Seinfeld will forever remain in a category all it’s own when it comes to historical television shows. Millions upon millions of fans watched every week; for years on end until the show’s finale in season 9.
Although millions of people wanted the show to continue on and the network offered Jerry Seinfeld an ungodly sum of money to do a tenth season; Seinfeld declined. Why?
Click “Start Slideshow” To find out why Seinfeld declined – along with many more things the producers of the show TRIED to hide from fans…
The Show Almost Flopped From The Start
The reaction of audiences and critics to the original pilot episode of Seinfeld was dismal. People simply didn’t like the characters or the situations they were in. That changed quickly with subsequent episodes of course, else the series might have been killed early in it’s run.
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There’s A Real-Life Soup Nazi
The iconic character is based on a chef named Al Yeganeh, who originally had a restaurant called Soup Kitchen International on West 55th St. in New York City. Jerry Seinfeld had lunch there one day, and for some reason Yeganeh went off on him, using the immortal line “no soup for you!” He now owns a chain of restaurants called The Original Soup Man.
Peter Dinklage Once Made An Appearance On The Show
Long before he gained fame portraying Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, Dinklage had a brief appearance in an episode called “The Wink”, where he plays a wake-up service employee who flirts with Elaine.
George’s Dad Was Originally Another Actor
John Randolph was the first to play George’s father, but he left the show and Ben Stiller took over. He was originally supposed to play a meek and submissive husband, but he improvised during rehearsals and the cast and crew loved it.
Newman Never Had A First Name
Throughout all the episodes of Seinfeld, Jerry’s conniving and annoying neighbor was never referred to by his first name. This fact has led to some die-hard fans making up crazy monikers.
George Was Almost Dumped From The Show
When Jason Alexander found out that show co-creator Larry David had written him out of an episode in the third season, he was worried it was for good. He says he told David “Larry, if you do it again, do it permanently”. He was in every episode after that.
Elaine Wasn’t In The Show At First
You won’t see Elaine Benes in the earlier episodes of Seinfeld, her character wasn’t added till later, although it’s hard to imagine the show without her.
Frank Sinatra Died With The Show
Sinatra died on the same night the final show aired. When he was rushed to the hospital, it’s said he arrived there so quickly because everyone was at home watching the finale, and traffic was light.
Seinfeld Turned Down An Incredible Fortune For Another Season
It’s been reported that NBC offered him an unprecedented $110 million for a tenth season, but he declined.
Elaine’s TV Father Was A Real-Life Nut
The actor Lawrence Tierney played Elaine’s father on the show, and made the cast and crew extremely nervous with his odd and eccentric behavior. He once stole a knife from the set but played it off as a joke when confronted. Julia Louise-Dreyfus called him a ‘nutjob’.
The Show Was Never Filmed In New York City
Seinfeld was done completely on sets located in California. Extras were used in scenes showing city landmarks.
Seinfeld Makes More Money Now Than When It Was On The Air
Since the show has been in syndication, it has earned over more than $3 billion. It can be seen every day on many different channels at all hours, so Seinfeld addicts never have to worry about a fix.
Jerry Really Liked His Cereal
By the time the show’s finale rolled around, if you had sharp eyes you could count over a dozen different cereal brands in Jerry’s cabinet including Fruit Loops, Grape-Nuts, Honeycomb, Frosted Shredded Wheat, and Honey-Nut.
Only Once Was The Theme Song Different
The first show of the third season, titled “The Note”, featured lyrics sung in a scat-like fashion by a female vocalist. Seinfeld himself requested the change, but his bosses didn’t like it at all, and it was the only show to have a different theme song.
Larry David Was Once The Voice Of Newman
Co-creator David did the voiceover for Newman in the second season. He also did the voice of John F. Kennedy Jr. in an episode titled “The Contest”.
No Clapping For Kramer
At the height of the show’s popularity, the producers had to ask the studio audience not to clap when Kramer made an appearance, because the applause was so sustained that it was messing with the pacing and timing of the show.
Being Jerry’s Girlfriend Was The Road To Stardom
Many of the young actresses who briefly played one of Seinfeld’s girlfriends went on to achieve fame in their own right, including Courteney Cox on Friends and Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls.
Jerry, Elaine, and George All Had Brothers And Sisters You Never See
Although viewers were introduced to the character’s parents, even Kramer’s mother, they all mentioned siblings who were never seen. Jerry makes a short mention of his brother in the episode “Chinese Restaurant” and then never again. George mentions his brother twice, and Elaine makes reference to a sister.
Festivus Was A Holiday Long Before Seinfeld
Festivus dates back all the way to 1966 when editor Dan O’Keefe of Reader’s Digest created it to celebrate his first date with his wife. His son Daniel was a writer for Seinfeld and introduced the now famous holiday, including the aluminum pole.
