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

21. In The Trip (Part One), Kramer meets a beautiful blonde actress who later turns up dead with a copy of his movie treatment on her person.  The cops assigned to the case pick up the cover sheet which is strategically ripped to protect the identity of Kramer’s first name.
22. In The Handicap Spot, Jerry and Elaine visit The Drake after missing his birthday party.  The movie playing on his brand new big screen TV, purchased by the gang of four, is the 1990 remake, Lord Of The Flies, which was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, the same company responsible for Seinfeld.
23. In The Old Man, Elaine inspires Jerry and George to do some volunteer work.  They’re assigned to spend some time with two very different old men in their 80s.  Sidney Fields, Jerry’s guy (played by the Emmy-nominated Bill Erwin), is named after the landlord on The Abbott And Costello Show which aired in the 1950s.  George’s guy, Ben Cantwell, is named after the famous Boston Braves pitcher who had a memorably miserable 1935 season.  He lost 25 games, more than any other pitcher in the history of the game.  Elaine visits a nice old woman who has a huge football-shaped goiter on the side of her neck.  She’s voiced by Edie McClurg, a veteran comic actress best remembered for films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (she played Principal Rooney’s secretary) and TV shows like The Hogan Family. 
24. Speaking of Bill Erwin, he played a guy named Kramer in a Twilight Zone episode entitled Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?  Donald Bishop, who appeared in The Implant (George tries to convince him, a doctor, to secure a copy of his girlfriend’s aunt’s death certificate so he can receive a half-price discount on his flight back to New York), appeared on an episode of Baretta playing a character named, you guessed it, Kramer.
25. In The Airport, Jerry is accidentally sitting in a fashion model’s seat on his flight back to New York.  Gina Gershon, real-life supermodel Vendela and Jennifer Coolidge (Stiffler’s Mom from the American Pie trilogy and Jerry’s masseuse girlfriend in a season five episode) were the most notable names who offered to play that role.  In The Outing, Jerry is mistaken for a gay man by a New York University student reporter.  Leah Remini, who later played Kevin James’ wife on The King Of Queens, failed to win that part.  In that same episode, George tries to break up with a woman who threatens to kill herself if he goes through with it.  The sexy Megan Mullally attempted to land that role.  She ended up playing his grieving lady in The Implant.  Soleil Moon-Frye, best known as Punky Brewster, wanted to be Russell Dalrymple’s daughter but a young Denise Richards got the job instead.
26. Entertainment Weekly was an early champion of the show which explains why two episodes in season four featured characters reading or holding copies of the magazine.  In The Trip (Part One), that’s a copy of the June 19, 1992 issue Kramer is holding as he makes his way to the pay phone.  (Batman Returns was the cover story.  You can just see the bat ears on the costume.)  In The Pitch/The Ticket, while waiting for a meeting with NBC executives, Jerry is flipping through a copy of the June 12th, 1992 edition.  (Harrison Ford is on the front.  He was promoting Patriot Games at the time.)
27.  In The Old Man, Newman and Kramer ask Jerry if he has any old vinyl they can sell for cash at a local used record shop.  After they fail to warrant more than a five dollar offer from the crusty owner, Jerry informs them that this cantankerous old man he’s visiting has a whole collection he doesn’t want anymore.  At some point, the three of them, along with George, cram themselves into the back seat of a cab.  If you look closely at Newman’s stack of records, you can see the back cover of The Rolling Stones’ 1980 LP, Emotional Rescue.
28. The Shoes was originally going to be called The Script and The Junior Mint’s working title was The Artist.
29. Speaking of The Junior Mint, after crying at the end of Home Alone, George returns to Jerry’s apartment with three more videos to watch.  Only one, the top title, is visible.  That would be Pretty Woman which George immediately puts into the VCR.  As noted previously, Jason Alexander was in that movie.
30. Kramer makes his 100th appearance in Jerry’s apartment in The Contest.  It’s the moment when he reveals that the naked woman in the building across the street broke down his resistance to masturbation.  For the record, it takes him less than a minute to finish.
31. Two exterior shots of houses from two separate episodes were filmed on the fake CBS street where the show, Thirtysomething, was shot.  The Bubble Boy’s house was specifically built in that location for the short-lived series, Eerie, Indiana.  In The Implant, the residence where George’s double dipping costs him his “death in the family” discount and his relationship with Megan Mullally was also found in that area.
