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Episode 172 - The Burning
pc: 916 season 9, episode 16
Broadcast date: March 19, 1998

Written by Jennifer Crittenden
Directed by Andy Ackerman


The Cast
Jerry Seinfeld ......................  Jerry Seinfeld
Jason Alexander .................. George Costanza
Julia Louis-Dreyfus .............. Elaine Benes
Michael Richards .................. Cosmo Kramer

Guest Stars:

Daniel Von Bargen ............... Kruger
Cindy Ambuehl .................... Sophie
Henry Woronicz .................. Father Curtis
Ursaline Bryant .................... Dr. Wexler
Daniel Dae Kim .................... Student #1
Alex Craig Mann .................. Student #2
Brian Posehn ....................... Artie
Alec Holland ........................ Co-Worker #1
Suli McCullough ................... Co-Worker #2
rc:  Patrick Warburton ......... David Puddy
rc: Danny Woodburn ........... Mickey Abbott


[Elaine is getting ready to drive Puddy's car, he's giving her last minute instructions.]

PUDDY: Alright, be careful with the car, babe.

ELAINE: Yeah, yeah.

PUDDY: And don't move the seat, I got it right where I like it.

ELAINE: Goodbye?

PUDDY: Two and ten, babe.


PUDDY: Don't peel out.

ELAINE: I won't.

(Elaine peels out and turns on the car stereo. She hears: "Jesus is one, Jesus is all, Jesus picks me up when I fall..." Elaine changes the stations but all of the presets are set to religious radio stations; "And he said unto Abraham...", "Amen! Amen!", "So we pray...", "Saved!", "Jey-sus!" She turns off the radio.)

ELAINE: Jesus?

[Meeting at George's office. His Boss, Mr. Kruger, is speaking.]

KRUGER: According to our latest quarterly thing,Kruger Industrial Smoothing is heading into the red. Or the black, or whatever the bad one is. Any thoughts?

GEORGE: Well, I know when I'm a little strapped, I sometimes drop off my rent check having forgotten to sign it. That could buy us some time.

KRUGER: Works for me. Good thinking, George.

CO-WORKER #1: Alright, George.

CO-WORKER #2: Way to go man.

GEORGE: Or we don't even send the check and then when they call, we pretend we're the cleaning service. Heh heh. "Hello? I sorry, no here Kruger."

KRUGER: Are you done? Silly voices, c'mon people, let's get real.

CO-WORKER #1: Good one.

CO-WORKER #2: That was bad.

[George and Jerry are at the coffee shop.]

GEORGE: I had 'em, Jerry. They loved me.

JERRY: And then?

GEORGE: I lost them. I can usually come up with one good comment during a meeting but by the end it's buried under a pile of gaffs and bad puns.

JERRY: Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off.

GEORGE: I can't just leave.

JERRY: That's the way they do it in Vegas.

GEORGE: You never played Vegas.

JERRY: I hear things.

(Elaine enters and has a seat.)

ELAINE: Here's one. I borrowed Puddy's car and all the presets on his radio were Christian rock stations.

GEORGE: I like Christian rock. It's very positive. It's not like those real musicians who think they're so cool and hip.

ELAINE: So, you think that Puddy actually believes in something?

JERRY: It's a used car, he probably never changed the presets.

ELAINE: Yes, he is lazy.

JERRY: Plus he probably doesn't even know how to program the buttons.

ELAINE: Yes, he is dumb.

JERRY: So you prefer dumb and lazy to religious?

ELAINE: Dumb and lazy, I understand.

GEORGE: Tell you how you could check.


GEORGE: Reprogram all the buttons, see if he changes them back. You know? The old switcheroo.

JERRY: No, no, the old switcheroo is you poison your drink then you switch it with the other person's.

GEORGE: No, it's doing the same thing to someone that they did to you.

JERRY: Yeah, Elaine's gonna do the same thing to Puddy's radio that the radio did to her.

GEORGE: Well that's the gist of it!

ELAINE: Quiet! So where is this Sophie?

JERRY: Oh, she's picking me up in a few minutes.

ELAINE: How long have you two been together?

JERRY: I dunno. Since the last one. Oh, here she is. You wanna meet her?


(Jerry leaves to go meet Sophie by the register.)

GEORGE: By the way, how did Puddy get back in the picture?

ELAINE: I needed to move a bureau.

[Kramer and Mickey enter Jerry's apartment.]

KRAMER: Hey Jerry, you got any pepper?

