Season 1 Episode 1

The Seinfeld Chronicles

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jul 05, 1989 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

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out of 10
408 votes
  • In the Seinfeld Chronicles (original title) Pilot episode, Jerry finds out that someone he knows is coming to New York, and she wants to stay at Jerry's. Jerry doesn't know what she means by this.

    Not bad, but I have seen better pilot's. Although I am a big Seinfeld fan, I don't find this episode as good as a lot of things. It is still worth watching, but it isn't as good as a lot of the other Seinfeld episodes. This episode has a lot of good stand-up material though. Which is good, because Jerry Seinfeld is a terrific comedian. A lot of the jokes were good to, and Kramer (Kesler in the pilot) is hilarious, as he always is. This episode is very average though. So it's worth watching, but don't be disapointed if it's not as good as some of the other Seinfeld episodes.
  • Slow start for Seinfeld

    By looking at this episode, I would not have guessed at first that this would be a famous series that would have 9 full, successful seasons later on.

    The story wasn't that great. It focuses on how a woman Jerry met on the road is coming to visit him. George gives his opinion on the subject, Elaine doesn't appear, and Kramer stops in for a few pieces of meat.

    Surprisingly, Kramer seemed drugged in this episode. He wasn't the Kramer that we all later on loved.

    Luckily, the series got much better after this episode and exploded onto one of the best series on television in history.
  • The first Seinfeld episode is the worst Seinfeld episode.

    The pilot of Seinfeld is the asbsolute worst episode of Seinfeld there is. It's way to boring, has no Elaine, and Jerry and George's relationship seems so tacky and cheap! Even the great Kramer is sadly bad in this episode. It has a lame plot with an old friend visiting Jerry, bad jokes, and a terrible premise. This episode is so different from the series because it's to terrible to even enjoy. The only good thing about this episode was Jerry's stand up and that's it. And that's the way it was, Seinfeld got off to a bad start.
  • Seinfeld's pilot episode begins with Jerry Seinfeld, a comedian, wondering about a girl who wants to stay with him for a weekend. George convinces him at first that nothing is going to happen, but then he changes his mind completely.

    This episode is not a bad one, but not a good one either. In this pilot episode, Elaine was not in it, and Kramer + George both had different personalities. In this, Kramer seemed incredibly needy and it also seemed like he had no money or no life at all (especially when he came in asking if Jerry had any meat.) George, too, didn't seem right. He was telling Jerry about "signals," which he never mentioned again in the series. He also came off as a guy who knew a lot about women, which, of course, is completely false. And the #1 annoyance to me was Elaine not being in the pilot. There are future episodes where she is not in it at all, but this shouldn't be so on the premiere of the series. How whould it be if you watched the FRIENDS pilot with no Chandler? Or All In The Family with no Edith? The one thing that I did enjoy about this episode was Jerry's stand-up. They did do a little too much stand-up scenes, but I do enjoy those type of jokes. So, in my opinion, this was a weak show opener, but the show did become a hit after they realized what they were doing wrong.
  • The first episode, really not to great. Really a bad start. Why do you thing they only got 5 episodes for the 1st season.

    It was a really slow start and not as good as other episodes. Really not to good, the acting wasn't really that good except for Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. One bad thing about the episode there was no main lady. Now in the credits there was Lee Garland (I think thats right) and I'm not sure who that is and if she was going to appear multiple times. The begining of the episode was pretty funny. I think it was one of those avreage Seinfeld episodes, but it was still funny. Well that is my review see you later.
  • 1st episode

    A girl Jerry met on the road wants to stay with him when she comes to New York. George thinks that she is just using Jerry as contingency plan. Hoffman (Kessler/Kramer see notes) comes by to borrow a couple of pieces of meat. The girl calls and asks Jerry if she can stay at his apartment for the night, when she arrives she asks to stay for another night. Jerry is disappointed when everything is going his way until he finds out she is engaged.

