SEINFELD PODCAST | “The Bubble Boy” hits the right notes

Craig and I discussed all aspects of “The Bubble Boy,” from Jerry’s girlfriend with the annoying laugh, to Elaine’s surprising empathy, George’s fast driving to Kramer’s obsession with Cuban cigars.

Show information via Wikipedia

Plot[edit]

Jerry, George, Elaine, and George’s girlfriend Susan plan to travel upstate to Susan’s family’s lakeside cabin. Jerry had a falling out with Naomi, his girlfriend, due to her annoying laugh (which Jerry described to George like “Elmer Fudd sitting on a juicer.”) In the coffee shop, a kindly man tells Jerry and Elaine about his son Donald, who lives in a plastic “bubble” which creates a germ-free sterile environment. Because Donald is a fan of Jerry’s, the father petitions Jerry to visit Donald on the way to the cabin to cheer him up.

On the trip, exhilarated by the light traffic and the resulting chance to make excellent time, George drives at top speed, leaving Jerry and Elaine behind. As Jerry was relying on George to guide them, they quickly become lost. While waiting for Jerry to arrive, George and Susan play Trivial Pursuit with the “bubble boy.” Irritated by Donald’s taunting and condescension during the game, George disputes the answer to the question: “Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?” Donald answers “the Moors,” but due to a misprint, the question card says that the answer is “the Moops.” George refuses to give Donald credit out of spite, and Donald begins strangling him. When Susan defends George, she accidentally punctures and depressurizes the bubble, causing Donald to collapse, and make George the scapegoat.

Jerry and Elaine exit the highway and go to a diner. A waitress there asks for an autographed picture of Jerry (having seen him on TV), who was mispronounced as “Gary Seinfield.” Elaine pokes fun at what Jerry wrote, causing him to regret it, so he asks for it back. The waitress refuses, and it escalates to the point of the waitress attacking Jerry. Two men burst in and announce that Donald was attacked, and that his house is right down the street from the cafe. Jerry and Elaine meet up with George and Susan at the house just as Donald is being carried out by paramedics; he sarcastically thanks Jerry for showing up too late and claims George tried to kill him. George and Donald argue a bit more before the residents of the town chase the men and women away.

Meanwhile, Naomi called Jerry’s answering machine, explaining that she decided rejoin Jerry for the trip; Kramer answers in his place. They attempt to rendezvous with Jerry, Elaine, George, and Susan at Susan’s family’s cabin. Kramer carelessly leaves one of his lit Cuban cigars near some newspapers, which causes a fire that destroys the cabin. The other four travelers arrive shortly after the firefighters as Kramer rushes back into the cabin in a last-ditch attempt to save the cigars.[1]

Production[edit]

The “Moops” misprint incident was based on a real-life incident that occurred to one of the Seinfeld writers while playing the “Jeopardy! The Board Game” (9th Edition, 1972).[2]

Eponymous computer virus[edit]

On November 10, 1999, a computer virus named “BubbleBoy” was discovered, apparently named after this episode. This was the first malware of its kind, having been able to activate itself (via an embedded Visual Basic script) upon the recipient opening the e-mail contents, as opposed to running an attachment. As such, in spite of not being dangerous, the virus changed the concept of antivirus technology.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Seinfeld Season 4: Episode 47: The Bubble Boy”. TBS. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  2. ^ Bjorklund, Dennis (2017-09-01). Seinfeld Reference: The Complete Encyclopedia with Biographies, Character Profiles & Episode Summaries. Praetorian Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9679852-4-4.
  3. ^ “‘BubbleBoy’ virus breaks new ground”. ZDNet UK. Retrieved June 8, 2009. The worm, called “BubbleBoy” in an apparent reference to a “Seinfeld” episode[…]

External links[edit]

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