MICKEY: Hey Jerry.

JERRY: Hey Mickey. Check the pepper shaker.

KRAMER: Yeah. (inhales some pepper then sneezes violently) See? It should sound like that, something like that.

MICKEY: Aah-choo.

KRAMER: A little wetter. See, I didn't believe it.

JERRY: What's with the fake sneezing?

KRAMER: Yeah, we're going down to Mt. Sinai Hospital, See they hire actors to help the students practice diagnosing.

MICKEY: They assign you a specific disease and you act out the symptoms. It's an easy gig.

JERRY: Do medical schools actually do this?

KRAMER: Well the better ones. Alright, let's practice retching.


JERRY: I think the phone is ringing.


JERRY: Would you hold it a second?! Thank you, will you get out of here with that stuff?

KRAMER: Mickey, DTs.

(Kramer and Mickey exit, shaking, while Jerry answers the phone.)

JERRY: Hello?

SOPHIE: Hey. It's me.

JERRY: Elaine?

SOPHIE: No, it's me.

JERRY: George??

SOPHIE: Jerry, it's Sophie. I can't believe you don't recognize my voice.

JERRY: Oh, I knew it was you, I was joking. I'm a comedian.

(Kramer enters.)

KRAMER: You got any Ipecac?

JERRY: Ipecac? Kramer, I really think you guys are going too far with this.

KRAMER: No, Mickey, he swallowed twelve aspirin.

JERRY: Did he overdose?

KRAMER: No, it's just too much.

[Office meeting at Kruger Industrial Smoothing.]

KRUGER: ...And it gets worse. The team working on the statue in Lafayette Square kind of over-smoothed it. They ground the head down to about the size of a softball, and that spells trouble.

GEORGE: Alright, well why don't we smooth the head down to nothing, stick a pumpkin under its arm and change the nameplate to Ichabod Crane?

(Everyone at the meeting breaks out in laughter.)

GEORGE: (getting up and leaving) Alright! That's it for me. Goodnight everybody.

[Mt. Sanai Hospital, a woman in a lab coat is handing out envelopes to a group of people, Mickey and Kramer included.]

DR. WEXLER: In your packet you will find the disease you have been assigned and the symptoms you will need to exhibit.

MICKEY: Bacterial Meningitis. Jackpot!

KRAMER: Gonorrhea? You wanna trade?

MICKEY: Sorry buddy, this is the "Hamlet" of diseases. Severe pain, nausea, delusions, it's got everything.

KRAMER (to the man beside him) Howbout you, do you wanna trade?

MAN: Sure.

KRAMER: Okay, what do you got?

MAN: The surgeon left a sponge inside me.

KRAMER: Good luck with that.

[George and Jerry are at Jerry's apartment.]

GEORGE: I knew I had hit my high note so I thanked the crowd and I was gone.

JERRY: What did you do the rest of the day?

GEORGE: I saw "Titanic". So that old woman, she's just a liar, right?

JERRY: And a bit of a tramp if you ask me.

(Elaine enters.)

ELAINE: Hello boys.

GEORGE: Hey, so, did you give that radio the old switcheroo?

ELAINE: I did.

GEORGE: And the Christian rock?

ELAINE: Ressurected! And look what I pried off of his bumper, a Jesus fish!

GEORGE: Jerry, do you have any fishsticks?

JERRY: No. So you're disappointed he's a spiritual person?

ELAINE: Well yeah, I got him because he seemed so one-dimensional, I feel misled.

GEORGE: I think it's neat. You don't hear that much about god anymore.

JERRY: I hear things. Hey, so Sophie gave me the "It's me" on the phone today.

ELAINE: "It's me?" Isn't it a little premature?

JERRY: I thought so.

ELAINE: Hah. She's not a "me". I'm a "me".

GEORGE: I'm against all "it's me"s. So self-absorbed and egotistical, it's like those hip musicians with their complicated shoes!

(Kramer enters.)

KRAMER: Well, I got gonorrhea.

ELAINE: That seems about right.

KRAMER: That's what they gave me.

GEORGE: They? The Government?

JERRY: No, no. He's pretending he's got gonorrhea so med students can diagnose it.

KRAMER: And it's a waste of my talent. It's just a little burning. Mickey, he got bacterial meningitis.

GEORGE: I guess there are no small diseases, only small actors.

(The other three start laughing.)

GEORGE: (leaving) Alright that's it for me. Good night everybody.

ELAINE: What was that?