    Review: It is amazing how together this show is from the beggining. I mean, sure somethings don\'t stay like Claire the waitress, bad opening music, and no Elaine?!? But altogether, the conversations are there and the show never really changed from this template. Key Moments: \"Hand Sandwich\"
  • Not much story really. Jerry is expecting a visit from a woman he had met a while ago, not knowing that she is now engaged. It really was about nothing.

    Interesting to real fans of the series historically, I suppose. A few good jokes, most of the best scenes are in the coffee shop, and the waitress steals them. George is surprisingly self-confident, much less neurotic, and Kramer is surprisingly laid-back, much less chaotic. Jerry's apartment looks cheap (maybe the pilot didn't have a big enough budget). No Elaine, which hurts the interplay between the principals, and the guest star is rather boring.
    Jerry's stand up stuff is above average, but there is too much of it.
    Having said all that, though, no series that I can recall ever started out at the top of its game, and most characters need development before they can appear over the top with confidence.

    I hadn't read this for a while, and when doing it again, I think I got it right. I did not know, however, that the Claire character was intended to be a regular (thank GOD for Elaine). It goes to show that the producers didn't have a clue what they were on to until about six episodes in, when the critics were falling over themselves to adore the series - even when it wasn't a series! It makes me wonder how much Jerry really controlled the production.
    I have heard him say that the three other main cast members made the show, although some advisors had told him to experiment with other people. He obviously found out that the combination worked, and then went on to gain confidence and inspiration for further episodes.
  • One of the worst episodes is the pilot

    If this was actually the first episode I ever saw, I would never have watched another episode because "Kessler" was bland and not the eccentric Kramer that we know and love, George is a "women's signs" expert which does not fit well with his character and Elaine does not exist. The plot was a bit predictable and lame and wasn't very entertaining.

    Fortunately, I'd seen many classics before the pilot and knew that it was just a poor start to a brilliant series and though I managed to laugh once or twice in the episode, it is definitely not as hilarious as the episodes to come.
  • Jerry has a friend from out of town coming in. She asks him if she can stay at his apartment. George, according to what the woman said over the phone, tells Jerry that her and him are not going to become a couple. Together, they try to interpret the signs

    This episode wasn\'t very good. But hey, they were just starting off! I don\'t blame them. Some of the lines were funny, but there was no real storyline. The whole show was basically Jerry and George trying to figure out if Jerry and this woman would go out. I have the DVDs, and in an extra, Jason Alexander says that in that episode he tried to do a \"blunt Woody Allen impression\" when he did the whole \"signs, Jerry. Signs!\" bit. This was before he figured out that the character was based on Larry David. Anyway, this pilot episode was a bad apple. But hey, the other episodes were awesome!
  • A Brilliant Pilot Film

    Title: The Seinfeld Chronicles Other Titles: Good News, Bad News, Stand Up (Series Original Title) Date (Original Run): 5 July 1989 Starring: Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Seinfeld Jason Alexander: George Costanza Michael Richards: Cosmo Kramer (Kessler Name In Pilot) (Hoffman First Draft Listed Name) Lee Garlington: Claire Guest Starring: Pamela Brull: Laura Plot: Pilot Episode For Seinfeld My Rating And Comments: 9/10 I enjoyed watching The Seinfeld Chronicles. it is different to Seinfeld for instance, The editing and theme music is different, Jerry's Apartment is a lot different, Elaine Benes is not featured in this pilot presentation completely, Cosmo Kramer's name in this episode is Kessler, Lee Garlington who portrayed Claire was credited as a regular but her character was dropped after this episode and the coffee shop Pete's Luncheonette is not seen again and is Monk's in the series. This episode was rerun in 1990 after Seinfeld was made an official regular series. I currently own season one and two of Seinfeld which the pilot is featured, There are two versions of the pilot episode included. It first aired on July 5, 1989. It was later rerun in 1990 and had a different opening theme/intro and closing credits. PS: In the Season 1/2 DVD Edition has the revised pilot version, this episode is also made with the editing, credits and theme music of the show. Bottom Line: This is an enjoyable episode with some differences, if not a classic, the pilot is like a rough draft for the series to come.

