SEINFELD/NBC/1989-1998 (Deaf)

Laura (Marlee Matlin),  a deaf woman named Laura who goes to dinner with Jerry Seinfeld and his friend, George Costanza (Jason Alexander) on the 1993 episode “The Lip Reader.”


Earlier in the episode, Jerry and George become uncomfortable when they realize Laurie can read their lips and begin to cover their mouths (raising a glass to their face or rubbing their eyes) to prevent Laura from gleaning what they were saying.

Now aware that Laura can read lips, George asks Jerry to invite her to a party so Laura can read the lips of George’s ex-girlfriend, Gwen to find out what she is saying about him since their breakup.

At first, a hesitant Jerry tells George,”She’s not a novelty act, George, where you hire her out for weddings and bar mitzvahs.” But Jerry caves and asks Laura to the party. When Jerry asks if he can pick up Laura at six  (“How about six?”), she misinterprets “six” as “sex” and leaves in a huff.

Laura does go to the party and reads Gwen’s lip as she speaks to a fellow named Todd who asks Gwen if she would like to stay after the party to clean up and help “sweep” with him. Of course, the message gets misinterpreted as “sleep” with him. and George begins to rant and rage and spoils the party.

Laura had communicated Gwen’s conversation via sign language to Jerry’s friend. Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) who was across the room. Kramer learned sign language while living with a deaf cousin for a year. It was Kramer who misread Laura’s sign for “Sweep” to be “Sleep” which sent George into a frenzy.

See also:Picket Fences (2) ; Reasonable Doubts ;  Switched at Birth ; West Wing

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