The iconic NBC series, Seinfeld ran for nine seasons and gave us countless hysterical moments that remain timeless. From being the master of your domain to blaming the pool for any possible shrinkage, the writers (led by co-creator and creative genius, Larry David) managed to somehow create memorable moments in virtually every single episode. With the brilliance that floated around that writer’s room, there were bound to be a few ideas left on the cutting room floor, and we now finally have a chance to learn about some hilarious storylines we never got to see.
Former Seinfeld writer-producers, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the various storylines they were unable to flesh out during the run of the series. They range from further developing a certain soup aficionado to an idea Mandel wishes they were able to execute.
1. Frank Costanza Tries Marijuana
“We went very far down the road with an idea that Frank was going to need medical marijuana for his cataracts… We thought the idea of Jerry Stiller on pot just seemed like comedy gold. We heard that ‘Cybill’ [the CBS series] writers had a similar story in the works, and it was enough to make us put the idea aside. We were really rigorous about not wanting to repeat things. I don’t think it was fully outlined, but that was a story that was ready to go. That would happen a lot.”
I have to agree with Mandel’s belief that Jerry Stiller on pot would be comedy gold. Frank Costanza’s energy throughout the series was contagious, so seeing how marijuana would have potentially affected him is an idea too good to pass up!
2. The [Literal] Soup Nazi
“We joked a whole bunch about an end scene that would take place in the jungles of Brazil, à la ‘The Boys From Brazil (1978)’, where the Soup Nazi [Larry Thomas] would return to the other Nazis — the actual former Nazi war criminals — with his soup recipes… It was sort of half-serious, half ‘Should we do this?,’ half ‘We’re never going to do it.’ But it was much discussed. Going down a river and seeing lots of young boys with blue eyes from experimentation with the soups — it was a full coming together of soup and Nazi. Probably just as well that we didn’t do that one.”
It’s easy to see why the Seinfeld writers wouldn’t want to continue with this particular development, especially with the Aryan undertones. However, it makes for an interesting Seinfeld tidbit! The Soup Nazi appeared in only two episodes of the entire series – the aptly titled “Soup Nazi” episode in Season 7 and “The Finale” – yet he is so entrenched in pop culture, you could’ve sworn he appeared more often.
3. Kramer’s Business Idea Chills You To The Bone
“Kramer [Michael Richards] was taking regular morgue-quality skeletons, refurbishing them, and turning them into museum-quality skeletons for teaching hospitals… He would get all the bones together and buff them up real nice. At the same time, Jerry was doing appliance-store ads for Leapin’ Larry’s, and Jerry was having trouble with his dishwasher, because Kramer kept using it. Leapin’ Larry says, ‘Bring it in, we’ll fix it.’ So Jerry brings it in, he doesn’t look inside, and Leapin’ Larry opens it up and there’s a tibia in there and he loses his [s–t]: ‘This is the worst practical joke ever to a guy who’s missing a leg!’
If there’s one character in the rich Seinfeld universe that would start a skeleton refurbishing business, it would be Cosmo Kramer. Schaffer continued by revealing what the fabulous Larry David thought about the idea. As it turns out, he wasn’t a big fan:
“Larry just said, ‘No. Kramer’s not refurbishing skeletons!’ And we’re like, ‘Come on! This is funny!’ It turns out the show was fine without it. Kramer trying to refurbish skeletons sat on our board forever, and [even after David left the show following season 7] we never used it. I guess Larry was right.”
4. Everyone Knows “The Prompter”
“Alec [Berg, a Seinfeld writer-producer] and [Schaffer] pitched this idea a few times… There was another comic, and she was a prompter. Jerry [Seinfeld] would be at lunch with her, and she would say, ‘You know, I only had one bit that really killed.’ Then she would wait, and he’d have to go, ‘Which one?’ ‘The bowling thing. It only died one time, but that’s because of who was there.’ ‘[Sigh] Who?’ You’d wait her out and she’d wait you out. Everyone knows someone like that, who just makes you pull it out of them.”
This idea is easily my favorite out of them all. What set Seinfeld apart from so many other shows was its ability to feature characters that every single person on Earth has encountered at least once. The idea of highlighting a person (the “Prompter”) that constantly plays the pronoun game and won’t finish their thought until someone acknowledges them is a character so true to the world of Seinfeld.
Schaffer reveals the character was actually supposed to appear in the Season 7 episode, “The Secret Code”, but it unfortunately never panned out:
“In ‘The Secret Code,’ Jerry was going to do an ad for an appliance store called Leapin’ Larry’s, and she was saying, ‘If you’re going to meet with Leapin’ Larry, there’s one thing you should really know about him.’ It was the fact that he had a prosthetic leg. And Jerry just ignored it. Then when Jerry wound up insulting him, he said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me???’ ‘Well, you didn’t take the prompt. I tried.’ It seems like the easiest device in the world: You ignore the prompter, and he or she actually has good information for you. That could work in any show, but we never used it.”
5. Picture It: Seinfeld In Mexico
Mandel affectionately recalls an idea he holds “near and dear” to his heart that the creative minds simply never got around to executing:
“The idea was that Jerry and the gang go on a vacation somewhere — say, Mexico — and they would check into their hotel rooms, and Jerry would end up with a hotel room right across from Kramer’s hotel room, so the hotel-room dynamic would have been the same as the apartments. The entire episode would have taken place in Mexico but everything would have been kind of the same—there would have been a Mexican diner that they sat in. I just thought the idea of taking the building blocks of Seinfeld — the apartments across the hall and the coffee shop — and transporting that to Mexico would be really fun. When Jerry decided to end the show, and I realized there weren’t going to be enough episodes, I was like, ‘Oh God, I wish there was one more season.’”
The simplicity of this idea is what makes it so spectacular. Truly the most revered Seinfeld episodes are the ones with the most basic premise that managed to highlight the hilarity of the writing and cast – such episodes as “The Chinese Restaurant,” “The Contest” or “The Parking Garage.”