    NOTES: The episode title is "The Seinfeld Chronicles" on the Season 1&2 DVD.

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus does not appear in this episode.

    The show was supposed to be an hour-and-a-half doccumentary to fill in for SNL about how a comedian gets his material and would be called "Stand-Up". Jerry never actually wanted a sitcom but he got one and was then called "The Seinfeld Chronicles" then to just "Seinfeld".

    Along with not being in the pilot, Julia Louis Dreyfus was unaware that it existed, and up until the time of the DVD release (it may have changed now) she has never seen it.

    It was reported that this episode was the least/lowest watched (rating wise) episode in all of NBC's television history
  • A truly horrible start to such a wonderful show

    In this episode, we are introduced to Jerry and friends (minus Elaine). In the first couple of minutes, they are discussing how a girl Jerry met - Laura - isn't gonna come in. Next thing ya know, she's there, and Jerry find's out her secret. This episode is very weak, with perhaps more revisions than any other pilot I've ever seen. It's not entertaining, as I'd watch any episode of seinfeld again accept this one. Really, it's just a waste of 30 minutes. Look in the TV guide, and switch to something else. That's all there is to say about this episode.
  • It's 30 mins. long?

    Great first version of the theme song.
    I like it better, than the more common version.
    I don't know wheather it's because I always watch the oringinal pilot version, or what else, but it seems that the story ends too quickly, as in I don't feel the episode's 30 mins. long. Could it be because there are 4 comedy club scenes? Anyway, Really great episode. If Elaine were in this episode, I suspect she would just help Jerry figure out this woman's "Signals".
    I need more words, so I'm just saying this to get them.
    Great episode, really good, great start to this series!
  • Suprisingly poor start to one of television's greatest shows.

    Personally I consider "Good News, Bad News" to be the worst in the already generally-poor first season, as well as the worst in the entire Seinfeld series. The plot is in the same category as many of the classic episodes, but too much time is spent on minute details and doesn't seem like a complete episode. We can see more of Jerry's standup in the pilot than usual, unfortunately this is a detail of the series that was abolished in the end.

    But we do see some of the, Jerry's critical over-analyzing, George's decieving plans to woo a girl, and Kramer's (now Kessler) unbelievable eccentricity. Noticably Elaine is absent from this one, but her role begins in the next episode.

    Usually pilot episodes aren't much compared to the later episodes. However this episode wasn't all that great as far as pilots go, but thankfully NBC gave it time to develop into one of TV's greates tlandmarks.
  • The show that started it all: A series about nothing

    For a pilot, this one wasn't half bad. It's the first time I've seen it in its entirity. Jerry's comedy bits were good, not to mention the fact they inserted all of these needless little facts into the show. Including the thing with the button, as well as the laundry and such.

    Wasn't my favorite plot, but good thing it gets a lot better
  • Dissapointment

    Spoilers ahead!!

    Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza are seated at Pete's Luncheonette debating over a shirt button. The argument is about the second button of the shirt, which Jerry claims is the most important. (This same conversation, ultimately, will recur as the last conversation of the entire series.) The waitress, Claire, comes over to their table and pours each a cup of coffee. George tells Claire he does not want caffeine in his coffee and Jerry corrects him by telling George she is an expert waitress. The two continue to talk and finally leave when Jerry has to do laundry.

    The following evening while watching a late Mets game, he receives a phone call from a potential girlfriend, Laura, whom he met on the road. She asks if she can stay over his apartment since she cannot find a "decent hotel" (a fact George contests). Jerry invites her, but is unsure if her visit is intended to be romantic or not. George and Jerry continue to debate fine details in Laura's conversation with Jerry to determine the true nature of the visit. A character known in the pilot as "Kessler," (who in all future episodes is known as Kramer) joins in asking Jerry why he would even give her a choice about where to sleep by bringing in another bed. The episode gives viewers a quick glimpse at George's profession (real estate) and also Kramer's (dubious "get-rich-quick" schemes).