JERRY: Showmanship, George is trying to get out on a high note.

KRAMER: See, showmanship. Maybe that's what my gonorrhea is missing.

JERRY: Yes! Step into that spotlight and belt that gonorrhea out to the back row.

KRAMER: Yes, yes I will! I'm gonna make people feel my gonorrhea, and feel the gonorrhea themselves.

[Mt. Sanai Hospital. Kramer is on the table surrounded by med students.]

STUDENT #1: And are you experiencing any discomfort?

KRAMER: Just a little burning during urination.

STUDENT #1: Okay, any other pain?

KRAMER: The haunting memories of lost love. May I? (signals to Mickey) Lights? (Mickey turns down the lights and Kramer lights a cigar) Our eyes met across the crowded hat store. I, a customer, and she a coquettish haberdasher. Oh, I pursued and she withdrew, then she pursued and I withdrew, and so we danced. I burned for her, much like the burning during urination that I would experience soon afterwards.

STUDENT #1: Gonorrhea?!

KRAMER: Gonorrhea!

(The lab breaks out in spontaneous applause as Mickey turns up the lights and Kramer takes a bow.)

[Jerry and George are back at Jerry's apartment. Jerry is checking his phone messages.]

JERRY: One message. Hope it's not from you.

ANSWERING MACHINE: "Hey Jerry, it's me. Call me back."

JERRY: Sophie.

GEORGE: She's still doing that?


GEORGE: Alright, I'll tell you what you do. You call her back and give her the "it's me", heh? Pull the old switcheroo.

JERRY: I think that's a "what's good for the goose is good for the gander".

GEORGE: What the hell is a gander, anyway?

JERRY: (picking up the phone and dialing) It's a goose that's had the old switcheroo pulled on it. Hi Sophie, it's me.

SOPHIE: Hey Raef.

JERRY: (to George) She thinks it's someone named Raef.

GEORGE: Good, let her think it.

JERRY: (into the phone, with a disguised voice) So, what's going on?

SOPHIE: Not a lot.

GEORGE: Ask about you, ask about you.

JERRY: So, uh, how are things with Jerry?

SOPHIE: Oh, I really like him but, well, I still haven't told him the tractor story.

JERRY: Right, right, the tractor story.

SOPHIE: Are you sick, Raef? You sound kinda funny.

JERRY: I sound funny?

GEORGE: Abort! Abort!

JERRY: Yeah I better get to a doctor, bye. (Hangs up) That was close! What drives me to take chances like that?

GEORGE: That was very real.

JERRY: She said there's some tractor story that she hasn't told me about.

GEORGE: Woah, back it up, back it up. Beep, beep, beep. Tractor story?

JERRY: Beep, beep, beep? What are you doing?

[Elaine and Puddy are at Puddy's apartment.]

ELAINE: So where do you wanna eat?

PUDDY: Feels like an Arby's night.

ELAINE: Arby's. Beef and cheese and do you believe in god?


ELAINE: Oh. So, you're pretty religious?

PUDDY: That's right.

ELAINE: So is it a problem that I'm not really religious?

PUDDY: Not for me.

ELAINE: Why not?

PUDDY: I'm not the one going to hell.

[Jerry and George are at the coffee shop.]

GEORGE: You know what I think? I bet she stole a tractor.

JERRY: No one's stealing a tractor, it's a five-mile-an-hour getaway. We're dancing around the obvious, it's gotta be disfigurement.

GEORGE: Does she walk around holding a pen she never seems to need?

JERRY: No, she looks completely normal.

GEORGE: Oh. Okay, here it is, I got it. She lost her thumbs in a tractor accident and they grafted her big toes on. They do it every day.

JERRY: You think she's got toes for thumbs?

GEORGE: How's her handshake? A little firm, isn't it? Maybe a little too firm?

JERRY: I don't know.

GEORGE: Hands a little smelly?

JERRY: Why do I seek your counsel?

(Elaine walks in.)

ELAINE: Well I'm going to hell.

JERRY: That seems about right.

ELAINE: According to Puddy.

JERRY: Hey, have you heard the one about the guy in hell with the coffee and the doughtnuts and--

ELAINE: I'm not in the mood.

GEORGE: (To a passing waitress) I'll have some coffee and a doughnut.

JERRY: What do you care? You don't believe in hell.

ELAINE: I know, but he does.

JERRY: So it's more of a relationship problem than the final destination of your soul.

