There are tons of fan-favorite moments from Seinfeld, but there’s one episode that never even had the chance to become a classic. During a Reddit AMA, star Jerry Seinfeld revealed the one episode that was scrapped because of the subject matter.
Jerry Seinfeld revealed why this ‘Seinfeld’ episode was scrapped
In 2014, Seinfeld talked with fans during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session and there was one revealing tidbit that not a lot of fans know. One fan asked, “Were there ever story ideas that you had to scrap for Seinfeld because you felt they pushed the limits too far?”
It turns out, there was one episode that they ended up canceling because they felt it was too controversial — and it involved a storyline about buying a gun.
Seinfeld answered, “Yes. There was one episode where Jerry bought a handgun. And we started making it and stopped in the middle and said ‘this doesn’t work.’ We did the read-through and then canceled it. A lot of other stuff happened, but trying to make that funny ended up being no fun.”
What happened in the ‘Seinfeld’ episode ‘The Bet’?
“The Bet” episode of Seinfeld was to air during the show’s second season and, though Seinfeld said the episode involved a story about Jerry buying a handgun, according to WikiSein, there was actually a bet about Elaine buying a gun.
“In the episode, Elaine Benes bets against Jerry Seinfeld on the ease of buying a handgun to protect herself,” WikiSein notes. “In a subplot, Cosmo Kramer returns from a vacation in Puerto Rico and tells Jerry and George Costanza that he had sex with a flight attendant during the flight back. George makes a bet with him and goes to the airport with Jerry and Elaine to ask the flight attendant if Kramer’s allegation is true.”
Interestingly, the episode was pretty far along in the process before they scrapped it. Sets had been built and actors were cast for the roles of a flight attendant and the gun salesman.
Why didn’t the ‘Seinfeld’ episode air?
The subject matter of the Seinfeld episode “The Bet” was supposed to be dark, but it was determined it wasn’t going to work.
DVD commentary for the show revealed the reactions of the cast members, who had rehearsed for 20 minutes before they began addressing their concerns.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus said, “I read the script and I remember thinking, ‘We’re not going to do this.’”
Louis-Dreyfus’ character had dialogue that included references to presidents being assassinated. “Where do you want it, Jerry? The Kennedy? [holds the gun to her stomach] The McKinley?,” Elaine said. Louis-Dreyfus told Jason Alexander, “I’m not doing this.”
Larry Charles, who wrote the episode, explained in the DVD commentary why the script didn’t quite click. “You know, it would have been an interesting show, but we couldn’t solve the funny problem of it,” he explained.
Charles continued, “It never seemed to quite be as funny as it should be and, because of that, the balance was off and the darkness kind of enveloped it, and it could never really emerge from that darkness and become what it should have been. So, it was disappointing but also understandable.”
Larry David and Seinfeld wrote a new episode, “The Phone Message,” to replace “The Bet.”
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