'Nothing' was one thing, but guns? Nopenopenope
July 11, 2014 12:27 PM Subscribe
posted by Etrigan (21 comments total)
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Remember that early episode of Seinfeld
where Elaine buys a gun, her father
makes his second appearance, and we finally find out that Kramer's first name is Conrad? Well, neither does anyone else who wasn't working on the show during its second season, specifically in December of 1990
, when the table read for "The Bet" was held.
The title refers to a wager on whether Elaine would purchase a black-market handgun. The episode was never filmed after Julia Louis-Dreyfus objected to "an exchange in which she jokes about shooting herself in the head, then references 'the Kennedy,' mimicking the bullet entry point of the assassinated president." She rallied the rest of the cast and told episode director Tom Cherones that they didn't want to do it. Cherones, who had been a gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy, agreed that guns weren't funny, so Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld quickly wrote up "The Phone Message"
(based on an unaired skit David had written for Saturday Night Live
). That episode did so poorly in the ratings that NBC immediately put the show on hiatus.
("Poorly" is relative -- the 13 million viewers who saw "The Phone Message" would make it a Top Ten show these days, higher than any scripted series on ABC or Fox.)
The subplot featured a second wager, this one between George and Jerry as to whether Conrad Kramer (whose first name would instead be revealed as Cosmo some four seasons later) had joined the mile-high club with a stewardess.