Season 8 Episode 1

The Foundation

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 19, 1996 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
135 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After a summer of grieving, George is ready to move on with his life, but a comment Jerry makes to the Rosses inspires them to start a foundation in Susan's memory. Jerry, who has broken off his engagement to Jeanie, does research into what sort of break-up story makes a man most appealing to women. Elaine becomes president of J Peterman when a burnt out Peterman flees to Burma. Meanwhile, the new-found perspective and confidence Kramer has gotten from Karate inspires Elaine - until it's revealed that he's been fighting against children.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • The Foundation.

    You can just tell the humor is not what it used to be after Larry David's departure following Season 7. The jokes are just expected to be funny because of who says them, not because they are clever and unique and never before said on television.

    Putting that aside, this was still an excellent episode of TV. The Kramer scenes were legendary and even though this is so exaggerated and unrealistic, you can think of something to relate this to in your life. That is why Seinfeld will always be the number one show.

    Good episode, unfortunately it set the bar too high.moreless
  • Kramer steals the show

    Even when George had his time with his almost father in law and Elaine dealing with Peterman's departure and a catalog to run,. Kramer made me laugh a lot as always.

    His encouragement to Elaine was hilarious but his karate class was funnier. I just couldn't laugh out loud when he was in the car with all the kids asking the driving mom for something, then cheering for getting it, then the whole class until all the kids get their revenge.

    Jerry's breakup with Jeannie was silly and all his ridiculous story about it to get more women. Mulva is back. At least he remembered her name this time.moreless
  • Nice way to start a season.

    This was a pretty good episode to start the season. Jerry is finding a perfect way to attract women, I liked the part where the woman thought that there was no way to a mutual break up. George and the foundation was good to, I didn't like his story as much at the others though. I loved Elaine's Urban Sombrero. I liked the part at the end where the two men lost there jobs because of the Urban Sombrero. Cramer's story was funny to, although a bit overplayed cuz I thought that the idea of the Karate with chlidren is overplayed, but still, this episode was shown a long time ago but still really good episode to start off a season.moreless
  • This was a pretty funny episode. Kramer is taking karate lessons, Elaine has to run the catalogue, and George has to run a foundation and Jerry in search of the perfect way to attract women.moreless

    Kramer’s story was really funny. He speaks of his dominance in his karate class but it turns out that he is only fighting against mere children. His advice even inspires Elaine who doubted herself at first if she could run the catalogue. Once she sees that he is fighting kids and his words of wisdom comes from a Star Trek she knows she made a mistake. At first Elaine didn’t know if she had what it takes to run the company but after Kramer’s peep talk she felt better. The best part of her story was at the very end of the show when she is on the subway and hears two men talking about how the Urban Sombrero lost them their jobs. When Elaine goes to see him at his lessons she pushes him down. This inspired the kids in the class to gang up on Kramer and beat him up. That part was great.

    Those were not the only words of wisdom from Star Trek to screw up someone’s day. Jerry in an awkward moment took a line from the famous movie The Wrath of Khan. This gave Susan’s parents the idea to start a foundation in her name. This would be great if George didn’t have plans to live it up. Now all his free time is taken up with this foundation and he owes it all to Jerry. It is funny when George comes to meek Jerry at the café George is so mad that he puts mustard in Jerry’s coffee.

    Jerry’s part was alright. He runs into a girl who he thought hater him and now she seems interested and he wonders why. It turned out that being engaged means something to women even if it doesn’t turn into marriage. He gets the workers at the café to take a questionnaire and he figures out that George’s story is what will get the women, but this doesn’t matter to George because all his free time is taken up by the foundation.moreless
Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo

Jeannie Steinman

Guest Star

Bruce Davison

Bruce Davison


Guest Star

Susan Walters

Susan Walters

Dolores "Mulva"

Guest Star

Grace Zabriskie

Grace Zabriskie

Mrs. Ross

Recurring Role

Warren Frost

Warren Frost

Mr. (Henry) Ross

Recurring Role

Joe Urla

Joe Urla


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Myanmar is 10 and a half hours ahead of New York City so there's no way it can be light in both places when Elaine is talking to Peterman on the phone.

    • At Kramer's Karaté Dojo there's a picture of martial artist Jackie Chan hanging on the wall.

    • Jerry slightly misquotes the movie "Star Trek II". The actual quote from "Wrath of Khan" was "He's not dead, not as long as we remember him." not " as long as we find a way to remember" as Jerry says.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Elaine: (to Jerry) Between you and me, I always thought Kramer was a bit of a doofus. But, he believed in me. You did not. So, as I see it, he's not the doofus. You are the doofus.

    • Mr. Ross: It's a terrible tragedy when parents outlive their children.
      George: Yes, I agree. I hope my parents go long before I do.

    • Elaine: You've never felt remorse.
      Jerry: I know. I feel bad about that.

    • Kramer: Karate. It's a lifetime pursuit of balance and harmony.
      Jerry: But with punching and kicking.

    • Peterman: No apples. No pears. No bananas. Where's my pineapple?!

    • Jerry: (about the catalogue) How's it look?
      Elaine: (muffled, as she's smoking a cigar) It's a peach.
      Jerry: What's that?
      Elaine: I say, it's a peach.

    • George: I was free and clear. I was living the dream. I was stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery.
      Jerry: Before we go any further, I'd just like to point out how disturbing it is that you equate eating a block of cheese with some sort of bachelor paradise.

    • Jerry: You're fighting children!
      Kramer: We're all on the same skill level, Jerry.

    • Kramer: What's wrong?
      Elaine: Peterman ran off to Burma, and now he wants me to run the catalog.
      Kramer: Where?
      Jerry: Myanmar.
      Kramer: The discount pharmacy?

    • Peterman: You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

    • J. Peterman Catalog Writer: So I pressed through the rushes, and there below me -- the shimmering waters of Lake Victoria.
      Peterman: Oh, for the love of God, man, just tell me what the product is!
      Writer: It's a... a... washcloth.
      Peterman: No washcloths!!

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode was dedicated "In Memory of Our Friend Marjorie Gross." Marjorie died from ovarian cancer earlier this year at the age of 40, in previous seasons, Marjorie was one of show's producers and writers. She was responsible for "The Secretary", "The Fusilli Jerry", "The Understudy" and "The Shower Head." During her battle early in 1996 she wrote an article titled "Cancer Becomes Me" for The New Yorker magazine on what it is like to be dying from the disease. Thanks to Jerry Balsam, Vince Gargiulo and Kenny Kramer for the information on Marjorie's article. Marjorie also wrote some episodes of the early 1980's comedy Square Pegs.


    • Kramer: (Referring to the children who beat him up) …those tiny little fists of fury!

      This references the 1971 film, Fists of Fury, starring karate icon Bruce Lee.

    • Kramer: …that something within you that says, 'Yes, I can!'
      Jerry: Sammy Davis Jr. had it.

      Reference to Sammy Davis Jr.'s autobiography entitled Yes I Can.

    • George: (With face and fists skyward) "KHAAAAAAAANN!!!"
      In one of several references to a "Star Trek" film (1982's "Wrath of Khan"), George bellows this villain's name after the eulogy Jerry stole from the film has mushroomed into a charitable foundation that will consume George's every free minute. In the actual film, Admiral James Kirk lashes out at Khan and his evil deeds with the same overwrought fury. Jason Alexander is a big fan of William Shatner and this scene was likely his homage to the actor.