The Series Started And Ended With A Shirt Button
The first episode opens with Jerry and George having a conversation about the buttons on George’s shirt. The finale ends with them having almost the exact same discussion.
Some Jokes Were Completely Accidental
One of Seinfeld fans’ most favorite episodes is “The Parking Garage”. When the gang gets into Kramer’s car, they were supposed to drive around the city looking for an exit. However, when he tried to start the car, it wouldn’t. Most people think the scene actually turned out better.
Larry David’s Rules: No Hugging, No Learning
In order to make the show different from their competitor Friends, David had a policy of ‘no hugging, no learning’ for the show’s characters. In other words, they weren’t supposed to develop as human beings, they had to stay shallow and neurotic.
J. Peterman Actually Works For J. Peterman
John O’Hurley, the actor who played J. Peterman, Elaine’s boss, went to work for the real-life company after the show ended. Although it had experienced booming sales while the show was on, it went bankrupt afterwards, and the company hired O’Hurley to bring the brand back. He’s now on the board of directors.
TV Land Honored The Last Show With An Office Door
The employees of the network TV Land were so sad to see the show go that they didn’t air anything while the finale was on, instead just airing a picture of a closed office door with a sign on it saying they were all watching Seinfeld and would be back when the show was over.
Elaine Might Have Foreseen A Murder
In the episode called “The Masseuse” Elaine has a boyfriend with the unfortunate name of Joel Rifkin, who was a notorious serial killer. She tries to convince him to change it, and one of the names she suggests is ‘O.J.’ This was a year before O.J. Simpson went on trial for murder.
Elaine Was Really Pregnant On The Show
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was pregnant with her second child during the show. Jerry wanted to introduce a theme of Elaine getting fat, but she collapsed in tears when he suggested it. Instead they just used loose-fitting clothing and well-placed set props.
Steven Spielberg Fought Depression By Watching Seinfeld
When he was filming Schindler’s List in 1993, Spielberg admitted he often got depressed. His solution was to watch Seinfeld to laugh and cheer up.
Hello Newman Greeting Was Actually Pretty Rare
One of the most memorable lines from the show is Jerry greeting his mailman with a hateful “Hello Newman”. In reality the line was only uttered 16 times in the show, or about two times per season.
Rosie O’Donnell Could Have Been Elaine
O’Donnell auditioned for the part, as did actresses Megan Mullally and Patricia Heaton.
Kramer Changed His Name
In the script for the pilot episode, Kramer went by the name Kessler because Larry David hadn’t gotten permission to use the name from the person Kramer was based on.
Seinfeld Was An Emmy Magnet
The show won an amazing 10 Emmy Awards, and was nominated for 68 more.
Seinfeld Made Some Really Big Bucks
It was the first TV show to make more than $1 million per minute off of advertisers. Only the Super Bowl had achieved that before.
Most TV Viewers Watched The Finale
More than 76 million people tuned in to watched the final show, or about 58% of all TV viewers.
Seinfeld Had A Superman Fetish
Some reference to Superman is made in every episode of the show.
The Show Was A Goldmine
By the time it finished it’s run, the show was bringing in more than $200 million each season.
Seinfeld Was One Of The Most Watched Shows In History
The show was first in the Nielsen ratings in both it’s sixth and ninth seasons, and was in second place from 1994 through 1998.
Newman Was Almost A Black Man
As originally created, the Newman character was both suicidal and African-American.
It Almost Had A Different Name
At first it was going to be titled “The Seinfeld Chronicles” but that was too close to another show that failed.
A Gun Sunk One Episode
An episode titled “The Bet” had Elaine buying a handgun, but it was dumped as being ‘too dark’.
Jerry Changed Dads
Jerry’s Dad Morty was originally played by Phil Bruns, but he was thought wrong for the part, so actor Barney Martin took over.
Jason Has Woody To Thank
Jason Alexander got the part of George by doing a Woody Allen impression, which Jerry loved.
Claire The Waitress Was Supposed To Be Elaine
Actress Lee Garlington was originally cast to be Elaine but changes were made at the last minute for unknown reasons.
Some Careers Were Cursed By Seinfeld
Not everyone who appeared on the show made it big immediately. Anna Gunn, who played one of Jerry’s girlfriends, was an unknown until she landed a gig on Breaking Bad.
Every Episode Starts With…
The word ‘the’. It was just one of the quirks of the writers.
Jerry Has A Thing About The Number 9
That’s why it aired at 9 PM and ended after the ninth season.
It Made Puerto Ricans Mad
In one episode Kramer burns and stomps on a Puerto Rican flag. The response from the Puerto Rican community was not good.
It Had A Really Long Run
In total, there were 180 episodes of Seinfeld.