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"The Junk Mail" is the 161st episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. It was the fifth episode of the ninth and final season. The episode aired on October 30, 1997.[1]

"The Junk Mail"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 5
Directed byAndy Ackerman
Written bySpike Feresten
Production code905
Original air dateOctober 30, 1997
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Merv Griffin Show"
Seinfeld (season 9)
List of Seinfeld episodes



Jerry's childhood friend Frankie Merman (Dana Gould) promises to get Jerry a new car as a thank you for a show he did for Frankie's car dealership. George prepares for his weekly call to his parents. Kramer plans his revenge on Pottery Barn because of the overabundance of catalogs they have sent him in the past month. Elaine is back with David Puddy, but after having a "love at first sight" encounter with diner patron Jack (Toby Huss), she plans to keep Puddy in reserve until she finds out if the new guy can "handle the workload".

Kramer gets deluged with more catalogs and plans to stop the mail. George's parents cut him short on his weekly phone call. The "car" Jerry gets is a van and not the Saab he had hoped for. Frankie reminds him of the childhood dream they had where they got a van and toured the country. Jerry does not want the van, but does not want to hurt Frankie's feelings by refusing to take it. (Frankie's childhood nickname was "Fragile Frankie" due to his penchant for emotional extremes, a trait that does not appear to have changed in adulthood.) George pops in on his parents and reminds his parents that they didn't call him back, but they have to leave right away. Kramer bricks up his mailbox, but that does not stop his mail from being delivered to Jerry's mailbox.

Jerry plans to sell the van; Kramer helps him out by composing a classified ad that cites "interesting trades considered." Kramer goes to the post office to cancel his mail permanently. Newman confesses to him that no one really needs mail but that there is a greater conspiracy at work.

George demands to know what is going on with his parents; they tell him they are cutting him loose. George is not ready for abandonment; he plans to date his cousin Rhisa as a means of getting his parents involved in his life. While going through an old VHS tape, Jerry discovers an old commercial that features Jack as "The Wiz", a mascot for the electronics store of the same name. Meanwhile, Kramer wants Jerry's van and offers Anthony Quinn's old T-shirt as an "interesting trade".

Elaine, after seeing Jack as "The Wiz", wants Puddy back but is rejected by him. Kramer uses the van to launch his anti-postal campaign, upon which Frankie becomes distraught after discovering that Jerry sold the van to Kramer. George schemes to have his parents catch him making out with his cousin; however, George's cousin is into their relationship, much to his discomfort. Jerry searches Central Park for Frankie, who has gone to dig a hole and sit in it. Meanwhile, George parks the van there and Frankie finds it and yells "Is this Seinfeld's van?! Seinfeld's van! Seinfeld's van!", which George mistakes as "Son of Sam". Because of the yelling, the Costanzas find the van and begin having sex in it. Jerry goes to apologize to Frankie and helps him out of the hole. They and George and Rhisa see the van "rocking"; they open it up and see the Costanza's "in flagrante delicto". Frankie advises Jerry that he must sell the van after seeing what they saw, to which Jerry agrees.

Newman tries to warn Kramer to stop his anti-postal campaign, but the latter is captured and intimidated by the Postmaster General Henry Atkins (played by Wilford Brimley, with the scene a parody of his role in the climactic scene of Absence of Malice). Atkins persuades Kramer to receive his mail again; as he leaves, he sees Newman being led into the room with a metal bucket over his head and his hands zip tied together who then says to Kramer, "Tell the world my story." Jack, Elaine's new boyfriend, gets his second piece of good news in one day: he is "The Wiz" again and she is taking him back. George is with his parents who describe the lovemaking and they prepare to do it again, much to George's disgust.


The episode contains various allusions to William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Like Hamlet, it revolves around madness and troubled parent-child relations (with George's suspicions against his parents echoing Hamlet's distrust of Gertrude and Claudius), the scene in the park is reminiscent of the graveyard scene in Hamlet, and Newman's line, "Tell the world my story", echoes Hamlet's dying words to his friend, Horatio.[2]


  1. ^ "The Junk Mail" -
  2. ^ Vaught, Jennifer (Fall 2003). "Shakespeare in a Sitcom? Intertextual Allusions to 'Hamlet' in Seinfeld's Parody 'Junk Mail'". Interdisciplinary Humanities. 20: 28–37.

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