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The Stake Out


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Jerry Seinfeld, a nightclub comedian, and his ex-girlfriend, Elaine, agree to join each other as dates for some upcoming social obligations. While at a birthday party for a friend of Elaine's, Jerry meets Vanessa, an attractive young lawyer. Although she leaves before he learns her name, Jerry does manage to remember the name of her law firm. While wanting to see her again, Jerry is reluctant to ask Elaine for her name, fearing she will be upset about his interest in another woman.

Unsure about what to do, Jerry takes his father's advice and stakes out the lobby of Vanessa's office at lunch time. Along with his friend, George, Jerry invents a story to explain his being in the lobby. Seeing Vanessa, Jerry strikes up a conversation and manages to get a date.

Learning that she knows of his rendezvous with Vanessa, Jerry is nervous about seeing Elaine again. She arrives at his apartment for their date to attend his cousin's wedding and admits that she, too, staked out the lobby of the office of a man she was interested in. Relieved of his guilt, Jerry decides he and Elaine should continue as best friends.

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In the original script, Jerry's mother addresses her husband as Leon. This was changed to the now-familiar "Morty" at some point during the production week.

Elaine's full name is revealed in the final scene: Elaine Marie Benes.

Phil Bruns appears as Jerry's Father. He was replaced by Barney Martin for the character's next appearance in Season Two.

This episode was nominated for a Writer's Guild Award, the first of many nominations for the series.

Brandon Tartikoff kept a scene from "The Stake Out" cued up on his office VCR to show guests how funny Seinfeld was; despite this, NBC was held off broadcasting the first four episodes until summer.

"The Stake Out" contains the first reference to Art Vandelay, an imaginary character George referred to throughout the entire series.

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"What else did she say on the phone?"


"Whatever I wrote down."


"Yeah, but what was the tone in her voice? How did she sound?"


"Who am I, Rich Little?"

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