The oral history of Seinfeld’s ‘The Contest’


Twenty-five years ago, on November 18, 1992, the quintessential episode of the quintessential New York sitcom, Seinfeld, aired on NBC for the first time.

That episode was called “The Contest,” and pitted its four principal characters, Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), George (Jason Alexander), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Kramer (Michael Richards), against each other in a battle of wills to see who could abstain from masturbating for the longest period of time. Famously, the bet and its ramifications were discussed extensively throughout the half hour, without the word masturbation ever being uttered.

I was never a huge Seinfeld fan but this has got to be the single funniest episode I ever saw.