More Interesting Things I Learned While Watching The Third Season Of Seinfeld On DVD

21. In The Nose Job, Jerry meets an actress in an elevator and ends up getting her phone number.  While at his apartment, they read lines from a play, much to Jerry’s annoyance.  (She’s terrible.  He’s only interested in having sex with her.)  The play isn’t real but it does have a title:  Saline.  Tawny Kitaen, best known as the babe from a number of Whitesnake videos from the 1980s and for her stint on The Surreal Life this decade, was cast as the woman who inspires a chess match between Jerry’s penis and brain.  Pamela Anderson was her competition for the role.
22. In The Cafe, George is asked by his girlfriend, Monica, to take an IQ test.  Felicity Huffman, who later earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of a transsexual in Transamerica and also appears on the widely popular prime time soap, Desperate Housewives, auditioned unsuccessfully for that part.
23. The first time we see Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine in The Parking Garage, they’re walking down a set of stairs talking about how people spend their Saturday afternoons.  That conversation was originally scripted for the second season episode, The Phone Message.
24. In The Tape, Kramer acquires a camcorder from his friend, a fat fetishist who’s become a minimalist.  In one scene, he enters Jerry’s apartment rolling tape pretending that the comedian is a porn director and Elaine is his leading lady.  He makes up a name for one of her movies:  Elaine Does The Upper West Side.  (The character lives on the upper west side of Manhattan.)  The original title for that fake blue movie was going to be Hannah Does Her Sisters, which is the name of an actual adult feature.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a small role in the film that inspired that porno, Woody Allen’s Hannah & Her Sisters.
25. Joseph V. Perry plays the newsstand owner in an early scene from The Nose Job.  He’s best known for playing Nemo, the pizzeria owner on Everybody Loves Raymond.
26. There really was a Dream Cafe.  Writer Tom Leopold lived near the real restaurant which was run by a Vietnamese man.  In fact, in the original script of The Cafe, the proprietor was supposed to be Vong Sim, a Cambodian in his mid-30s.  Curiously, actors from various ethnic backgrounds read for the part.  The character was famously changed to a Pakistani man named Babu Bhatt.  He was supposed to have a wife but the character was scrapped before the episode was taped.
27. Speaking of Babu, he was played by Brian George who, incidentally, is not Pakistani.  In an interview taped for the DVD, he has a very noticeable British accent.  According to the Internet Movie Database, he was actually born in Israel to an Indian mother and an Iraqi father.  His family moved to the United Kingdom when he was 1.  By the mid-60s, they relocated to Toronto where he attended high school and university.  It was at U of T where he became interested in acting.
28. There’s a strange continuity error in The Note.  Near the end of the scene where George visits Jerry’s apartment to kvetch about his uncomfortable massage, the comedian decides to sit on a stool by the kitchen.  Keep an eye on the wall on the right side of the screen.  In one shot, there’s nothing on it.  But in another, there’s a framed picture of a Porsche, which is frequently seen in many episodes.  Incidentally, Jerry had five such cars in his collection during the third season.
29. Helen Slater plays Becky Gelke in The Good Samaritan.  In the episode, her car gets dinged by a beautiful redheaded driver who Jerry follows and subsequently dates.  Feeling guilty about the whole situation, and after learning from Kramer about Becky being the owner of the damaged vehicle, he decides to pay her a visit.  (He’s had a big crush on her for a while.)  Curiously, neither Slater nor her character’s name are listed in the end credits.
30. In a key scene from The Boyfriend, Seinfeld’s first hour-long episode, Kramer picks up Jerry’s ringing phone.  When he asks puzzlingly, “What Delay Industries?”, George yells frantically from the bathroom and soon comes barrelling out with his pants around his ankles.  He ends up on the floor and then Jerry walks in, staring at him.  He says, “And you want to be my latex salesman.”.  That was an ad-lib.  In the script, he wasn’t supposed to say anything at all.
31. The Note is the only episode to feature vocalists on the music cues.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus hated them because at one point, it sounds like they’re singing, “easy to beat”.  (In truth, they were just scatting nonsense.)  At the time, Seinfeld was losing potential viewers to Jake And The Fatman which explains her irritation.  Interestingly, the whole thing was Jerry’s idea.  According to Jonathan Wolff, the show’s music director, Jerry called him up at the start of the third season to ask if there was any way they could make the music a little different.  He suggested using jazz singers who would just scat at certain points of the music.  Wolff went to work on the first three episodes that year, following the comedian’s advice.  Jerry and co-creator, Larry David, liked the final results but after The Note aired, feedback from NBC and Castle Rock Entertainment wasn’t as positive.  They hadn’t heard the new musical approach before the show’s initial broadcast and as a result, had not given their overriding approval for the scat singing.  The jazz singers’ contributions to the next two episodes were subsequently erased.  They would never be heard again.
32. George dates a concert pianist in The Pez Dispenser.  During the scene where Elaine laughs during one of her recitals, she’s playing a piece by Beethoven called The Pathetique.
