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Dramatic Stories From Behind The Scenes Of 'Seinfeld'

Updated December 11, 2020 4k votes 595 voters 3.0m views14 items

List RulesVote up the behind-the-scenes stories from 'Seinfeld' that are truly something.

During its run on NBC from 1989 to 1998, Seinfeld told the stories of Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, and others through true-to-life experiences in New York City. As "a show about nothing," the comedy was a smashing success with viewers, esteemed as one of the best sitcoms in the history of television.

However, Seinfeld definitely had something going on when the cameras were off — and sometimes even when the cameras were on. Seinfeld fan theories abound when it comes to things like on-screen relationships, but the relationships off-screen could be just as tumultuous and dramatic at times. The entire cast of Seinfeld didn't always get along, sometimes to the point of writing characters off the show so that others wouldn't have to deal with them. There were also the fair share of cat fights, tears, lawsuits, temper tantrums, and other things that tend to plague popular television shows, including a long-running feud with Roseanne, proving every successful show has its dark secrets — even the comedies — and Seinfeld is no exception. 

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  • Photo: NBC Universal
    1

    Seinfeld Was Offered $5 Million An Episode To Keep The Show Going But Turned It Down

    After Seinfeld told NBC officials he wanted to end the show, they made him a very sweet deal: $5 million an episode to do Season 10. But he turned it down. During his last season, Seinfeld was making $1 million per episode and figured he had made enough money off the show. He also didn't want to ruin the integrity of the series. In his mind, he had an ending for it and didn't want to needlessly stretch it. 

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    2

    The Actor Who Played Elaine's Dad Scared The Other Actors

    Actor Lawrence Tierney played Elaine's father, Alton, on the show. His role was one that could've had much more longevity, had it not been for his strange antics on set. Seinfeld said Tierney carried a butcher knife on him while on set and generally was kind of bizarre.

    The knife in his pants was actually stolen, and when he was confronted about it, he allegedly starting fake stabbing Seinfeld. "Lawrence Tierney scared the living crap out of all of us," Alexander said in an interview. While everyone parted on good terms, he was not invited back to the show. 

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  • 3

    Jason Alexander Threatened To Quit The Show After A Table Read

    During Season 3, there was an episode in which Jason Alexander (George Costanza) had no role. After the table read where the cast went through the script, Alexander allegedly told Larry David, the co-creator of the show, "If you write me out again, do it permanently."

    After David tried to talk to Alexander about the difficulties in giving everyone equal time each week, Alexander replied, "Don’t tell me your problems. If you don’t need me here, I don’t want to be here.”

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    Kramer's Popularity Bothered The Other Stars Of The Show

    Michael Richards's portrayal of Kramer was one that audiences loved. When Kramer would appear on set during tapings of Seinfeld episodes, the live audience would cheer and cheer and cheer. This got to be problematic and annoying for the other stars of the show who began to complain that it messed up the pace of the series.

    As a result, the show's producers asked the audience to "refrain from clapping when Kramer entered a scene."

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