Season 4 Episode 18

The Old Man

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 18, 1993 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
181 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jerry, Elaine & George volunteer to help the elderly. Jerry gets assigned to a nasty old man. Elaine is repulsed by the goiter problems of hers and George depresses his charge. Kramer and Newman try the business of selling old records to a used record store. Jerry loses track of his man when they try to take him to the dentist to repair his dentures, after the man had bitten Kramer's arm.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Jerry, George, and Elaine sign up for volunteer work with the elderly. They wind up with three of the most eccentric old-timers in New York. Meanwhile, Kramer and Newman plot to sell used records for (hopefully) a huge profit.moreless

    I chose "Well Written" to describe 'The Old Man,' even though you could say this for any 'Seinfeld' episode. The dialogue here is truly amazing. Bill Erwin does a remarkable job portraying Sid Fields, a crazy old man who thinks his African housekeeper is stealing from him. Sid's lines are as funny as his personality. His exchange with Jerry when they first meet is classic. He describes watching Kramer and Newman taking his records as like "watching a bunch of hyenas." Also great is Kramer and Newman's final encounter with the record store clerk. "You emit a foul and unpleasant odor! are a piece of crap!...I loathe you!" The recurring joke in this episode is about bald men (Gandhi, George) dipping their bald heads in oil and rubbing them all over their female counterparts bodies. Truly great stuff here.moreless
  • Tobin Bell guest stars...

    I agree with Elaine on this one, for some strange reason. I couldn't bare watching this episode because of all the old people. they were so rude first of all, they weren't funny. I love Elaine's plot probably because you can't actually see the old person. that is what made the rating of the episode so high. The old woman's goiter! You know what was weird, that Sengal girl doing the same exact same thing to George as Ghandi did to the old lady. Turns out Jerry's old guy & George's old guy were friends. Who knew? Highlight of the episode, is that Tobin Bell from Saw guest stars being surprisingly funny.moreless
  • Great guest performance by Bill Erwin.

    I will say that without Bill Erwin in this episode, it wouldn't have been as good as it was. They did a wonderful job casting him in this episode. I mean, there are still some funny moments in the episode without Bill Erwin. Such as the scene with Newman and Kramer with the records. The Old Man is in my opinion one of the best installments from season 4. This is also one of the first times we actually get to know Newman and find out exactly what he does for a living, even though this was his 9th appearance on the show.moreless
  • Jerry and the gang volunteer senior citzen's program to keep old folks company.

    Jerry, George and Elaine all choose an elderly person to visit and the laughs ensue. The subplot involves Kramer and Neumann hustling records back and forth to a record shop owner; their latest scam for some extra bucks on the side. George offends his elder so completely that he immediately gets fired (from a volunteer gig?) and Elaine gets a real shock with her elderly client. Jerry of course ends up with the ultimate old fogey and Kramer along with George, a Jamaican housekeeper, Neumann and a very efficient garbage disposal ruin the experience. It comes to a climax when the old fogey's actual family get into the picture. Tune in for a shocker!moreless
Bill Erwin

Bill Erwin

Sid Fields

Guest Star

Tobin Bell

Tobin Bell


Guest Star

Robert Donley

Robert Donley

Ben Cantwell

Guest Star

Wayne Knight

Wayne Knight


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Newman refers to the record store as "Ron's Records" and the man they refer to as Ron calls it "my store". However, the sign shown on the outside of the store says "Bleecker Bob's Records."

    • It is in this episode that we, as well as George, and possibly Jerry, learn that Newman is a postman.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Kramer: (in Newman's ear) This guy's nothin' but a piece of crap…
      Newman: You are nothing but a piece of crap.
      Ron: Pardon me?
      Kramer: (in Newman's ear) A piece of crap…
      Newman: A piece of crap.
      Kramer: (in Newman's ear) I find you extremely ugly…
      Newman I find you extremely ugly.
      Ron: Do you?
      Kramer: (in Newman's ear) You emit a foul and unpleasant odor…
      Newman: You emit a foul and unpleasant odor.
      Ron: Oh, is that right?
      Kramer: (in Newman's ear) I loathe you…
      Newman: I loathe you.

    • Old Lady: What's bothering you? Is it my goiter?
      Elaine: Goiter? What goiter?
      Old Lady: This football shaped growth jutting out of my neck!
      Elaine: Oh, no…it's distinctive; as a matter of fact I wish I had one!

    • Jerry: The agency sent me.
      Mr. Fields: The agency, what agency? The CIA?

    • George: (to housekeeper) I would like to dip my bald head in oil and rub it all over your body.

    • George: Let me ask you something... What do you do for a living, Newman?
      Newman: I'm a United States postal worker.
      George: Aren't those the guys that always go crazy and come back with a gun and shoot everybody?
      Newman: Sometimes.
      Jerry: Why is that?
      Newman: Because the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There's never a letup, It's relentless. Every day it piles up more and more, but the more you get out, the more it keeps coming. And then the bar code reader breaks. And then it's Publisher's Clearinghouse day.
      Jerry: All right, all right.

    • Old Man: My teef! My teef!

    • Jerry: I HATE my guy…he's a mean, MEAN guy!

    • George: What are you talking about? How can you sit there and look me in the eye and tell that me you're not worried?! Don't you have any sense?! Don't you have a brain!? Are you so completely senile that you don't know what you're talking about anymore!!?! Wait a second! Where are you going?
      Mr. Cantwell: Life's too short to waste on you.

    • Elaine: You'd think they'd mention that before they send you over there: "Oh, by the way, this woman almost has a second head." But no, no, I didn't get any goiter information.

    • George: What kind of a person are you?
      Jerry: I think I'm pretty much like you, only successful.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Bill Erwin was nominated for the 1993 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for playing "Sid Fields" in this episode.

    • Syd Field is also a well-known authority on screenwriting who has written many books and is undoubtedly known to or by the writers.

    • Viewer Gerry Myerson notes that the other old man was named Ben Cantwell. Baseball trivia buffs recognize this as the name of a pitcher for the Boston Braves, who lost 25 games in 1935. No one has lost that many games in a season since then.

    • Viewer Eric Scheffel notes that old man's name is Sid Fields. This was the name of the landlord on the The Abbott & Costello Show. Which of featured Jerry's two favorite comedians, Bud Abbott & Lou Costello. In fact on 24 Nov 94, instead of an episode of Seinfeld being on, Jerry hosted a one hour special about the duo. The special was called Abbott & Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld.


    • Shaggytronico: You got Sergio Mendes, now, come on ! (the man on the records store)
      Sergio Mendes is a Brazilian musician. He played in the Carnegie Hall Bossa Nova Festival, in 1962, in New York.
      He played at the White House in 1967 and has made many albums, both solo and with his groups, always mixing bossa nova with jazz and Brazilian rhythms.