The pilot episode of Seinfeld is famously different from the rest of the popular sitcom, and fans will want to know these interesting facts.
The pilot of Seinfeld features some interesting things that make it stand out from the rest of the show’s 9 seasons: Kramer is named Kessler, Elaine isn’t part of the friend group yet, and the main storyline isn’t quite as hilarious as some of the others. The episode is called “The Seinfeld Chronicles” and also “Good News/Bad News” and sees Jerry wondering if picking up Laura from the airport and giving her a place to stay means that she likes him as more than a friend.
From the original title of the sitcom to a character who was in the script, there are some facts about the pilot of Seinfeld that fans will enjoy hearing about.
The Original Name Was Stand Up
Seinfeld’s fan favorite quotes have become part of everyday language, and the title of the sitcom feels just as iconic as Friends or Frasier. The three sitcom names are simple and yet pack a punch, explaining exactly what the show is about.
According to Uproxx, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld referred to the sitcom as The Jerry Seinfeld Show, and the pilot screenplay was called Stand Up since Jerry was going to perform his sets in each episode.
Jason Alexander Wasn’t Sure People Would Watch
Given what a massive hit Seinfeld has become, and how popular it continues to be thanks to streaming services, it’s interesting to think about how the actors thought about it when they were filming the pilot and waiting for it to air.
Jason Alexander shared a story where Jerry Seinfeld asked him if the pilot would be successful. Alexander said that when Seinfeld asked if he didn’t think it was a quality show, “No, I think it is good, that’s your problem,'” according to The Daily Mail.
The Original Seinfeld Idea Was Different
Fans always say that Seinfeld is “the show about nothing” as the episodes aren’t overly grand, exciting, or epic. The characters park cars, complain about life, and eat at restaurants on a regular basis.
According to Mental Floss, Jerry Seinfeld said that the idea for the series didn’t include this concept. Seinfeld said, “The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material.”
Lee Garlington Was The Female On The Show Before Elaine
Elaine’s funny Seinfeld storylines are one big reason why fans can’t imagine the show without her, but she isn’t in the first episode.
Lee Garlington shared in an interview with The Huffington Post that she portrayed George and Jerry’s friend Claire, a sever, but she didn’t appear beyond the first episode. Garlington said, “[W]hen we shot the pilot, I was the girl in ‘Seinfeld.’ They didn’t pick up my contract.”
Larry David Was Worried About Kessler’s Character
Kramer’s antics and comedy are staples of the sitcom, and viewers can see some differences when they look back on this very first episode.
When rewatching the pilot, it becomes clear that Kramer’s character is named Kessler. Fans know that Larry David created the character because of a neighbor, and according to Cheat Sheet, there’s an interesting reason for the name change. David was nervous that his neighbor would bring a lawsuit if he called the character Kramer.
The Pilot Episode Had A Certain Tone That Then Changed
Many sitcoms have laugh tracks and several plotlines, and several of them feel frantic and chaotic.
According to Slate, season 1 of Seinfeld had a tone that was pretty slow, as it had episodes with 10 scenes, and that changed to 2o-25 later on. Julia Louis-Dreyfus said that when she read the script for the season 1 episode that she was in, she felt that the characters spoke in an interesting way. Louis-Dreyfus called it “nice and relaxed.”
Seinfeld Was Going To Be A Special, Not A TV Show
According to Mental Floss, the idea was that Jerry Seinfeld would perform a stand-up special that was 90 minutes long and aired in the slot for Saturday Night Live. But instead, the show became a sitcom that lasted for 9 seasons.
Jerry Seinfeld’s specials are often the best and most popular stand-up specials, and thankfully, fans have been treated to several Netflix specials featuring his classic comedy style of observing the people and places around him.
There Was A Character Instead Of George At First
George might not have even been a character on Seinfeld at all. According to Uproxx, the pilot script had a character named Bennett and he was a stand-up comedian like Jerry.
Watching Jerry talk to another comedian who is part of the stand-up industry would be funny, as they could inspire each other but also fight a lot. But it’s hard not to feel that changing this character was the smart choice since George is such a popular character.
Jerry Seinfeld Thought Jake Johannsen Could Play George
Jerry and George’s scheming on Seinfeld is always fun to watch, and the two friends are always there to make each other laugh and think carefully about their lives. Their dynamic just works so smoothly.
According to Cheat Sheet, Jerry Seinfeld liked a comedian named Jake Johannsen and wanted him to play the part of George. When he turned the role down, Jason Alexander was considered.
A Memo Went Around After The Pilot Episode
Several fans feel that season 1 of Seinfeld isn’t the show’s highest quality, and the show does take a bit of time to feature the types of fascinating and funny storylines that fans are used to seeing.
According to Yahoo!, there was an NBC memo after the Seinfeld pilot, and it said, “No segment of the audience was eager to watch the show again.”