    At the airport, George and Jerry continue to talk in an effort to identify the possible signals Laura might give upon her arrival. Laura arrives and takes Jerry (and George) by surprise. The two arrive at Jerry's apartment and he feels uncomfortable with the situation. Laura removes some excess clothing to get comfortable and asks for wine. Jerry believes he has gotten to the bottom of the whole question. His plans are abruptly interrupted when he learns Laura has a fiancé. Jerry realizes he has no chance with Laura but has already committed himself — and his studio apartment — to an entire weekend with her.

    Not the greatest way to satrt a great tv series as it was slow moving and suprisingly quiete boring.
    Should of done better.
  • Gotta start somewhere...

    It's hard to watch this pilot without thinking about the classic episodes that would follow in the years to come. Still, on its own it is not all that bad, but not all that good. We of course see Jerry's beginnings with the parade of women that came through his life, but George's character seemed to be quite similar to what we would see in the future. His over-analysis of the phone calls or physical actions to figure out her exact motives were really funny. Had we gotten to know George well before this, it would just be classic George.
  • Pilot Episode

    In this episode of Seinfeld which is the Pilot Jerry met a woman out of town who is in town for a business trip and she suppose to meet him but Jerry doesn’t know if she want to be his girlfriend or not the first episode of Seinfeld is really good and really funny and Kramer having a dog was a little odd because you never see the dog again but when Kramer tells Jerry the score of a baseball game and the way Jerry acts is really fumy over all this is a good funny classic episode of Seinfeld my rating id 9 out of 10 The End.
  • In this first episode, Jerry and George debate whether Jerry will see a girl coming into town for business.

    The first episode shows how realistic the story lines were to start the series off, compared to the more cartoonish plots later down the line. A lot of people don't care for it because it's not as offbeat as later epuisodes, but for a first episode, it still clever, and true to life.And Geroge will always be George (pulling the dryer open and pretending it's one just to get the hell out of there--classic Costanza). It's only real downfall is no Elaine--and whatever happened to poor Claire? George: "You're a woman, right, Calire?" Claire: "What gave it away, George?" Nice. Not the best ep, not the worst.
  • A brilliant start to a brilliant series!

    This is one of the greatest episodes of Seinfeld ever and to those of you who say it's boring and unfaithful to what comes next in the 179 episodes that follow because it is. And for two comedians who had never written any script before, I would say it is brilliant, I only have one complaint with this oh no make it two: one. No Elaine, it has been brought up way too many times how this episode needed a woman in the cast and I would like to add to that complaing, for you see I understand how Jerry & David could only think of putting in a waitress as their woman cast member but come on, why didn't NBC tell them to, Elaine would have done a great duty to be in that episode, but I guess you can't change it, she was probaply my favourite character in the entire run, and I was just sad that when I watched the pilot she wasn't in it, so I'm done with that one. two. Way too much stand-up, I know it was the two stand-ups conception of the series to have Jerry get his stand-up routine and then tell it at the end of the episode but they seriously overused it in this episode and probaply to the end of season 3 or 4, but really there was way too much. Well then now I've gotten them off my chest I would like to say all the good thinks about this episode; it was very true to the ones to come and had a great and simple storyline, simple storylines have somewhat been phased out in television and that saddens me, because episodes like this of Seinfeld, episodes from seasons 1-3 of The Simpsons, not to mention ones like "Lisa's Sax" really are great and the reasons of that are they aren't quote/unquote "complicated and stupid" they were simply simple and great, and they were exactly why I watch this series. I recomend this episode to anyone and I think you will enjoy it. Bon Appetite!
  • The beginning of a great show.

