The Abstinence (season 8, episode 9)
written by Steve Koren, directed by Andy Ackerman
original airdate: November 21, 1996
George’s girlfriend gets mono and can’t have sex. By abstaining from sex, George becomes intelligent. Elaine stops having sex, but it has the opposite effect on her. Jerry keeps getting bumped from a gig at his junior high school career day. Kramer turns his apartment into a smoking lounge and enlists Jackie Chiles to represent him in a lawsuit against the tobacco companies.
The Improv is not featured in this episode.
Jerry turns down a gig for his junior high career day, which turns into a longwinded process to finally get him onstage. George announces his girlfriend has mono, and subsequently becomes a genius due to his abstaining from sex, acing an episode of “Jeopardy.” Jerry points out Kramer’s disfigurement from high tobacco smoke exposure.
George, whose new-found intellect allows him to speak Portuguese, sleeps with a Portuguese waitress at Monk’s, thus resulting in his abstinence-induced intelligence being wiped out. Kramer is thrown out by Larry the manager after trying to smoke a cigar in the restaurant. Elaine’s med-student boyfriend is unable to help a patron who passes out.
Andes Mountains, SOUTH AMERICA (map)
George brings up a hypothetical situation of Jerry, George and Kramer flying over the Andes, and who should be eaten first in the event of a crash. The Andes spread across seven South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela).
When asked why Jerry why the gang would theoretically be flying through the Andes (and crash, forcing them to become cannibals like in the film “Alive”), George responds “for a soccer game in Chile.”
George discovers his girlfriend Louise has mono (“nucleosis?”), and in turn becomes something of a genius when forced to abstain from sex.
Dayton Civic Center (NOT REAL)
Dayton, OHIO (map)
Likely meant to be Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St. Katie finds Jerry a gig here:
KATIE: “That’s Ohio, Jerry!”
JERRY: “I’ve heard of Ohio, Katie.”
Edward R. Murrow High School
1600 Ave. L, Brooklyn, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: Avenue M (Q)
Jerry goes to perform at career day at his alma mater, but gets bumped for a lizard guy from the Bronx Zoo. Jerry later gets bumped during a fire drill, and then finally gets a full 2 hour assembly set, bumping Rick James (“superfreak?!?”).
O’Neals (NOW CLOSED)
49 W. 64th St., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 66th Street – Lincoln Center (1)
Elaine discovers that her boyfriend Ben isn’t really a doctor, but rather just a failed med student…and thus, “she’s not really attracted to him.”
Radio Shack (NOW CLOSED)
521 Columbus Ave., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 86th Street (B,C)
When Jerry asks why his junior high school would want to screw with his head, Kramer retorts with “why does Radio Shack ask for your phone number when you buy batteries?” This Radio Shack was the closest to Kramer’s Apartment.
Elaine quizzes Ben before his medical exam, abstaining herself from sex until he passes.
Kramer opens a smoking lounge in his apartment for his fellow banished smoking lovers…but then discovers his disfigurement due to prolonged exposure to smoke.
George teaches Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter how to use physics to properly hit home runs, as he is now a physics expert due to his abstinence.
Ramada Milwaukee City Centre
633 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee, WISCONSIN (map)
Bernie Williams asks George if he was the guy who put them in that Ramada in Milwaukee for a series against the Brewers. The closest Ramada to Milwaukee County Stadium (the Brewers’ stadium in 1996) is this location, 6.9 miles away.
George learns to speak Portuguese thanks to his abstinence, eventually sleeping with a Portuguese waitress from Monk’s Café that he can now converse with. To Jerry: “Mathematically, I had to do it.”
Jackie Chiles’ office
The Hippodrome, 1120 Sixth Ave., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 42nd Street – Bryant Park (B,D,F,M)
Kramer is nearly turned down once again by Jackie for requesting counsel, but Jackie agrees to partake when learning it is a case against big tobacco.
One Times Square
1 Times Sq., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: Times Square – 42nd Street (1,2,3,7,N,Q,R,S)
Kramer reveals to Jackie Chiles his settlement: him appearing as the Marlboro Man in a giant billboard in the center of Times Square…the most public yet of Jackie’s many humiliations.
Ed Sullivan Theater
1697-1699 Broadway, New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 7th Avenue (B,D,E)
Jerry is supposed to appear on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” but is bumped by the man himself for being booed and bumped from his junior high school by a “lizard guy.”