine more distressed and presumably gives up. Kramer then eats some free chips the store gives out to its customers and unknowingly drops one of the desiccant packs in the salsa dip.
Meanwhile, Jerry gets caught in a war over speed dial rankings between his girlfriend, Valerie (Lauren Graham), and her stepmother. Eventually, the stepmother hides Jerry's number in one of her emergency speed dials. Later, she is poisoned by eating desiccant from Putumayo's clothing that Kramer spilled into a bowl of salsa at the store. When Valerie tries calling poison control she ends up calling him instead, to which Jerry replies, "Wow! Poison control? That's even higher than number one!" Valerie is disgusted at this and hangs up on Jerry, thereby ending their relationship.
Finally, Kramer and Newman learn that they are each planning rival millennium parties, both on December 31, 1999 (Newman's party is called the "Newmannium"). Eventually, they agree to combine them into one party on the insistence of Newman that they not invite Jerry. However, Newman allows Jerry to come in exchange for Elaine's presence, after she had committed to Kramer's party. In the end, Jerry tells Newman that he made his reservation one year late, as he booked it for "the Millennium new year", 2001, since there was no year 0. Newman squawks with frustration and leaves.
A blog dedicated to the legality of the issues that arise in Seinfeld episodes, Seinfeld Law, analyzed whether MLB rules preventing the Mets from hiring George while he is under contract with the Yankees violates anti-trust laws.
The same blog also addressed whether Kramer could exclude people who don’t breathe underwater from attending his party and whether Newman could legally make the next Millennium Jerry-free?
Notes About Nothing
The episode references the film The Graduate in a few scenes. The scene where Valerie's stepmother gets in Jerry's car and demands a higher speed dial ranking is a parody of a scene where Mrs. Robinson gets in Ben's car and demands that he stop seeing Elaine. Other scenes show Jerry meeting with the stepmother secretly to negotiate speed dial rankings in addition to being in a three-way phone call between Valerie and her stepmother. When Jerry and Valerie are watching a movie, one can hear the soundtrack from Nixon, the Movie, which was first heard in The Cadillac. When Kramer mentions Newman being "stuck between the moon and New York City," he was making a reference to "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross, whom Newman booked for his party.
|Season Eight Episodes|
|The Foundation | The Soul Mate | The Bizarro Jerry | The Little Kicks | The Package | The Fatigues | The Checks | The Chicken Roaster | The Abstinence | The Andrea Doria | The Little Jerry | The Money | The Comeback | The Van Buren Boys | The Susie | The Pothole | The English Patient | The Nap | The Yada Yada | The Millennium | The Muffin Tops | The Summer of George|