    Well i watched the very first episode of Seinfeld and i thought it was great. The only problem i had with it was the comedy act scenes were probably a bit too long but hey they aren't anymore. The episode was as they say "About Nothing". Just general day to day life and I'm sure we all experience some of the stuff they make the episodes about. Like in this episode Jerry has to do his laundry and we have all done that before right. Anyway Seinfeld is one of my all time favorites and it is the funniest show!!
  • An Average Start

    I love Seinfeld but the pilot was average. With a small but weak plot. Also no Elaine which was odd. Kramer was still good as usual but a little different. The one downfall to the pilot was too much stage time. Its good but only a little is ok. Too much was in the pilot. The comedy was weak. It was nice to see how the style of the show would be. The intro to the chacaters were done well. The odd things were different apartment. The resturant was different also. It was a ok start but could of done better.
    In the end average start to a great show.
  • Truly Disgusting, almost unwatchable!

    This is one episode that gets worse every time you watch it. The plot is oh so very complex: Laura staying with Jerry. Oh no! - Is she in love with him, or does she need a place to stay! And the "blow" at the end? Farcical! There isn't a single funny moment in this episode, probably attributed to the lack of the Elaine Benes character. George and Kramer themselves have bit parts in this episode, which is truly a shame as well.

    It really is a mess. Kramer - I should say Kessler - isn't a character in himself. You really don't know the characters at all, so it's like watching mimes - vocal mimes.

    Just turn off the television for thirty minutes. It'd be better than watching this junk!! I say it was pure luck, PURE LUCK that this show was picked up (Don't get me wrong, that's good!). Such a shame to start of such a beautiful show with this bologna!
  • Nothing Happened

    Nothing Happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Even though

    I love Seinfeld, I don't love the pilot episode so much .... ... ..... .... .... at all.
    One of their problems is Elaine isn't in it, and Elaine is the funniest character in the series, followed by Kramer, then George, then Jerry.
    I might have laughed, possibly... .... .... .... .... .... no, no, no, i don't think i did
    But don't let the pilot episode make you think that Seinfeld isn't good, because it really really really really really is.
    Especially the episode, The Soup Nazi Yeah, that one was really funny.
    But the pilot episode is just okay.

    You can skip this episode and watch all the others if you want.
  • The pilot (with diffrent theme song!)

    This is "The Seinfeld Chronicles" which was of course aired inthe summer of 1989 in what NBC called "Garbage Dump Theatre". I read in the Notes About Nothing that this was NBC's lowest watched program ever. Anyway, it starts with Jerry doing his standup. Then, it moves to Jerry and George eating at Pete's Luncheon (no, not Monk's!). Jerry finds out that his lady friend from Lansing, Michigan was coming to New York and wanted to get together. He attempts to watch a taped Met's game until Kessler (Kramer) walks in and blows the score for him. Jerry and George go to the airport to pick up Jerry's friend and they get back to Jerry's apartment, only to find that Laura is engaged. Kessler/Kramer is classic in ths episode with his dog "Ralph".
  • And Seinfeld begins.

    This is it. The original episode of Seinfeld. It seems like a completely different show, doesn't it? Everything looks different. Jerry's apartment looks nothing like it does in future episodes, the actors are just starting out, there's no Elaine in this episode, and everything's just confusing. In this episode, little happens. A girl flies in to New York from Michigan, and that's really about it. Nothing happens - I'm surprised the show got picked up after this episode, but I'm glad it did. There are just so many things different about this episode including Kramer's name in this episode is Kessler, and he has a dog. Monk's Cafe looks COMPLETELY diferent, in fact, it's not even called Monk's in this episode. Definitely a strange episode. Still, it's a decent start for the series.
  • Seinfeld had to start at the pilot but sadly this isn't a faithful introduction of the classic series. Mediocre is an overstatement but the show's overall genius excuses a lousy beginning.

