Though Seinfeld is known for being a “show about nothing,” the concept behind the sitcom, which aired on July 5, 1989, was anything but. The main characters- Jerry, Kramer, Elaine and George stole our hearts with their doings, making us laugh heavily in the process. The sitcom is legendary, even to this day; and there is really nothing else quite like it. However, not everything filmed and incorporated was actually planned! Sometimes things spiral as a result of other events. Here are a few facts about the classic New York City based-comedy that you might not know.
Seinfeld Was Only Meant To Be A One-Episode Special
The original plan for Seinfeld was for a one-night-only 90-minute special called “Stand Up” to air in Saturday Night Live’s time slot.
Seinfeld Was Never Actually Pitched As A ‘Show About Nothing’
Jerry Seinfeld said during a 2014 Reddit AMA that he and co-creator Larry David were shocked by how Seinfeld got its “show about nothing” moniker: “The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material,’” Seinfeld revealed. “The show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it’s the opposite of that.”
The Opening Music For Every Episode Was Different
Although the slap bass and mouth bursts and sighs seemed like they came from the same track, composer Jonathan Wolff created each one separately, based on Seinfeld’s opening monologue for the week. “I would build each monologue based on this list, this computer printout of his voice and what he was saying, how long it was,” Wolff revealed to Vice in 2015. “It was a little bit more labor-intensive than most other shows because I had to re-do that opening every time. But it was worth it. He was creating new material. As long as he’s creating new material, I’ll do the same thing, and I will create along with him.”
The Diner Used For The Exterior Shot Is Now Famous
The restaurant featured in the scene, dubbed Monk’s on the show, is actually Tom’s Restaurant, which is located on Broadway and West 112th Street in New York City. It was made famous before Seinfeld as the inspiration for Suzanne Vega’s song “Tom’s Diner,” which was released in 1981.
Kramer Wasn’t Originally Kramer
As the real Kramer—Larry David’s old neighbor, Kenny Kramer—was unwilling to allow his name be used for the show, Kramer is referred to as Kessler in the pilot episode. The “genuine” Kramer eventually gave in. Despite the fact that he claims he was only paid $1000 for the use of his name in the series, Kramer has made money in various ways since then, including with his Kramer’s Reality Tour bus tour (which is now in its 22nd year).
Jason Alexander Didn’t Believe Seinfeld Would Make It
Jason Alexander adored the Seinfeld screenplay, which made him doubt the show’s viability. “From the moment I saw the script I thought it would be the most brilliant thing I’d ever be part of, and that it would not run for even a day,” Alexander told Deseret News in 1992. “Because the audience for this show is me, and I don’t watch TV … But I don’t think anyone is more surprised by the success of [Seinfeld] than we are, because we thought, ‘Oh, we’ll amuse ourselves, and that’ll be it. We’ll have a videotape at the end of it that we could play at parties.’”
Jason Alexander Didn’t Appear In Only One Episode, And Wasn’t Happy About It
There is just one episode of Seinfeld in which Alexander did not appear: “The Pen,” from season three, in which Jerry and Elaine visit Jerry’s parents in Florida (and Jerry getting an astronaut pen from their neighbor). Alexander cautioned Larry David that “if you do it again, do it permanently,” as he was worried that being written out of the episode would mean he would be written off the program.
Seinfeld Had A Strict ‘No Hugging, No Learning’ Policy
Larry David made it clear to the actors and crew that the show’s credo was “no hugging, no learning,” which indicated that they should avoid emotion or scenarios that would compel the characters to alter or grow. “A lot of people don’t understand that Seinfeld is a dark show,” David said. “If you examine the premises, terrible things happen to people. They lose jobs; somebody breaks up with a stroke victim; somebody’s told they need a nose job. That’s my sensibility.”