15 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seinfeld
When I was growing up, my dad would always make me watch reruns of Seinfeld. He thought the episodes were hysterical, and he loved that they all seemed so pointless. “It’s a show about nothing!” he would say. My dad would always tell me random facts about the show, and I never knew how he learned these things, but as it turns out, he was a true fan.
1. The show about nothing…
Seinfeld was commonly coined ‘the show about nothing.’ They even made jokes about it in the actual show!
Most people believe that Jerry Seinfeld really pitched a show about nothing to the producers. However, the original pitch for Seinfeld was for a documentary-style show about how a comedian gets his material.
2. Claire, the waitress in the pilot episode, was supposed to be the female character on the show.
However, once the series was picked up for a full season, Claire’s character was replaced with Elaine.
3. “The Parking Garage” had an unintentional ending.
The infamous episode where the foursome search for Kramer’s car was actually supposed to end with them driving around not being able to find the exit. During filming, the car actually wouldn’t start! Julia Louis-Dreyfus said, “It was like God had actually given us a better ending to the script. We were laughing so damn hard that if you watch the episode, you can see — I think it’s Jason and me in the back seat, and our heads are bobbing, trying to stop our hysterical laughter, trying to keep it under control while the camera’s running.”
4. Elaine’s father would have been a recurring role if everyone wasn’t terrified of him in real life.
Actor, Lawrence Tierney, who played Alton Benes, scared everyone on the set. From stealing a knife from the set of Jerry’s apartment, to fake stabbing Seinfeld while shrieking the score from “Psycho”, everyone, including the director, later admitted he scared them to death.
5. Elaine was almost fat shamed!
When Julia Louis-Dreyfus became pregnant with her second child, it was suggested by Jerry that there be an ongoing storyline in the 8th season about Elaine getting fat. When she heard about this, Julia burst into tears. The idea immediately was traded in for simply hiding her pregnant belly behind props and baggy clothes.
6. Jerry Seinfeld’s obsession with the number nine was part of the reason he ended the show after nine seasons.
Seinfeld came on at 9 p.m. and premiered in 1989 (1+9+8+9=27; 2+7=9). Jerry always thought nine was a cool number, his number. When thinking about ending the show, he thought nine. Some people said he should do 10 seasons, but he thought that was lame. By the end there was 180 episodes (1+8=9).
7. Some episodes didn’t even get filmed.
There was a controversial episode called “The Bet”. It was written about guns. The script revolved around Jerry and Elaine making a bet to see how easy it was to get a gun. When the cast decided guns weren’t funny, and didn’t want to do that episode, it was tossed out and replaced with “The Phone Message.”
8. Kenny Kramer was paid just $1,000 to allow the TV series to use his name for the character Kramer.
Kenny Kramer was Larry David’s real life neighbor. Although he only got $1,000 for his name, he has made up for it with the Kramer Reality Tour, which is a Seinfeld themed bus ride through New York City that still sells out.
9. “The Pothole” episode of season 8 was based on a true story.
In the episode, Jerry’s girlfriend’s toothbrush falls into the toilet, and she uses it before he can tell her. This storyline was actually based on the real life experience of the episode’s writer, Dan O’Keefe. When asked if his then girlfriend, now wife, had forgiven him about the incident, he said she still didn’t know the truth about the episode’s origin.
10. George Costanza’s wardrobe was often made one size too small.
The small clothing was supposed to enhance the image of George being perpetually annoyed.
11. Jason Alexander once worried the show didn’t need him anymore.
When his character was written out of a third season episode called “The Pen”, Jason Alexander confronted series co-creator Larry David and said, “Larry, if you do it again, do it permanently.” George Costanza was never missing from an episode after that.
12. No clapping for Kramer.
When Seinfeld became a hit, producers had to ask the studio audiences not to clap when Kramer entered a scene because it was ruining the pacing of the show.
13. The Show was originally called “The Seinfeld Chronicles, and the test audience’s response to the pilot was not very good.
Some of the sample feedback included statements like, “Jerry’s loser friend George is not a forceful character”, “Why are they interrupting the stand-up for these stupid stories” and “You can’t get too excited about two guys going to the laundromat”.
14. There was a reason behind Susan Biddle Ross’s death.
Many of you probably remember the bizarre episode that kills off George Costanza’s fiancé. Susan Biddle Ross was played by Heidi Swedberg, and although she was a very sweet lady in real life, many of the cast members couldn’t find a comedic chemistry with her. Swedberg’s character wasn’t intended for more than one episode anyway, so after the frustrating chemistry played out in the 7th season, the best solution they came up with was to kill her off.
15. Jerry Seinfeld is the only character to appear in every single episode.
After all, the show is named after him.