I love Seinfeld. I consider it one of the greatest TV shows ever made. A lot of people will disagree but I don’t really care, I enjoy it!
There’s one particular scene in Seinfeld that really bothers me though. It’s a scene I feel could have been made differently to avoid a gimmick to get a character out of frame.
Season 3, Episode 8 - The Tape
Jerry is mesmerized by a dirty message left on a tape recorder from his last performance. George becomes infatuated with Elaine.
The scene in particular is when Jerry, George and Elaine are in Monks Coffee Shop. Jerry mentions to Elaine about a dirty message left on his tape recorder after a stand-up comedy show he did. Jerry is then called off-screen by a character known as “Beder”, in order to advance the plot.
You can watch a clip of this scene here
Video is provided for visual demonstration purposes only, all rights reserved to original holders.
Some might claim the name is wrong, and maybe it is: Seinfeldscripts.com has it listed as Peter - http://seinfeldscripts.com/TheTape.htm
Another combined script data source has it listed as Peter too - seinfeld_scripts.csv
Oddly though, my DVD copy has it listed as Beder
My problem with this scene is that this guy is only ever referenced in this episode. It feels lazy, and annoying.
Sure there’s other one-off characters in Seinfeld, or Kramer’s “friends” we never see, but they could have easily just had Jerry go to the bathroom, or go make a phone call, or literally ANYTHING ELSE other than introducing another character to an entertainment piece’s “universe”.
He’s never seen or heard from again. The only appearance is that shot in Monks Coffee Shop, followed by a mention a minute later as Jerry returns to the cafe booth.
00:05:49,600 –> 00:05:51,060
00:05:51,268 –> 00:05:52,561
Yeah, you remember Beder.
00:05:52,811 –> 00:05:54,897
I told you he went to the track that one time…
00:05:55,147 –> 00:05:56,690
…and he was yelling at this jockey.
00:05:56,940 –> 00:06:00,194
And the jockey got off the horse and started chasing him.
I feel I just see this a lot, where one off or random “extras/NPCs” (to use the video game term) are introduced to a show or movie, never seen again, and they provide minimal to no benefit to the story.
Seinfeld is still great and that episode is fantastic, so check it out wherever it might be (because of crazy licensing nonsense). Alternatively, pickup the DVDs used where you can!