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Even though the TV show Seinfeld has been off air since the year 1998 doesn't mean that most of us have forgotten about it. Thanks to syndication and the overall popularity of the "show about nothing," its hilarious glory continues to live on, even today. And, as someone who still watches Seinfeld reruns on the regular, you can bet your ass that I get excited when something secret about the show gets revealed.
Well, we're all lucky today, boys, because the cast recently talked to Vulture about one of the most famous episodes the show ever shot — Seinfeld, "The Contest". For those who may have forgotten what the episode was all about, well, point blank, it was a contest in which the main characters, Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer, bet one another to see who could be the "master of their domain," wondering which person could resist the urge of pleasing themselves the longest.
"The Contest" episode aired in 1992, and, since that moment, it became one of the signature shows that Seinfeld ever shot. So, how did it come to existence? Well, it's actually a true story, as the show's Executive Producer and Writer, Larry David, actually made a similar bet with one of his former, real-life roommates in the 1980s. But, let's just allow those who played a major role in the episode explain, via Vulture:
Larry David: "I can’t believe I have to discuss this at my ripe age. I would say there was only one other person involved [in the actual contest]. Should I mention his name? I don’t even know — my friend Frank Piazza. I don’t remember what the bet was. There must have been some money involved. I think it was a small amount. [The contest lasted] two days. Maybe three. I just remember it didn’t last very long. I was surprised at how quickly it ended. I won handily, yes."
Kenny Kramer, friend of Larry David, a.k.a. the real Kramer: "I wasn’t in [the contest] because I knew I would never win it."
Larry David: "By the way, [the idea] was in my notebook for some time and I never even mentioned it to Jerry [Seinfeld] because I didn’t think there was any way that he would want to do it, and I didn’t think there was any way the show actually could get done on the network. So it took me a couple years, you know, to even mention it to Jerry because it didn’t even occur to me that it was a possibility. But he was all for it."
Michael Richards (Kramer): "Larry was going to put his whole job on the line. I’ve known Larry since we did Fridays together, and that’s Larry David. If he believes in something, he’s just going to fight for it."
Larry David: "As soon as the read-through started, the laughs were huge. Big, satisfying laughs. I would glance at [the executives’] faces and they seemed to be enjoying it. You could sense it was a very special show. Then we all walked back to our office afterwards and I think one or two NBC executives were there and they had nothing. They just said, “Very funny.” And I was shocked."
So, let's get this straight, Larry David potentially risked his career by pitching this wild idea to NBC. For some reason, rather than getting laughed out of the room, the execs at the network ate it up and laughed just as hysterically as most of us do while watching Seinfeld.
To this day, I'm not sure there's a more memorable episode from Seinfeld as "The Contest, so it's pretty awesome knowing how the concept for the episode came to be thank to Larry David being like every 20-something back in the day who needs a little action. Head on over to Vulture, which has the full, in-depth interview with various people who played a role in making the episode come to life.
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