1. In The Chaperone, George and Jerry are having a difficult time sleeping in their Atlantic City hotel room because of Miss Rhode Island’s trained birds cooing too loudly outside. After Jerry dumps a bucket of water on them (which doesn’t just quiet them down it actually kills them) he returns to his single bed and says to George, “Well, good night, Ollie.”. In his own single bed, George replies, “Good night, Stan.”. This is a reference to Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, AKA Laurel & Hardy, the famous comedy team from the early days of the American cinema.
2. The Big Salad was directly inspired by a real-life incident involving Larry David, a writer’s assistant and the show’s editor, Janet Ashikaga. While in the middle of editing another episode David asked Ashikaga if she wanted anything from this restaurant he was going to. She requested a big salad. With the writer’s assistant tagging along David bought the big salad. Unfortunately, he let the writer’s assistant give it to Ashikaga who proceeded to thank her, not David, for buying the big salad. The assistant never mentioned David’s generosity and cheerfully accepted the thank you. This irked David so much it inspired the George story in the episode of the same name.
3. The Chaperone was originally entitled The Birds. The Switch was supposed to be called The Bulimic. The Diplomat’s Club’s working title was The Admirals Club (the change was needed because the first title, which is a real club run by American Airlines, couldn’t be cleared). The Understudy was first going to be The Injury. And The Fusilli Jerry had two alternate titles: The Move and The Assman (that last title specifically rejected by NBC).
4. In The Mom & Pop Store, George is talked out of buying a used ’89 Volvo. The salesman convinces him to buy an ’89 Chrysler LeBaron instead after revealing that it used to belong to actor Jon Voight which turns out not to be true. (The former owner was really John Voight, a periodontist friend of Tim Whatley’s.) The exact same thing happened to episode co-writer Tom Gammill who was absolutely certain that he was driving the Oscar-winner’s former vehicle. In fact, that’s his real car, the Voightmobile if you will, used throughout the episode. The actual Volvo George almost buys belonged to his writing partner, Max Pross, who, in real life, never believed the LeBaron belonged to Voight. George and Jerry’s arguments about this were directly taken from Pross and Gammill’s own debates. Furthermore, the episode was conceived as a way to actually settle this argument once and for all. Incredibly, Voight agreed to do a cameo in the episode. When the writers finally asked him if he used to drive Gammill’s LeBaron, he said he had never ever seen that car before in his life.
5. In The Label Maker, after a terrible misunderstanding in The Mom & Pop Store, Elaine starts dating Tim Whatley. Near the end of the former she confronts the dentist about re-gifting her label maker she gave him, because he didn’t charge her for dental work, to Jerry. After Whatley tells her that it was the worst gift he ever got (the labels wouldn’t stick for longer than 10 minutes), she breaks down and they kiss. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was either suffering from a terrible cold or scarlet fever (she had a temperature of 103, according to one of the writers of this episode) during the production that week. Knowing full well they had to go through with this mercifully quick kiss, Louis-Dreyfus apologized beforehand to Bryan Cranston. Sure enough, two days later, he spent a week in bed and lost three pounds after catching whatever it was she gave him.
6. Before being introduced at every audience taping, Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Jerry Seinfeld would be huddled together inside TV Jerry’s bathroom set to perform a superstitious ritual. Each would place their hand on top of the other and as they released their hands they would collectively make a quick, very loud yelping sound like basketball players coming out of a time-out. They called this “The Circle Of Power”. The silly gesture ended up in a couple of episodes of Seinfeld, most notably The Contest. (Remember the Monk’s scene where they agree to make the “no masturbation” bet?)
7. In The Soup, George goes on a walk-and-talk date with a pretty waitress from Monk’s. The sequence was shot in the lagoon area of the CBS Radford Studios in Los Angeles, the same place where Gilligan’s Island was filmed. The lagoon doesn’t exist today because it was destroyed sometime in the late ’90s. (The DVD doesn’t explain how or why, unfortunately.) In a deleted scene, Kenny Bania arrives at Monk’s to pick her up for a date.
8. Ian Abercrombie, who played Elaine’s supremely fussy boss, Mr. Pitt, really couldn’t figure out how to see that 3-D art picture in The Gymnast until the audience taping where he declared that he could see The Statue Of Liberty. Larry David told him to calm down, they had a show to tape.
9. In The Couch, Jerry buys a new couch for his apartment but it’s ruined after Poppie, the unsanitary chef from Season Five’s The Pie, pees on one of the cushions when he stops by to pick up the tab for the duck the comedian didn’t eat at his restaurant. If you look closely, as Poppie moves a newspaper off that particular spot on the right cushion, you can clearly see the fake pee stain already in place as he’s about to sit down.
10. At the end of The Chinese Woman, Noreen, Elaine’s easily manipulated friend, tries to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge but before she leaps a man in a cape talks to her thereby saving her life. Larry David played the man who was Frank Costanza’s divorce lawyer. In an outtake, he actually carries her in his arms but he accidentally loses his balance and falls off the set. Fortunately, neither was seriously hurt thanks to the short fall they both took. (David landed on his feet with actress Kelly Coffield (In Living Colour) still in his arms.)
11. In The Scofflaw, Jon Lovitz plays Gary, a duplicitious friend of George and Jerry’s, who lies about having cancer just so he can get free hair pieces for life. (Jerry bought him a lifetime supply through The Hair Team For Men.) Before we see him with the rug, he has lunch with George. After he gets the piece, in a later scene he talks to a solitary woman at the back of Monk’s who has a reputation for being unfriendly. All she does is read and not talk to anybody. He succeeds where every other man has failed. But in a deleted scene (actually an extension of the first lunch scene with George), he tries picking her up without the toupee ignoring George’s warnings of inevitable doom. (50 men have been unable to break the ice with her.) He halfheartedly approaches her, waves quickly and when she doesn’t look up he walks right back to George, head dejectedly downward.