ELAINE: Well, relationships are very important to me.

JERRY: Maybe you can strike one up with the prince of darkness as you burn for all eternity.

GEORGE: (to the waitress bringing his doughnut) And a slice of devil's food cake.

[Kruger's office. George enters, seeing nobody but Mr. Kruger.]

GEORGE: Hey. Where is everyone?

KRUGER: They're all off the project. They were boring. George, you are my main man.


KRUGER: I don't know what it is, I can't put my finger on it, but lately you have just seemed 'on'. And you always leave me wanting more.

GEORGE: This is a huge project involving lots of numbers and papers and folders.

KRUGER: Ah, I'm not too worried about it. Let's get started.


KRUGER: George? Check it out. (He begins to spin around in his chair) Three times around, no feet.


KRUGER: All me.

[Kramer and Mickey are back at Mt. Sinai.]

DR. WEXLER: Alright, and here are you ailments for this week. By the way, Mr. Kramer, you were excellent.

KRAMER: Oh, thank you.

MICKEY: Cirrhosis of the liver with jaundice! Alright I get to wear make-up! What did you get?

KRAMER: Gonorrhea? Excuse me, I think there's been a mistake, see, I had gonorrhea last week.

DR. WEXLER: Oh, it's no mistake. We loved what you did with it.

KRAMER: I don't believe this, I'm being typecast.

[Jerry and Sophie are at Jerry's playing chess.]

SOPHIE: I move my knight... here. Check.

JERRY: They should update these pieces, nobody rides horses anymore. Maybe they should change it to a tractor.

SOPHIE: Jerry, are you embarrassed that you're losing?

JERRY: Losing? You know, yesterday I lost control of my car, almost bought the farm.

SOPHIE: Bought the farm?

JERRY: Tractor!

SOPHIE: This is an odd side of you, Jerry. I feel uncomfortable.

JERRY: Wait, don't go. Let's thumb wrestle.

(Sophie drops her purse and when she bends down to pick it up, Jerry nods knowingly.)

[Jerry and George are at the coffee shop.]

GEORGE: A scar?

JERRY: A big long scar where her leg would dangle when she's riding a...?

GEORGE: A tractor.

JERRY: I'm sure she's a little self-conscious and doesn't like to talk about it.

GEORGE: I don't see why's she more self-conscious about that than her toe thumbs.

JERRY: She doesn't have toe thumbs.

GEORGE: Well, if she keeps horsing around with that tractor--

JERRY: Alright. So how's the two-man operation at Kruger?

GEORGE: Two-man? It's all me. Kruger doesn't do anything; Disappears for hours at a time, gives me fake excuses. This afternoon I found him with sleep creases on his face. The only reason I got out to get a bite today was that he finally promised to buckle down and do some actual work. (turning around, George sees Mr. Kruger at a booth eating a piece of cake) Oh, I don't believe this. This is what I have to put up with, Jerry. (He walks over) Mr. Kruger? Who said he was going to do some actual work today? Who?

KRUGER: I'm not too worried about it.

GEORGE: Well I am. Couldn't you try to go through some of that stuff I put in your shoebox?

KRUGER: Alright, alright I'm going.

GEORGE: (to Jerry) Huh-ho! Have you ever seen anything like this?

JERRY: Never.

[Elaine's hallway. The door opens, Puddy steps out in his bathrobe. There's a newspaper in front of the door across from Elaine's.]

PUDDY: Elaine, they forgot to deliver your paper today. Why don't you just grab that one.

ELAINE: 'Cause that belongs to Mr. Potato Guy, that's his.

PUDDY: C'mon, get it.

ELAINE: Well if you want it, you get it.

PUDDY: Sorry, thou shalt not steal.

ELAINE: Oh, but it's ok for me?

PUDDY: What do you care, you know where you're going.

ELAINE: Alright, that is it! I can't live like this.


ELAINE: C'mon.

PUDDY: Alright, what did I do?

ELAINE: David, I'm going to hell! The worst place in the world! With devils and those caves and the ragged clothing! And the heat! My god, the heat! I mean, what do you think about all that?

PUDDY: Gonna be rough.

ELAINE: Uh, you should be trying to save me!

PUDDY: Don't boss me! This is why you're going to hell.

ELAINE: I am not going to hell and if you think I'm going to hell, you should care that I'm going to hell even though I am not.

PUDDY: You stole my Jesus fish, didn't you?

ELAINE: Yeah, that's right!

