Hero ‘Seinfeld’ Fan Finally Releases Script From Banned Episode ‘The Bet’

The canned episode never made it to air, but one absolute rock-star fan just made sure we can all have our own table reads
Hero ‘Seinfeld’ Fan Finally Releases Script From Banned Episode ‘The Bet’

Thirty-three years ago, the Seinfeld cast and crew collectively abruptly abandoned an unusually dark episode about gun ownership mid-production. Now, thanks to a brave Seinfeld fan who uncovered the long-lost script of “The Bet,” anyone could take a shot at it.

Legendary Seinfeld writer Larry Charles never shied away from finding the humor in uncomfortable subject matter. Along with Mark Jaffe, Charles was responsible for creating “The Limo,” which placed Jerry and George smack-dab in the middle of a white supremacist organization. Charles made a mental patient commit suicide on the roof of George’s car in “The Bris.” And, in the unfinished Season Two episode“The Bet,” Charles attempted to put a Seinfeld spin on the hot-button issue of gun ownership by writing an entire storyline out of Elaine’s decision to exercise her Second Amendment rights with the same level of care and responsibility that she had when wielding her corporate card when she temporarily took over the J. Peterman Catalog. 

The Seinfeld team had already built the sets, cast the extras and began rehearsals for “The Bet” by the time Julia Louis-Dreyfus, among other cast and crew members, raised concerns over Elaine’s flippant treatment of firearms in the episode, which led to the producers pulling the plug on “The Bet” mid-production. Then, for 34 years, the story was lost to time — until this month, when one hero in the “lost media” subreddit purchased, scanned and posted the original script (with notes) of “The Bet” for the good of all humankind.

As other Seinfeld superfans on Twitter pointed out, Jason Alexander sold his script for “The Bet” at a charity auction in 2022, so, while there is no guarantee that this find is legit beyond the believable Seinfeldian banter, it doesnt strain credulity to think that this courageous and selfless Redditor hbo_got could have tracked down the buyer and made an offer on a photocopy of the script that would preserve such a priceless piece of television forever. For Georges role in the redacted episode, his and Jerrys storyline about tracking down Kramer's “mile high” partner could have easily fit into a different episode that had a little less firepower in the B-plot.

What jumps out at me from this script is how unnaturally unhinged Elaine comes across while pointing the gun in her friends faces and making off-color jokes about assassinated presidents. Theres even a struck line in the script in which she comments on how gun-shopping brings out an especially aggressive side of her. Its no wonder that Louis-Dreyfus read this teleplay and immediately thought, “Were not going to do this,” though wed love to live in a world where Mo and Mama Korn are the recurring black market gun dealers of the Seinfeldverse.

Charles spoke to Cracked about “The Bet” and its cancellation late last year, saying of the doomed storyline, “Larry (David) and Jerry were extremely supportive of me, and my episodes tended to veer into violence and darkness, occasionally. They were super-supportive and loved that — they loved to have that aspect of the show. But in this case, I think what finally — no pun intended — ‘killed’ that episode was that it wasn’t funny enough.”

Charles noted how a rocky table read is enough to sink an episode as touchy as “The Bet,” and the cast simply couldn’t make this script funnier than it was unsettling. However, now that any and every Seinfeld fan has access to the uncensored teleplay of “The Bet,” it’s only a matter of time before some upstart amateur filmmaker stages their own performance of the episode — it’s sure to be a blast.


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