"The Race" is the tenth episode of the sixth season of Seinfeld, and the 96th episode overall. It was written by Larry David, Tom Gammill and Max Pross and was directed by Andy Ackerman; this episode first aired on December 15, 1994.
As an avid fan of Superman, Jerry is excited to finally be dating a woman named Lois (Renee Props). However, Jerry is stunned when he finds out that Lois works for Duncan Meyer, his old rival from high school. Elaine's complaints about her Chinese food delivery cause her to be blacklisted from Hop Sing's. George notes to Elaine that Ned, her new boyfriend, has a copy of the Daily Worker, which prompts suspicion of Ned being a communist. George is intrigued by one of the personal ads, which remarks, "Appearance is not important." Jerry recounts his rivalry with Duncan: in a track race in ninth grade, Jerry had gotten an inadvertent head start that nobody noticed and won. Though he was praised for his seemingly amazing speed, only Duncan suspected something was amiss.
Lois quizzes Jerry about cheating in the race. Jerry defends his win, and Lois believes him. Ned admits to Elaine he is a communist. George announces he contacted a girl from The Daily Worker. Kramer gets ready for his new job as Santa Claus at Coleman's department store, with Mickey as his elf. Lois arranges lunch at Monk's with her, Jerry, and Duncan, and Jerry knows that the subject of the race will come up. George agrees to turn up at the coffee shop, pretend he has not seen Jerry since high school, and back up his winning story.
At Yankee Stadium, George receives a call from Natalie, his personal ad girl from The Daily Worker. George's secretary, Ada, overhears the conversation and suspects George of having communist sympathies. At Coleman's, Ned gets Kramer interested in communist practices. At Monk's, while Duncan is protesting the race, George turns up, pretending he has not seen Jerry in years, and backs Jerry's story (while also lying about the accomplishments of his own life). Duncan still doesn't believe it, and Lois suggests that the two of them just race each other again, but Jerry refuses ("I choose not to run"). Nonetheless, Duncan starts to call up everyone from high school to come out for the race, and Jerry gets worried the legend will die.
Kramer is taken by Ned's communist literature, but Mickey thinks it is a bad idea. Elaine is reluctant to order dinner from Hop Sing's after her fight with the delivery man, but Ned insists, as his father spent much of his time at the restaurant after being blacklisted. At Coleman's, Kramer (as Santa) is accused by a kid of spreading communist propaganda. Kramer and Mickey are subsequently fired. Elaine places her Chinese food order under Ned's name, but the delivery man uncovers her ruse and blacklists Ned from the restaurant, too. Jerry refuses to participate in the race, until he learns that Duncan will fire Lois unless he agrees to run. The rumors of George's communist leanings land him in Steinbrenner's office, where Steinbrenner has him go to Cuba and try to recruit some of their best baseball players.
On the street, Jerry and Duncan are lined up to race again. Duncan smugly asides to Lois that if he loses, he will give her a two week Hawaiian vacation. As the race is about to begin, Kramer's car backfires. Jerry mistakes that for the starting pistol, giving him another head start. To the strains of the Superman theme, Jerry wins the race. A week later, in Cuba, George meets with Fidel Castro, who lets him recruit any players and invites him to a luxurious dinner due to his supposed communist leanings. However, Castro (very much like Steinbrenner) begins to ramble on about trivialities and George is forced to listen to him while quietly exiting.
Notes About Nothing
A recurring theme throughout Seinfeld is the referencing to Superman. The theme features prominently in "The Race." When Jerry says to Lois, "Faster than a speeding bullet, Lois," it was a reference to the Superman series, Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves. He also at one time says, "Why, I'd have to be Superman to do that, Lois." At the end of the episode, Jerry breaks the fourth wall and winks to the camera after he says, "Maybe I will, Lois. Maybe I will." This was the first and only instance of breaking the fourth wall in the series, excluding the retrospective “The Highlights of 100.” The wink towards the camera is a reference to the older Superman television series. When Jerry says, "I choose not to run," it is possibly a reference to Calvin Coolidge saying, "I do not choose to run for President in 1928." It may instead be a reference to Bartleby the Scrivener. Jerry's stature and language is also reminiscent of Superman throughout the episode. In addition, Cold War paranoia is lampooned through a young boy making "commie" accuastions against Kramer, calling him a traitor to "our country," while Mickey tries to keep him quiet.
|Season Six Episodes|
|The Chaperone | The Big Salad | The Pledge Drive | The Chinese Woman | The Couch | The Gymnast | The Soup | The Mom and Pop Store | The Secretary | The Race | The Switch | The Label Maker | The Scofflaw | The Highlights of 100, Part 1 | The Highlights of 100, Part 2 | The Beard | The Kiss Hello | The Doorman | The Jimmy | The Doodle | The Fusilli Jerry | The Diplomat's Club | The Face Painter | The Understudy|