Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Back in the mid-1980's, five friends met regularly in New Jersey to play poker. They were Pete, Jake, Marty, Tony, and Norman; all but Norman as seen in "Dealer's Choice", an episode of 'The New Twilight Zone'. We don't know their last names, but we can make a guess as to who Marty was... and what other TV show he came from.

Actually, there are two theories about Marty's identity, but both of them lead back to the same show..... With the first theory, Marty is actually Morty Seinfeld, Jerry's dad on 'Seinfeld'. Although everybody called him Marty in the 'T-Zone' episode, it was just a play on his name Morty. There may have been some private joke between the friends that served as the reason for the name change, but to everybody else in his life, he was still Morty.

With the second theory, his full name is Martin Seinfeld, and he was the twin brother of Morty Seinfeld, which makes him Jerry's uncle. With the similar names of "Marty" and "Morty", and the fact that both characters were played by Barney Martin, the twin brother theory has more heft. Even though making Marty into Morty creates a stronger link to 'Seinfeld', the twin brother theory is simpler to present. (Occam's Razor: "When multiple competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities.")

If you ever get the chance to see "Dealer's Choice", do so. It's not the greatest of stories - a lot of those episodes feel more like they were left over from 'Tales From The Darkside'. But this episode had a great cast - Barney Martin, of course, as Marty, M. Emmett Walsh as Pete, Morgan Freeman as Tony, Garrett Morris as Jake, and Dan Hedaya as Nick... the Devil. Oh, yeah. The Devil. Didn't I mention the Devil? Well, it had to have some kind of 'T-Zone' twist, right? Otherwise, it would be just an 'Odd Couple' poker game.....

Toby O'B

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