24. A number of prosecution witnesses saw their testimony deleted altogether from the broadcast version of The Finale. Ramon the pool guy who Jerry refused to give CPR to, Poppie who got into a huge argument with Elaine over abortion (he’s against it, she’s for it), her former Pendant Publishing boss, Mr. Lippmann, who fired George for fucking a cleaning woman on his desk, Arnold Deensfrei who thought Kramer was mentally challenged, and the cop who caught the bald man and the comedian peeing in that parking garage in season three all testified against The New York Four in material not used in the episode. Speaking of the urine cop, the actor who played him, David Dunard, reappears in a different role as the “pinhead” who runs the Rageaholics meeting in The Apology.
25. In The Serenity Now, Frank Costanza ropes his long suffering son, George, into selling computers out of the family garage. In a deleted scene not shown on the DVD, Frank does a variation of the famous Alec Baldwin “ABC” speech from Glengarry Glen Ross. In the movie, ABC stands for Always Be Closing. In the sequence not used in The Serenity Now, Frank’s version was ABCD. After hearing the “Always Be Closing” portion, George asks his father what the D stands for. After getting smacked in the head, Frank screams, “Dummy!”.
26. Mr. Kruger, George’s incompetent boss at Kruger Industrial Smoothing, was only supposed to appear in The Slicer. But late in the production of that show, it was decided he had to be a recurring character. (He ultimately appeared in three more episodes.) Meanwhile, Darin, Kramer’s college intern in The Voice, was going to be seen again but the writing staff could never figure out how to bring him back so he stayed in jail off-camera.
27. When Jerry Seinfeld went on vacation in Mexico, a friendly photographer offered to take his photo for five bucks. Unfortunately, something went wrong and the photo needed to be fixed. When the photographer showed the “fixed” version, Jerry noticed that his image was replaced with a cartoon version someone had drawn on top of it. This inspired a key moment in the George story in The Slicer.
28. In The Betrayal, there’s a scene on an airplane where Nina, George’s new girlfriend, is having a conversation with Elaine. She’s concerned that Elaine has told the bald man about her sexual encounter with old friend, Jerry. After Elaine reassures her that her secret is “in the vault” (it’s really not; she told George when she was drunk on Peach Schnapps), that scene was supposed to continue. In the extended version, Elaine steals a pillow from the passenger right next to her which turns out to be “Vegetable Lasagna”, the poor sap who was stuck on a flight with her and David Puddy, as well as a cab ride, in The Butter Shave.
29. The six-day shoot for The Puerto Rican Day was pretty rough. Some days were hot and dry while others were cold and wet. Not only that, media helicopters constantly flew over the Universal New York City backlot during the shoot thinking that they were capturing exclusive images of the final episode being recorded which meant numerous delays. (Of course, The Finale was the last episode, not this one.) Originally, The Puerto Rican Day was going to be shot in the real NYC but there was no reasonable way to make it work so that idea was cancelled. The show’s regular NYC street set at the CBS Radford Studios was just too small to accommodate all those vehicles and extras so it was off to the much bigger Universal set instead.
30. Jerry Seinfeld told Julia Louis-Dreyfus during her first pregnancy that the show was thinking of doing a storyline where Elaine gets fat which would help explain her sudden weight gain. After she cried, that suggestion was immediately forgotten.
31. Writer David Mandel and some of his co-workers went to the movies to see the 1995 film, While You Were Sleeping. During the moment when Sandra Bullock asks, “Do you know what true love is?”, some wise-ass in the theatre screamed out, “Yes!” which got a big laugh. This inspired George’s “That’s gotta hurt!” quip during a screening of the fictional film Blimp in The Puerto Rican Day.
32. In The Voice, Kramer and his intern, Darin, drop a big red ball full of oil from the window of George’s Play Now office onto Jerry’s unsuspecting girlfriend down below. In the aftermath, she files a lawsuit and wins. How much money was she awarded for her pain and suffering? 26 million. Unfortunately, this revelation was excised from the episode.
33. Writer Steve Koren was driving his parents around one day when the couple got into an argument. Out of nowhere, his father screamed, “Serenity now!”. Koren learned that his dad had been listening to a relaxation tape recommended by his hypnotist which advises the truly stressed to simply say those two words, but not shout them. (Koren’s parents were a lot like Frank and Estelle Costanza. They constantly bicker and scream at each other.) When The Serenity Now episode first aired, Koren’s father was initially not happy about it. But over time, he became a minor celebrity in his community and was thrilled with the recognition his son bestowed upon him. Koren says he still has the original “serenity now” tape in his attic.
34. In The Reverse Peephole, Kramer, Jerry, Elaine, Puddy and George attend a party thrown by Joe Mayo, a guy who gives all attendees a job to do. There’s a brief moment where Puddy scolds a mustachioed guy for putting his glass on a stereo speaker. That’s the real Joe Mayo, a Seinfeld crew member, getting yelled at.
35. In The Maid, George wants to make T-Bone his nickname. Unfortunately, his workmates at Kruger prefer Koko (after the monkey that can do sign language) and later, Gammy. Furthermore, a guy from the accounting office earns the T-Bone moniker, much to the bald man’s chagrin. Originally, George was to send everyone a memo telling them that no one would be allowed to use nicknames on anybody including himself any more. He was to accidentally sign it “Gorge” which becomes his new office nickname. Infuriated by this, the young Costanza was to dig out his birth certificate and show everyone how his first name is really spelled. Unfortunately, it reads “Gorge Costanza”. (He was to blame his father for the error.) Jerry Seinfeld thought this was a cheap fat joke so the Koko and Gammy material replaced it in the finished episode.