12. In The Doorman, Kramer pretends to mug George out on the street while a bus full of German tourists look on in horror. Max Pross and Tom Gammill, the writers of the episode, used to do the same thing for years when they lived in New York. Unfortunately, they never quite got the same outraged reaction from the real-life tourists they performed for. Later on, when Kramer is carrying his record player down the street the same tourists spot him and chase him on foot. That’s a goof on a similiar scene from Marathon Man when Nazi doctor Laurence Olivier is spotted by a Holocaust survivor on the street.
13. In The Kiss Hello, Wendie Malick plays Elaine’s physical therapist friend with a bad hairdo. Brenda Strong auditioned for the role. She would go on to play Sue-Ellen Mischke, the woman who wore a bra as a top, in numerous season seven episodes. In The Race, Jerry runs into his old high school track rival, Duncan Meyer, at his girlfriend’s office. (Duncan is actually her boss.). Ryan Stiles (The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show) failed to land that part. Former Bond girl Carey Lowell (who also played a lawyer on Law & Order) read for Lois. In The Doorman, Jerry’s real-life best friend, comedian/actor Larry Miller, plays the title character, a devious doorman who works in Mr. Pitt’s building. Stephen Root (Newsradio, Office Space) was a strong contender for that part. Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show) played Katie, Jerry’s mothering assistant in the Diplomat’s Club. SNL alumni Julia Sweeney and Molly Shannon tried out for the role.
14. In The Big Salad, Elaine is annoyed by the advances of a stationary store salesman. Styles and Dave Foley (The Kids In The Hall) couldn’t secure the part. In The Pledge Drive, we meet George’s fellow Yankee colleague, Mr. Morgan. Phil Morris, the future Jackie Chiles, auditioned for that role. Tim Whatley, Bryan Cranston’s dentist character who was introduced for the first time this season, could’ve been played by John O’Hurley. Instead, the future Family Feud host got a better gig playing J. Peterman, another new character in season six. In The Secretary, George hires the red-headed Ada to work for him. Vicki Lewis beat out Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson) for the short-lived character. And in The Chinese Woman former MuchMusic VJ Angela Dorfmann beat out Kristen Johnston for the role of Donna Chang. Johnston would go on to play one of the aliens on 3rd Rock From The Sun a year after her failed audition.
15. In The Jimmy, Jerry is deeply disturbed by Whatley’s dental office reading material. (While waiting to see him Jerry spots a couple of Penthouse magazines among copies of Fortune and Entertainment Weekly in the waiting room.) Before he sits down he’s spoken to by the receptionist. She’s played by real-life Playboy Playmate Elan Carter (June 1994). After slowly coming to after breathing in some gas Jerry thinks he sees Whatley and his beautiful hygenist buttoning up their clothes, implying something untoward happened when he was incapacitated. Cheryl, the hygenist, is played by another Playboy Playmate, Alison Armitage, who actually used the name Brittany York when she posed for the October 1990 edition. In a couple of deleted scenes, we learn that Cheryl posed for Penthouse.
16. In The Doodle, Christa Miller returns to play a new character, an artist who likes George. (She previously had a brief cameo in a season five episode where George wins and loses his bra salesman gig in a matter of seconds after touching the fabric of her top.) Shortly after appearing on Seinfeld she auditioned for an upcoming sitcom featuring another stand-up comedian. The people at the new show weren’t certain she could do comedy so this episode of Seinfeld was sent to them before it even aired which ultimately led her to landing the part of Kate on The Drew Carey Show co-starring Ryan Stiles and, for numerous episodes, Katy Severstone who played George’s slightly deaf zookeeper girlfriend in The Face Painter.
17. In The Scofflaw, Gary tells George that a woman named Debbie said hi to him so he calls her for a date. Unfortunately, she didn’t know she was on a date and claims she only meant to send her regards to him. Debbie is played by Barbara Alyn Woods, best known for playing the pill-addicted cougarific Deb Scott on the underappreciated One Tree Hill.
18. There are two very noticeable continuity errors in two different episodes. In The Secretary, Kramer sells his vintage suit to Kenny Bania while he’s wearing it. Stuck in a lady’s dressing room in a high-end clothing store, he’s wearing nothing but boxers, socks and shoes. When Jerry arrives looking for women’s moisturizer, he ultimately finds Kramer wondering what the hell he was thinking. Notice Kramer’s wallet tucked into the front of his boxers when Jerry first walks in the room, then shortly thereafter it disappears never to resurface again. In The Label Maker, George goes to visit his girlfriend Bonnie at her apartment as she’s packing up the belongings of her soon-to-be-former roommate, Scott, whom the bald man viewed as a threat. At one point, his hands are free. Then, out of nowhere, he’s holding Scott’s mini Television.
19. George’s fascination with wearing velvet originally popped up in a deleted scene from The Couch. It was initially part of a much longer opening involving Jerry shopping for a new couch. George isn’t immediately sold on Jerry’s choice (the couch that Poppie ultimately pees on) because he doesn’t believe it’s “comfy cozy”. He would much rather his comic friend buy a couch made of velvet which leads to his comment about how he would love to drape himself in that particular fabric. Jerry ultimately ignores his suggestion and tells him he needs professional help.
20. The Reggie’s set was originally used for Newhart in the ’80s. The late Marjorie Gross (she died of ovarian cancer in 1996 at age 40), a writer/producer/creative consultant on seasons six and seven, briefly wrote for that show in 1988.
(Special thanks to Rob Kerr.)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, February 27, 2013