The Checks (season 8, episode 7)
written by Tom Gammill & Max Pross and Steve O’Donnell, directed by Andy Ackerman
original airdate: November 7, 1996
Jerry’s hand cramps after signing hundreds of royalty checks for an appearance on Japanese television. Kramer tries to help Japanese tourists. George attempts to sell the “Jerry” pilot to Japanese television. Elaine’s boyfriend is obsessed with the song “Desperado” and Farbman furniture.
The Improv is not featured in this episode.
Jerry struggles to sign hundreds of minuscule royalty checks he receives from a one-second appearance on a Japanese TV show. Jerry convinces Elaine to suggest “Witch-ay Woman” as a new song for her and Brett, to replace “Desperado.” Brett later comes to the apartment and sees Jerry taking an axe to Kramer’s drawers, and is concussed after accidentally being hit with the axe’s handle.
New York, NEW YORK
Elaine and Brett are out for dinner, discussing Karl Farbman furniture until Brett is stopped dead in his tracks by the song “Desperado.”
W. 48th St. and Sixth Ave., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 49th Street (N,Q,R)
Jerry mentions he used to work with Teddy Padillack selling umbrellas on this corner, and that he invented “the twirl” to attract customers.
Kramer hosts his Japanese guests in the Farbman chest of drawers (his “bureau and breakfast”), until Jerry destroys it to free them from the warped wood, caused by steam from his hot tub.
Jerry gets tons of tiny royalty checks for his one-second appearance on the Super Terriffic Happy Hour. Kramer befriends three Japanese tourists, Mr. Oh, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Yamaguchi, who Kramer “houses” in his drawers in his apartment. Kramer and George try and convince Jerry to pitch the pilot to Japanese TV. And according to Kramer, oranges are rare in Japan (“you’ve forgotten what its like to have no oranges.”)
George hires the cleaners/religious cult Sunshine Carpet Cleaners to clean his carpets, and is offended when he is not “invited” to join them.
Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Ave., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 5th Avenue – 53rd Street (E,M)
Kramer takes his new Japanese friends to Saks, where they all buy cowboy hats for $500 USD (50,000 yen) each, which according to Kramer is “practically free.”
Rainbow Room (NOW CLOSED)
30 Rockefeller Pl., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 47-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center (B,D,F,M)
Kramer mentions he will take his Japanese friends to the Rainbow Room on their yen, “that pays for that TV you watch, even that kimono you wear.” The group ends up having to leave early due to a “slight monetary discrepancy” (i.e. running out of money).
Nakahama Broadcast Corporation (NOT REAL)
New York, NEW YORK
George and Jerry pitch the pilot to a Japanese TV network, but are told “you must go now” before they can sell it. The Sunshine Carpet Cleaners later come back to clean up Jerry’s coffee stain…bringing the brainwashed Mr. Wilhelm (now named Tanya) along as a new employee.
2 Central Park S., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 5th Avenue – 59th Street (N,Q,R)
Jerry mentions that Kramer’s Japanese friends originally all had suites at the Plaza, but ran out of money thanks to Kramer’s irresponsible spending.