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25 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Seinfeld

Famously referred to as "a show about nothing", in reality, Seinfeld is about so much more.

Perfectly capturing the awkwardness of day-to-day life, the intricacies of dating and the ways in which other people are often just the worst, it remains a beautifully well-observed sitcom. Okay so the technology and those damn outfits might have aged rather disgracefully but the situations are still as easily identifiable as they always were.

It's been almost 27 years since the show first aired and to celebrate, we've put together 25 things you probably don't know about Seinfeld.

  • 25 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Seinfeld

    1.

    The show was originally called The Seinfeld Chronicles and the test audience response from the pilot was not too great. Sample feedback: "You can't get too excited about two guys going to the laundromat", "Jerry's loser friend George is not a forceful character" and  "Why are they interrupting the stand-up for these stupid stories?"

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    2.

    Elaine didn’t feature in the pilot and instead, a waitress called Claire did. She was originally supposed to be a regular cast member but she made the mistake of telling Larry David that she had “a few ideas” about the show...

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    3.

    Other actresses considered for the role of Elaine included Megan Mullally and Rosie O’Donnell. Mullally ultimately nabbed a small role on the show as Betsy, George's girlfriend.

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    4.

    Every episode title starts with the word ‘The’ apart from just two instances – ‘Male Unbonding’ and ‘Highlights of a Hundred’

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    5.

    Jerry Seinfeld is obsessed with the number nine. He was born in 1954 (5+4=9), graduated from high school in 1972 (7+2=9) and first appeared on The Tonight Show in 1981 (8+1=9). Seinfeld would come on at 9pm and he decided the show should end when it did because, yep, it was the ninth season.

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    6.

    Elaine’s father, an author, was inspired by Richard Yates, who wrote Revolutionary Road. Larry David met him while dating his daughter. He was played by Lawrence Tierney, aka Joe Cabot in Reservoir Dogs, and was intended to become a recurring character but the cast and crew grew frightened of him after discovering he stole a knife from set. Tierney insisted it was a joke, after being caught by Seinfeld himself.

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    7.

    There are a whopping 180 episodes of the show which has led to over $3 billion in syndication royalties worldwide

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    8.

    One of the final episodes ever, ‘The Puerto Rican Day’, also became one of the most controversial. One scene has Kramer accidentally burning and then stomping on the Puerto Rican flag. It upset many Puerto Ricans and NBC were forced to apologise and ban it from airing again. 

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    9.

    Jerry is the only character to appear in every episode

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    10.

    ‘The Note’, the first episode of season three used a different version of the theme song, with female singers harmonising over the traditional tune. It went down badly with NBC and the music reverted back for the subsequent episodes. You can hear how it sounded here.

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    11.

    Other actors considered for the role of George included Nathan Lane and Steve Buscemi

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    12.

    Jerry Seinfeld’s least favourite episode is ‘The Alternate Side’, where Kramer gets a line in a Woody Allen film

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    13.

    Larry David, the show's co-creator, originally provided the voice for Newman in season two but when Wayne Knight came on to play him in season three, he dubbed the voiceover for the syndicated episode. David also supplied the voice of John F Kennedy Jr in 'The Contest'.

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    14.

    Jerry Seinfeld was offered a whopping $110 million from NBC to make a tenth season of the show.

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    15.

    'The Junior Mint' episode memorably sees Kramer and Jerry accidentally drop a Junior Mint into the middle of an operation. Originally the producers spoke to M&Ms and Lifesavers but were turned down as they found the idea distasteful.

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    16.

    Arguably the most well-known episode 'The Soup Nazi' revolves around a strict owner of a soup stand. The real-life inspiration for him was a guy called Al Yeganeh, who runs Soup Kitchen International in NYC but he hates any association with the character. Apparently weeks after the show aired, Jerry Seinfeld went there for lunch and Yeganeh unleashed a rant, eventually replicating the line "No soup for you!" before kicking him out.

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    17.

    'The Soup Nazi' episode also inspired an entire soup chain called Soup Nutsy which opened in 1996 in NYC and still exists in Toronto. While not officially affiliated with the show, there are two themed soups, "Jerry's Favourite" and "Kramer's Favourite".

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    18.

    At age 22, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy was offered a job writing for Seinfeld but he turned it down as he didn't believe the show would be so big and wanted to continue with music.

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    19.

    The shocking death of George's fiancé Susan from licking the glue from low quality envelopes was temporarily pulled from syndication after anthrax attacks in 2001.

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    20.

    Frank Sinatra's death coincided with the series finale and it's believed that Sinatra's ambulance got to the hospital so quickly because of the light traffic, due to everyone staying at home to watch Seinfeld.

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    21.

    Jason Alexander wore clothes that were too small to make George appear uncool while Michael Richards wore clothes that were too big to make Kramer appear laid-back.

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    22.

    George's last name was inspired by Michael Costanza, a college classmate of Jerry Seinfeld. In 1998, the real Costanza tried to sue NBC for $100 million claiming that he never gave his permission for his surname to be used and that the embarrassing behaviour of George meant that he wasn't treated with respect. He lost the suit.

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    23.

    Peter Dinklage, aka your favourite actor on Game of Thrones, had a very early appearance in 'The Wink' where he played the wake-up service guy who Elaine falls for. You can hear his work here.

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    24.

    Other pre-fame actors who had small roles in the show include Jon Favreau, Catherine Keener, Courtney Cox, Denise Richards, James Spader and Bryan Cranston (pictured).

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    25.

    The guy who berated George for double-dipping a tortilla chip at a funeral went on to write the screenplay for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

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