33. Steven Spielberg made arrangements to have a number of third season episodes sent to him on tape while he was in Europe filming his masterpiece, Schindler’s List.
34. Keith Hernandez had never heard of Seinfeld before agreeing to appear in The Boyfriend.  According to the baseball great, he was told he would only have two scenes with very little dialogue.  He ended up having six scenes where he said a lot.  In The Letter, you can see a framed picture of him in Jerry’s apartment.  It’s on the wall to the left of the bookshelf.  You can get a closer look at it when Jerry gets up from the couch to retrieve a letter from his girlfriend.
35. Claudia Christian, who appeared as the crazed model in Hexed and also starred on Bablyon 5, auditioned for the role of Cynthia, the vomitting friend of Elaine’s who goes on a blind date with George in The Fix-Up.
36. Michael Richards had a hard time accepting the idea of his character violently convulsing at the sound of Mary Hart’s voice when he read the script for The Good Samaritan.  He thought it was “too far out”.  But after being told that this really happened to somebody, as documented in The New England Journal Of Medicine, he accepted the challenge of making it work in a comedic way.  (According to the December 27, 1991 year-end edition of Entertainment Weekly, it was a female viewer from Albany, New York who suffered from “epileptic seizures” in the summer of 1991 whenever she heard the ET anchor’s voice.)
37. Oscar nominee Catherine Keener plays Nina, Jerry’s jealous painter girlfriend, in The Letter.  Amy Yasbeck and Heidi Swedberg (best known as George’s fiance, Susan) also read for the role.
38. After the whole Vandellay Industries scam blows up in his face in The Boyfriend, a very desperate George inquires about the daughter of the woman he has to answer to at The New York State Dept. Of Labor.  With his unemployment insurance about to run out, he decides to date the unfetching Carrie who dumps him after two dates.  The second time we see her, she’s wearing the sweater that drives a couple of characters crazy when Kramer and Jerry wear it in the fifth season episode, The Sniffing Accountant.  Speaking of Carrie and George, they were originally supposed to stay together by the end of the show.
39. During those lean years when acting jobs were hard to come by, Wayne Knight moonlighted as a private investigator.
40. In The Limo, George and Jerry unwittingly find themselves en route to a Nazi rally after taking someone else’s limosine from the airport.  At one point, George, who pretends to be Donald O’Brien, a notorious and unseen anti-Semite, is briefly whistling If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler On The Roof.  Suzanne Snyder, who played Eva, the lustful Arian, later played Poppy’s daughter (and Jerry’s girlfriend) in The Pie.
41. In The Subway, Kramer overhears a hot tip on a horse which inspires him to gamble.  The horse he bets on, Papanick, is named after Seinfeld’s key grip, Pete Papanickolas who worked the entire run of the series.  The other competitors in the race are Passionel, Jomatz, Kiz Harmony, Flaygro, Stefagen, and Hoyt’s Boy.  The episode never revealed how much he actually won.  But in an unused draft of The Pez Dispenser, when Elaine runs into John Mollica, the former bartender at Jerry’s comedy club, she was supposed to let the total amount of his winnings be known to him.  For the record, he won $18000.
42. Larry David’s voice pops up in a number of third season episodes.  He’s the voice of the car thief who steals Jerry’s vehicle in The Alternate Side, he can be heard counting out a knocked-out boxer during a pay-per-view TV fight in The Parking Space and he’s the voice of the announcer in The Subway.
43. In The Cafe, Jerry asks George what his SAT scores were but the bald man doesn’t tell him.  Curiously, George revealed the truth to his big-nosed girlfriend, Audrey, during a deleted scripted conversation in The Nose Job, which Elaine overhears.  It was 820, by the way.
44. There’s a huge error at the end of The Red Dot.  Richard Fancy’s character, Mr. Lippman, is erroneously listed in the end credits as Mr. Breckman.
45. Jerry finds himself in quite the romantic ethical dilemma in The Suicide.  A beautiful Mediterranean woman named Gina pines for him despite the fact that her jealous boyfriend has attempted to kill himself by overdosing on pills.  (He spends most of the episode in a coma.)  The character was originally and appropriately named Layla.  Eric Clapton’s band, Derek & The Dominos, had a huge single with that name which was based on the guitarist’s affections for George Harrison’s first wife, who he would also marry.  Gina Gallego, who played Jerry’s sexy neighbour, had originally hoped to play Evie, the cleaning woman George has sex with on his desk at Pendant Publishing.
46. There are a couple of porno films that were inspired by the show.  The Bet, also the name of an unfilmed second season episode, is an adult version of the fourth season episode, The Contest.  And then there’s Heinfeld.
(Special thanks to Rob Kerr.)
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, March 15, 2008
1:10 a.m.
Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 1:10 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. […] write anything beyond the fourth season.  I may have to go back and finish the run because More Interesting Things I Learned While Watching The Third Season Of Seinfeld On DVD is now the fifth most popular piece in my website’s history, overtaking Unanswered Questions […]

  2. […] around this time, I thought about Seinfeld.  More Interesting Things I Learned While Watching The Third Season Of Seinfeld On DVD was enjoying a surge of page views in the final third of 2012, an awfully strange development […]

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