(Elaine places her hands beside her head, index fingers raised as 'horns' and she emits a gutteral growling sound.)

[Mt Sanai Hospital. The actors are gathered. Mickey is practicing his part.]

MICKEY: Oh, my liver! Why did I drink all those years? Why did I look for love in a bottle?

DR. WEXLER: Mr. Kramer? You're up.

(Kramer walks in, his face is noticably yellow.)

MICKEY: Wait a minute. You are doing gonorrhea, aren't you?

KRAMER: Well, we'll see.

STUDENT #2: So, what seems to be bothering you today, Mr. Kramer?

KRAMER: (pulling a liquor bottle from his jacket pocket) Well, I guess it started about twenty years ago when I got back from Viet Nam, and this was the only friend I had left.

MICKEY: Hey! That's my cirrhosis! He's stealing my cirrhosis! (he jumps Kramer) You wanna be sick? I'll make you sick.

(They fall to the floor, wrestling.)

STUDENT #2: Cirrhosis of the liver and PCP addiction?

[Elaine and Puddy have gone to see a priest, Father Curtis.]

FATHER CURTIS: Let me see if I understand this. You're concerned that he isn't concerned that you're going to hell. And you feel that she's too bossy.

ELAINE & PUDDY: Yeah, that's right.

FATHER CURTIS: Well, oftentimes in cases of inter-faith marriages, couples have difficulty--

ELAINE (Interrupting) Woah, woah, woah! No one's getting married here.

FATHER CURTIS: You aren't?


ELAINE: We're just, you know, having a good time.

FATHER CURTIS: Oh, well then it's simple. You're both going to hell.

PUDDY: No way, this is bogus, man!

ELAINE: Well, thank you father.

FATHER CURTIS: Oh, did you hear the one about the new guy in hell who's talkng to the devil by the coffee machine?

PUDDY: I'm really not in the mood, I'm going to hell.

ELAINE: Oh, lighten up. It'll only feel like an eternity.

(Elaine makes the same 'fingers up' devil gesture as she did in her apartment and Father Curtis joins in.)

[Jerry and Sophie ar at Jerry's apartment.]

SOPHIE: You know, Jerry, there's this thing that I haven't told you about. See, there was this tractor and, oh boy, this is really difficult.

JERRY: Sophie, it's me. I know about the tractor story and I'm fine with it.

SOPHIE: How could you know?

JERRY: (putting his finger to Sophie's lips, then to his own, then back to Sopie's) Shh. Shh. Shh. It's not important. What's important is I'm not gonna let a little thing like that ruin what could be a very long-term and meaningful relationship.

(Kramer and Mickey barge in, they're in the middle of an argument.)

KRAMER: ...I didn't say that, no.

MICKEY: You gave me gonorrhea, you didn't even tell me!

KRAMER: Well, I'm sorry. I gave you gonorrhea because I thought you'd have fun with it.

JERRY: Hey, hey! I'm with someone.

KRAMER: Oh. Hello.

SOPHIE: No, I understand. This could be a tough thing to deal with. The important thing is that you have a partner who's supportive.

KRAMER: (to Mickey) You know? She's right.

SOPHIE: Unfortunately, I didn't have a partner. I got gonorrhea from a tractor.

JERRY: You got gonorrhea from a tractor?? And you call *that* your tractor story??

KRAMER: You can't get it from that.

SOPHIE: But I did. My boyfriend said I got gonorrhea from riding the tractor in my bathing suit.

JERRY: (walking out) Alright, that's it for me. You've been great. Goodnight everybody.

[Mr. Kruger and George are burning the midnight oil. George is working, Mr. Kruger is bouncing a ball against the wall and catching it. George is percolating.]

GEORGE: Would you mind helping me out with some of this stuff?!?

KRUGER: You seem like you've got a pretty good handle on it.

GEORGE: No! I don't! Don't you even care? This is your company! It's your name on the outside of the building! Speaking of which, the 'R' fell off and all it says now is K-uger!

KRUGER: K-uger, that sounds like one of those old-time car horns, huh? K-uger! K-uger!

GEORGE: Huh-ho! Oh! You are too much, Mr. Kruger! Too much!

KRUGER: (getting up to leave) Thank you George, you've been great. That's it for me.

GEORGE: Oh no, you're not going out on a high note with me Mr. Kruger!

KRUGER: It's K-uger!


KRUGER: Goodnight everybody!

The End

Dedication: In memory of our friend, Lloyd Bridges.

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