The Yada Yada

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"The Yada Yada"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 19
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written byPeter Mehlman & Jill Franklyn
Production code819
Original air dateApril 24, 1997
Guest actors
Season 8 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes
 
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"The Yada Yada"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 19
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written byPeter Mehlman & Jill Franklyn
Production code819
Original air dateApril 24, 1997
Guest actors
Season 8 episodes
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Yada Yada" is the 153rd episode of the American NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The 19th episode of the eighth season, it aired on April 24, 1997. Peter Mehlman and Jill Franklyn were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 1997.

Plot[edit]

Jerry's dentist, Dr. Tim Whatley (Bryan Cranston), has just finished the process of converting to Judaism, but is already making Jewish-themed jokes that make Jerry uncomfortable. Jerry goes so far as to say that he believes that Whatley only became Jewish "for the jokes".

Kramer and Mickey Abbott double date, but cannot decide which woman is right for which one of them.

Elaine is a character reference for Beth (Debra Messing) and Arnie, a couple who are trying to adopt, but the story she tells during an interview destroys all hope of adoption: she mentions a time when she and the couple went to a movie, and the husband lost his temper because Elaine was talking during the movie. George drops by Jerry's dental appointment; Mickey and Kramer continue to fight over who gets Karen or Julie.

George's new girlfriend Marcy (Suzanne Cryer) likes to say "yada yada yada" to shorten her stories. He tries using this practice to avoid mentioning Susan's death, but then becomes suspicious when Marcy tells him that her ex-boyfriend had visited her the night before "and yada yada yada, I'm really tired today." George later consults Jerry and Elaine, suspecting that Marcy used "yada yada" to cover up sex with her ex-boyfriend, and Elaine believes that this is possible. George: "You don't yada yada sex!" Elaine:"I've yada yadad sex!" Later, George asks Marcy to tell him some of the things she was covering up with "yada yada," and discovers that she is a habitual shoplifter. George, however, is still reluctant to tell her how his engagement ended.

Jerry confesses to a priest about what he thinks of Tim's conversion, saying that he is offended (not as a Jew, but as a comedian), only to get sidetracked when the priest laughs at a Catholic joke of Tim's that he repeats. However, the priest is less amused by a dentist joke that Jerry makes at the end of their conversation. George drops by Jerry's confession and tells him that they need to talk. Kramer decides on the right woman, and Mickey also decides to make his commitment. Tim hears about the dentist joke that Jerry told the priest. He takes extreme exception to it and, as a result, deliberately prolongs an uncomfortable procedure. After hearing Jerry's complaints about Tim, Kramer calls Jerry an "anti-dentite."

Elaine lobbies on behalf of Beth and Arnie, and propositions the adoption official as an inducement. Beth's marriage nonetheless fails and she accompanies Jerry to Mickey's wedding to Karen. Elaine, now dating the adoption agent, is dismayed. George shows up without Marcy, explaining that "She was getting shoes for the wedding, yada yada yada, I'll see her in six to eight months." Julie runs out before the wedding begins, apparently in love with Mickey and unable to bear seeing him marry Karen. Mickey's father (Robert Wagner), a dentist, stands up for Tim Whatley and chastises Jerry for antagonizing him: "Tim Whatley was one of my students, and if this wasn't my son's wedding day, I'd knock your teeth out, you anti-dentite bastard." Jerry is initially comforted by Beth who is at first shown to harbor the same feelings towards dentists as Jerry, until she also reveals herself to be both racist and antisemitic, at which point Jerry dumps her and tells Elaine that she left "to get her head shaved." As Karen and Mickey walk out at the end of the ceremony, Karen says to Kramer, "I really wanted you." much to his surprise.

Production[edit]

The episode was allowed by NBC to run longer than the usual thirty minutes, and its slightly above-average length was even boasted about in promos. An edited version airs in syndication, cutting out several small scenes and dialogues, but the full-length version is available on the Seinfeld Season 8 DVD collection.

"Yada yada"[edit]

The episode is one of the most famous of the series, specifically for its focus on the phrase "yada yada". "Yadda yadda" was already a relatively common phrase before the episode aired, used notably by comedian Lenny Bruce,[1] among others. The phrase may have originated with the 1950s "yackety-yack", 1940s vaudeville, or earlier.[2] The phrase was used by a secretary summing up the boring parts of a letter in the February 16, 1984 Magnum PI episode "The Return of Luther Gillis" 14 years before the Seinfeld episode, and in the May 13, 1993 Cheers episode "The Guy Can't Help It." The phrase was used in the fifth episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", which aired on March 31, 1997, appearing when Buffy Summers explains to Angel that she knows about a prophecy. The Seinfeld episode first aired a little less than a month later.

Before the episode aired, writer Peter Mehlman suspected that it would spawn a new Seinfeld catchphrase, but he thought it would be the phrase "anti-dentite" that would become popular. The Paley Center named "Yada Yada Yada" the No. 1 funniest phrase on "TV's 50 Funniest Phrases".[3]

Cultural references[edit]

Seinfeld's use of "yada yada" was referenced in the King of the Hill episode "Yankee Hanky" by Dale Gribble, who ridicules Hank Hill's discovery that he was born in New York City by using the phrase.

That Handsome Devil produced a song titled "Yada-Yada". Similarly, the episode was overtly referenced in the name of a popular Connecticut-based rock and roll outfit, The Anti-Dentites.

The episode was seemingly referenced by politician Sarah Palin in an email to The Daily Caller November 1, 2010:

I suppose I could play their immature, unprofessional, waste-of-time game, too, by claiming these reporters and politicos are homophobe, child molesting, tax evading, anti-dentite, puppy-kicking, chain smoking porn producers…really, they are... I've seen it myself...but I'll only give you the information off-the-record, on deep, deep background; attribute these "facts" to an "anonymous source" and I'll give you more.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Word for Word: Neology; In the Dictionary Game, Yada Yada Yada Is Satisficing to Some, Not Others", The New York Times, August 22, 1999. Accessed April 8, 2008.
  2. ^ SamClem (2003-01-23). "Straight Dope Staff Report: What's the origin of "yadda yadda"?". Straightdope.com. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  3. ^ Gina Carbone (2009-05-26). "'TV's 50 Funniest Phrases': 'Yada, yada, yada' is No. 1". Seacoastonline.com. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  4. ^ "Sarah Palin Pounds Liberal Media". Dailycaller.com. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 

External links[edit]