    Meet Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld): club and occasional TV comic enjoying a modest success. Boyishly handsome, obsessively neat; a frequent consumer of whole grain cereal, basketball games, bad movies, and young women who keep ditching him on the flimsiest of pretexts when he's not disposing of them on equally slim grounds. Once came close to engagement to a woman who resembled him so uncannily he couldn't stand her. George Costanza (Jason Alexander)is his best friend but completely the opposite; always between pedestrian jobs, relationships never working, being unattractive with no self - esteem or ego to compensate it and relies on tall stories and lies to impress girls and bosses. He too came close to marriage until........Check out the Season 7 finale, "The Invitations." Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) is the enigma of the group whose background and source of income is never fully revealed and even his apartment isn't seen until Season 3. He appears to be living every man's dreams; casual relationships, lots of money without having to work, lots of food (his neighbours) and generally no responsibilities or worries. Sadly none of these traits for any of the 3 characters are revealed in the pilot; all we learn about Jerry is that he's a comedian and likes baseball, George bought a purple shirt and thinks we should do the opposite when it comes to girls and Kramer has a dog and ruins the outcome of a baseball game Jerry taped. The plot is so one - sided it's almost see - through. Jerry is having a woman stay at his bachelor pad while him and George thoroughly interpret the "signals" behind what she said on the phone. When she finally comes over there's a twist that she's actually married and is using Jerry as a b - plan. The plot itself could've been done in about 5 minutes but there's all sorts of diversionary scenes and cutaways like Jerry's stand - up, him and George's conversations on "nothing" and Kramer raiding his fridge and couch but even those weren't really that interesting and did almsot nothing to save this sorry pilot. There's no "Elaine" character in the first episode, the only woman is the blunt waitress who gives George reguler coffee and offers some womanly advice but contributes nothing other than that and only appears in the opening scene, so God knows why she was given top billing. The first of Jerry's many female associates it attractive enough and knows there's nothing for her to work with so she gets through it with her dignity intact. The sets and locations are so sound - stagey it's suprising they made the effort of hiding the cameras and studio audience when their presence would justify the use of it. While Jerry' monologues are funny in essence, it's not enough the constitute the humour of an entire episode. Sure this show was famous for making "nothing" funny but the "nothing" on show here like doing the laundry and talking about buttoning a shirt and cleaning a bathroom is not exactly Emmy - material. The Seinfeld Chronicles is just not that good a pilot. Yes, it opens one of the most influential TV series' of all time but it's entire structure is just weak and clearly they were touched by an angel when it was decided to give them 5 more episodes to do and it evolved from there.
  • As huge of a Seinfeld fan I am, I won't lie. The pilot could have been better.

    There are a lot of things that separate this pilot episode apart from the others. This is also a very tough episode to rate for me because Seinfeld is one of if not my favorite show of all-time. Anyways, this episode wasn't horrible, they introduced Jerry, George, and Kramer well and had a pretty good story line. I mean, this episode right here really defines "The show about nothing" because nothing really does happen in this episode, or at least nothing important. I mean, it had a little story to it, but they really had to have one to introduce the characters.
  • So boring.

    I am glad that I was only a year old when this pilot aired. If I began watching it then, I probably never would have continued watching due to the fact that Seinfeld's pilot episode was as boring as it was unfunny. I am surprised that it wasn't axed completely after that. But I must say that it wasn't completely bad. I liked the introduction Kramer and George. The thing that bothered me is how boring the first season was compared to the later ones. Overall, this wasn't a very good episode and barely passed on my scale. In other words, not good. Thank you.
  • The show had to start somewhere...

    Every show has it's ups and downs. The writers try to see what does and doesn't work. Trial and error has it's place in every show. No pilot is perfect, and this one is no different. The comedic conversations with the waitress that are never to be seen again, the lack of the full future cast (Elaine) as they haven't really been created yet. The rest of the first season is about the same, although it's still entertaining (even though you rarely ever see these episodes aired on television anymore). But hey, for a very small budget and extremely low expectations when it first started, The Seinfeld Chronicles have come a long way.
  • good start

    I love Seinfeld but the pilot was average. With a small but weak plot. Also no Elaine which was odd. Kramer was still good as usual but a little different. The one downfall to the pilot was too much stage time. Its good but only a little is ok. Too much was in the pilot. The comedy was weak. It was nice to see how the style of the show would be. The intro to the chacaters were done well. The odd things were different apartment. The resturant was different also. It was a ok start but could of done better.
    In the end average start to a great show.
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