The Sponge

709 - Sponge

The Sponge (season 7, episode 9)

written by Peter Mehlman, directed by Andy Ackerman
original airdate: December 7, 1995

Elaine panics when she learns that her favorite birth control device is going off the market. She now must determine if her boyfriend is “spongeworthy.” Jerry dates a woman whose number he got off an AIDS Walk list. Kramer refuses to wear the red ribbon at the AIDS Walk and suffers the consequences.

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The Improv

Jerry’s Apartment
Jerry calls Lena from Kramer’s AIDS Walk list, but when she discovers the truth about how he got her number, she is surprisingly okay with it (“she’s giving and caring and genuinely concerned about the welfare of others – I can’t be with someone like that!”). Jerry cuts George out of the gossip loop for leaking the info to Susan. Kramer struggles to sufficiently rest up for the AIDS Walk.

Monk’s Café
Jerry sneaks Lena’s phone number off of Kramer’s AIDS Walk donor list. Kramer tells Elaine that the sponge is off the market, sending her on a city-wide search for reserves, and sending George and Susan into looking for alternative contraception.

Susan’s office
New York, NEW YORK

Jerry envisions that telling George how he got Lena’s phone number will result in Susan gossiping to her friend Monica, shown in her office on the phone. Naturally, George goes down this exact route, with the information getting back to Lena via Monica via Susan.

Monica’s apartment
New York, NEW YORK

Jerry envisions that telling George how he got Lena’s phone number will result in Susan gossiping to her friend Monica, shown in her apartment on the phone. Naturally, George goes down this exact route, with the information getting back to Lena via Monica via Susan.

Pasteur Pharmacy
806 Lexington Ave., New York, NEW YORK
(map)
nearest subway: Lexington Avenue -63rd Street (F)
Elaine finds the final case of the Today Sponges during her “25 block radius hard target search”…taking three…no, ten…no, twenty…no, twenty five…yeah, just give me the whole case.

La Boite en Bois
75 W. 68th St., New York, NEW YORK
(map)
nearest subway: 66th Street – Lincoln Center (1)
Jerry, Lena, George and Susan go out for dinner…and George accidentally drops a hint about an unlisted number to Lena.

Kramer’s Apartment
Jerry warns Kramer over spending the night before the AIDS Walk drinking, smoking and gambling, but Kramer is not concerned for his condition the next day.

Elaine’s Apartment
George goes over to Elaine’s to beg for extra sponges, but is not deemed “spongeworthy.” Elaine also holds a rigorous screening process to deem whether Billy is also “spongeworthy.”

Lena Small’s apartment
New York, NEW YORK

Lena is told by Monica how Jerry actually got her phone number. She later deems Jerry to not be “spongeworthy,” as he lies about his jeans size by writing over his true size, 32, marking the pants a size 31.

Central Park 59th Street Gate
E. 59th St. and Fifth Ave., New York, NEW YORK
(map)
nearest subway: Fifth Avenue – 59th Street (N,Q,R)
The New York AIDS Walk begins at the 5th Ave. and 59th St. entrance to Central Park every year. Kramer barely survives the AIDS Walk for refusing to wear the AIDS ribbon.

George’s Apartment
George fails to “beat the clock,” as he is unable to open a condom wrapper in order to have make-up sex with Susan in absence of the sponge. An incorrect establishing shot in the episode shows the outside awning of George’s first apartment on W. 90th St.

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