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The Van Buren Boys


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As Jerry wonders why a new girlfriend was available for their first date on her birthday, the foundation asks George to interview candidates for a college scholarship. After eliminating several highly qualified candidates, he recommends Steven, an average student who reminds him of himself. But Steven's goal to be a city planner gives George second thoughts about honoring someone with such high aspirations. Meanwhile, Jerry wonders what he isn't seeing that makes everyone else think Ellen is a loser.

As Elaine is asked to ghostwrite J. Peterman's autobiography, Kramer inadvertently convinces some hoodlums that he was once a member of their gang. So, when Elaine has difficulty finding anything that hasn't already been said about his life, Peterman buys Kramer's stories to use as his own. However, Elaine has her doubts when the stories fall flat. Meanwhile, when Jerry arranges to spend a weekend with Ellen, George and Kramer decide to put a stop to it. And when he tells Steven that he's losing the scholarship, George is confronted by the same gang that attacked Kramer.

After initially keeping the Van Buren Boys at bay by convincing them he was once a member, George's failure to steal a wallet belonging to Morty Seinfeld forces him to submit to the gang's punishment. Then, as Jerry decides to put Ellen to the test by meeting his parents, he convinces Elaine to make Kramer's stories into something useable. However, when her efforts to reshape them don't meet with his approval, Peterman gladly sells them back to Kramer, unaware that they were Elaine's fabrications. Finally, as Elaine seeks Newman's help to finish the book, his parent's approval convinces Jerry to dump Ellen.

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The original Kramer story for this episode involved Kramer starting a vending machine business. In the story, he placed the machine outside of Jerry's apartment door causing customers to constantly pester Jerry for change and various other things.

In a final scene which was eventually cut from the broadcast version, Elaine decides to buy stories from Newman but his stories mostly involve eating.

Kramer's selling his stories to J. Peterman was inspired by real celebrities who are notorious for paying for "autobiographical" anecdotes. Kramer sells Peterman his entire library of his life stories for a total of $750.

It's revealed in this episode that J. Peterman's day to day life is very run-of-the-mill and dull, involving watching cable tv and clipping coupons.

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"Oh, you're getting together with some of your jackass friends, and you want me to take notes?"


"Yeah, but get the after nine. You know, give the people a chance to loosen up."

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