Five Times on ‘Seinfeld’ When They Kept the Blooper In
With the notable exception of Michael Richards, who never cracked a smile when he wasn’t supposed to, everyone on Seinfeld broke on camera occasionally. Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus probably did so the most, with Seinfeld often struggling not to react even in the very cleanest of takes, and from the Seinfeld blooper reels, we can see Louis-Dreyfus burst into laughter due to the antics of Jerry Stiller and others. Jason Alexander would crack on occasion, too.
While most of these flubs are only viewable in the blooper reels, slight breaks sometimes made it into an episode. And, on occasion, a mistake was so good that you’d swear it was written into the script. Here are five times Seinfeld kept the blooper in…
The Bookman Interrogation
Perhaps the scene where Seinfeld is breaking up the most came in Season Three’s “The Library,” when Bookman, the library cop, is interrogating him about an overdue library book. Guest star Philip Baker Hall gives a masterful, Dragnet-style performance as Seinfeld laughs and smirks the entire time. It works for the scene, as Jerry seems bemused by Bookman’s self-seriousness, but it definitely wasn’t planned.
‘Let’s Take a Short Break’
Eric Dobin and Adam Pacecca, co-hosts of The Place to Be: A Seinfeld Podcast, say that one of their favorite bloopers kept in the show is from Season Nine’s “The Merv Griffin Show.” When Kramer is interviewing George about his pigeon problem, he suddenly cuts to a commercial for the nonexistent audience and cameras. Kramer crams some chips in his mouth, sips a can of Diet Cola, burps and resumes the interview. Alexander, however, couldn’t contain himself, and you can see him laughing even though his face is turned away.
‘It’s Not Funny, Elaine!’
In the legendary Season Four episode “The Contest,” the episode begins with George telling the story of how his mother caught him masturbating. Throughout the scene, Louis-Dreyfus cannot keep a straight face, but rather than render the scene useless, Alexander saved things by snapping at her, “It’s not funny, Elaine.”
In the two-part episode “The Bottle Deposit,” Newman is caught in bed with a beautiful farmer’s daughter and the farmer chases him off with a shotgun. As the farmer is firing, the daughter runs out to profess her love for Newman. She then waves and shouts “Goodbye, Norman!” In the script, it’s, “Goodbye, Newman!” but Karen Lynn Scott, who played the farmer’s daughter, accidentally said, “Goodbye, Norman!” which was kept in because it made the scene funnier.
“The Parking Garage” is a great early episode of Seinfeld, and it’s one of the episodes that truly is about “nothing.” It follows the foursome as they search the parking garage, and it concludes in a perfect comedic moment where the gang gets in Kramer’s crappy car and it won’t start. However, the original ending just called for Kramer to start the car and drive away, but the car wouldn’t start, giving the perfect punch to the episode’s final moment. If you look closely, you can even see Alexander turn away from the camera to hide his laughter.