32. The phrase, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That, was uttered eight times in The Outing.  Jerry says it first to the NYU reporter at the seven-minute mark and Kramer says it last to Jerry and George 14 minutes later.  Larry Charles is credited with the line which Jerry insisted be repeated as a mantra throughout the show.  Castle Rock executive Glenn Padnick felt the episode needed something to alleviate in a comedic fashion the anxiety of being falsely exposed as homosexuals.  The bit worked.  After its first airing, NBC received exactly 31 complaints.  The show ended up winning a GLAAD award.
33. The original draft of The Contest was much more explicit and after it was read by the cast during its regular, initial table read, no one thought it would get made.  The idea of never actually mentioning the word “masturbation” or making any blatantly overt references to it improved it immensely.  Unfortunately, during the first take of the scene in the coffee shop where George mentions his embarrassing story the dialogue shocked the live audience into not laughing.  They reacted much more positively on the next take.  When Elaine laughs about George’s mom’s bad fall after she catches him pleasuring himself to a Glamour magazine in her bathroom, he annoyedly says, “It’s not funny, Elaine.”.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus was really laughing which inspired Jason Alexander’s improvisational moment.
34. Matt Drudge worked for three years in the early 1990s at the CBS Studio Center merchandise store, which was near the area where the show’s interiors were taped, where audiences who attended tapings could buy store-related memorabilia.  He used his fortuitous position to start his own website, The Drudge Report, where after rooting around in some garbage cans on the lot, he revealed how much Jerry Seinfeld was making doing his own sitcom.
35. Kramer appeared in a first-season episode of Mad About You, Paul Reiser’s sitcom about a childless couple living in New York.  The complete four minute clip is included as an easter egg on the DVD.  In it, we learn that Reiser’s character used to live in Kramer’s apartment.  That’s the only time a Seinfeld character crossed over onto another NBC show.
36. In The Old Man, George expresses an interest in dating a non-English speaking woman.  His dream seemingly comes true in the form of a Senegalese housekeeper who works for a crotchety old man Jerry has volunteered to visit.  In a deleted scene on the DVD, we learn that the woman really does speak English, which explains why she’s able to understand George’s desire to have her rub hot oil all over his head.  The second he learns this, he makes transparent excuses in order to let her down easy.
37. In The Cheever Letters, Jerry unwittingly gets involved with Elaine’s gabby assistant.  After an amorous encounter with her at his apartment goes awry, he recounts the story for George at Monk’s.  When he tells her the dirty things she was telling him, George squeezes a ketchup bottle which results in a very suggestive gag.  That was an ad-lib that Jason Alexander had to fight for inclusion in the final cut.  For the record, it’s not clear what Jerry whispers to him.  Only he knows what he said.  It’s never revealed on any of the bonus features on the DVD.
38. Donald, the obnoxious Bubble Boy, was supposed to be seen originally.  Seth Green tried to secure the role during his audition.  But co-creator and executive producer Larry David wisely noted that showing The Bubble Boy was less funny than hearing The Bubble Boy which most likely would’ve aroused the audience’s empathy for The Bubble Boy, hence the reason we only saw the protected arms and hands of The Bubble Boy.
39. In The Pick, the moment where Elaine rubs George’s face in her breasts wasn’t scripted.  She was also supposed to send her infamous Christmas card to Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes who was going to call her about her exposed nipple.  By the way, that whole storyline was inspired by a real incident.  Writer Marc Jaffe received a similiar card in the mail from a male friend whose sexual organs were accidentally viewable.  The same thing happens to Kramer when his Calvin Klein underwear ad is released.
40. Pat Buckles is the hack impressionist who won’t leave Jerry alone in The Movie.  When we first see him, he’s goofing around with the bartender.  In the original script, he was supposed to give him a “titty twister”.  The episode was originally going to end with Buckles going through his celebrities-and-historical-figures-stuck-in-traffic routine at the Improv Club but it was wisely cut before airing.
41. There’s a very noticable edit in The Virgin.  Just after Marla exits Jerry’s apartment building, she runs into Elaine who wants to talk to her.  Had the scene been left uncut, we would’ve seen Elaine trying to convince her to be a witness in this lawsuit a Chinese food delivery guy named Ping has filed against her.
42. An unknown audience member saved the big secret in The Junior Mint.  At one point during the taping, the studio crowd was asked a question:  what do you think is the name of the mystery woman Jerry is dating?  One woman innocently guessed, “Delores”.  The actual scripted name was Regina which Jerry never got to say.  Instead, he shouted “Cloris” from his window during the first take of that pivotal scene.  During the second take, he went with “Kitty”.  Someone went backstage to tell the writers that Delores, the name blurted out by that audience member, was a funnier name.  Jerry used it on the third take.
(Special thanks to Rob Kerr.)
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 8, 2008
1:49 a.m.
Published in: on May 8, 2008 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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