36. In The Frogger, an entire romantic subplot involving Kramer was cut because the show was running long. After coming out of the mens room at Monk’s, the K-man meets a beautiful woman who isn’t into him. In a later scene at Monk’s, he takes one of Elaine’s pieces of cake and offers it to the woman who turns him down once again. Eventually, he successfuly lures her into a restaurant by marking a restricted path with his yellow Caution police tape. Her name is Madeline, the unseen woman who moves downtown, much to the chagrin of the K-man, in The Maid.
37. In The Bookstore, Ted Rooney plays the manager of Brentano’s. The character was originally called Clerk but was later changed to Crichton because the show felt Rooney resembled the late author, Michael Crichton.
38. When an elated Newman leaves his apartment to attend the Good Samaritan trial in The Finale, you can see an old-school fat shaking machine after he closes the door.
39. In The Maid, Elaine gets her phone number changed. As the phone guy does the job, through voice-over she contemplates what would happen if she bumped him off. Would anyone miss him? Later on, he disappears. The phone guy is played by Sam Whipple who worked with Jason Alexander on the original E/R and Michael Richards in Coneheads. He died in 2002. In The Blood, Elaine tries to convince her friend Vivian that she’s responsible enough to babysit her obnoxious son. Then, she tries to get out of it when she learns that her pal is having serious health problems. Vivian is played by Kellie Waymire. She died in 2003.
40. Writer Dan O’Keefe did not want to write about the holiday his father created in 1966 and only gave in because of intense pressure from the writing staff. The real Festivus was not meant to replace Christmas in December but to honour O’Keefe’s parents’ first date on February 12, 1963. There is no steel pole nor any feats of strength. But you can wear a weird hat, carry on a conversation with a mouth full of food and even curse. Like the yuletide holiday, there’s a gift exchange but most presents are already owned by the recepient. (O’Keefe would also receive a Happy Festivus card but not send one.) There’s also a turkey dinner. When you’re close to finishing your meal you can lick your plate clean if you so desire. The event concludes with either Willie Nelson’s Stardust album, Billy Joel’s first Greatest Hits release or the soundtrack to the opera, Orfeo & Eurydice, which O’Keefe’s parents attended a presentation of on their first date, playing on the stereo. And yes, all of this is recorded on audio tape. O’Keefe, of course, would go on to write about all this in his 2005 book, The Real Festivus. He also created a short-lived TV series about his family entitled – what else? – The O’Keefes for the then-WB two years before that.
41. In The Bookstore, Elaine is mortified after a public drunken makeout session with a fellow Peterman employee at a company get-together hurts her already sour reputation. Later on, she catches him tongue wrestling with another woman in the lunchroom which gives her a bit of an out. (She looks more sympathetic after having been “cheated” on.) At some point, however, we learn Zach is a heroin addict on the verge of going through hideous withdrawals and Peterman orders Elaine to oversee the start of his recovery. He’s played by Jonathan Penner who went on to compete on three different seasons of Survivor: Cook Islands in 2006, Micronesia in 2008 and the Phillipines in 2012. He finished in 7th, 15th (he had to leave because of an injury) and 7th again, respectively.
42. In The Strike, Elaine places a ten-dollar bet on a horse at an off-track betting site and meets the two guys who have been fielding calls from her unwanted suitors for five years. (She’s been using their number as a “fake” number so guys she’s not into don’t call her at home.) The long-haired guy is played by TV host, Colin Malone. He co-hosts a public access show about pornography entitled Colin’s Sleazy Friends where he interviews actors and actresses in the adult film biz. What’s his character’s name on this particular episode of Seinfeld? Sleazy Guy #1. During the Festivus scene at the Costanzas, Malone kept making Julia Louis-Dreyfus laugh during numerous takes when he would say the line, “I think you’re a fox.”.
43. There’s a minor continuity error in The Slicer. After Elaine wakes up from her sex dream, she looks at her clock radio and it says 3:30 a.m. By the end of the scene, however, if you look closely time has gone backwards. The clock now reads 3:29.
44. Violating the real Good Samaritan law in Massachusetts is only a misdemeanour. You pay a fine anywhere from 500 to 2500 bucks. There is no jail time involved.
45. Speaking of The Finale, during the Monk’s scene if you look at the table behind Jerry and company you’ll spot NBC President Warren Littlefield on the left and former Seinfeld director Tom Cherones on the right. And later, pay close attention to the short-haired brunette at the end of the first row in the jury box during the courtroom scenes. That’s Jason Alexander’s wife, Daena.
46. Barney Martin, who played Jerry’s dad Morty, was Jackie Gleason’s stand-in on The Honeymooners. He even got to rehearse with the cast because Gleason didn’t care for that part of the job.
47. In an earlier box set, we learned that Jerry’s apartment intercom was stolen and then recovered. In this box set, we learn that this happened after production on The Strongbox had wrapped. It was briefly nicked by a writer from the sitcom Cybill.
48. In The Burning, George asks Jerry if his girlfriend holds a pen for no good reason. This is a reference to former Senator Bob Dole. He holds a pen in his right hand so people don’t shake it. The reason: his right arm is paralyzed thanks to injuries sustained in World War II.
49. Dharma & Greg once did a episode where the title characters decide to have sex in public thinking that they’ll get away with it since everyone is indoors watching the Seinfeld finale.
50. While the final episode of the show was airing on May 14, 1998, the cable channel TV Land refused to broadcast any counterprogramming. Instead, they aired a picture of a closed office door with a note that read: “Gone watchin’ Seinfeld, back in 60 minutes.”.
(Special thanks to Rob Kerr.)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, April 19, 2013