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Famously seen by its creators, Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David as a show about nothing, the mundane life of standup comedian, Jerry Seinfeld and his three best friends became one of the biggest sitcoms of all time. Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld had become friends on the comedy circuit of New York and wrote the show together acting as showrunners controlling every aspect of the production to make sure it did not fit into the norms of the 1990s sitcom.
NBC originally commissioned a pilot called "The Seinfeld Chronicles" which it had little faith in as the two main writers were determined to keep the comedy on a lowkey level. The show featured the character of Seinfeld played by the comedian himself as a version of himself different to the actual Jerry Seinfeld, according to the cast of the show. The show opens with many of the familiar tropes of "Seinfeld" already in play with Jerry and his friend, George sitting together in the deli they frequent throughout the nine seasons and 180 episodes. The main theme of the show is the love life of Jerry and those of his three best friends, George, Kramer, and Elaine. The character of Elaine does not appear in the pilot as she was added when the show was commissioned for its short first season.
The first few minutes of the pilot follow a familiar path for fans of the show as George and Jerry discuss the placement of the buttons on the short of Georga causing George to become annoyed with the makers of his shirt. Jerry is left in a strange situation when a woman he met while out of town is heading to New York and wants to meet up with him while she is in town. Jerry and George discuss the various issues which could arise from the arrival of the woman and continue to do so for the next few days. Jerry discusses the issue of the visit with his neighbor, Kessler, who would be renamed Kramer for the full run of the show. Kessler believes Jerry is about to have a romantic visit from his visitor and takes the position he should embrace the full extent of the trip.
The full season sees a number of changes between the characters as Jerry's former girlfriend, Elaine enters the equation as a now longstanding friend of the comedian. Jerry is constantly looking for a girlfriend while his friend, George struggles to find his way in life after losing his dream job and becoming engaged to a woman he does not love. George often finds himself living with his unstable parent who is a mother who tries to baby him in his adult years and a father who is often unstable and obsessed by collecting "TV Guide."
Kramer is the friend who lives across the hall and finds himself embroiled in various get rich quick schemes which often lead to Jerry's apartment being used as his base. It is revealed Jerry once told Kramer to use his apartment as his own which led to the striking fast-food worker taking his host literally about helping himself to anything in Jerry's apartment. Whenever he is put in a tight situation, Kramer uses the alias, H.E. Pennypacker.
Elaine is a woman who is struggling to achieve her dreams but is the only one of the main characters to gain and maintain a steady job. Elaine works in a number of different jobs including personal assistant, and as a member of the creative team for a catalog company for who she usually ends up being dominated by a male boss.
The cast includes Jerry Seinfeld, the co-creator and co-showrunner of "Seinfeld" alongside Larry David. Seinfeld had begun his standup career in the 1970s after graduating college and was first featured in a special for the comedian Roger Dangerfield. Seinfeld would later make numerous appearances on the "Johnny Carson Show" and take a number of acting roles in comedies, including "Benson." Since departing his own show in the final ever episode, the comedian has returned to the comedy circuit and stars in his own interview show, "Comedian's in a car getting coffee."
Jerry Seinfeld took a break from mainstream TV after "Seinfeld" completed its run in 1998 but his writing partner, Larry David took on a more visual role in his own sitcom, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." David had worked as a writer on "Saturday Night Live" where he first met Julia-Louis Dreyfuss. After making a huge success of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," David was voted the 23rd most influential comedian of all time in a poll conducted in the U.K.
George Costanza was played by the TV veteran Jason Alexander who began his career as a Broadway actor with many musicals under his belt as a performer. Alexander had already spent time working on TV sitcoms in the 1980s but did not find success on TV until his role as George on "Seinfeld." Although his role as George did coincide with his voiceover work on the animated series, "Duckman!"
The series was written by a team of comedians and experienced writers headed by David and Seinfeld themselves. The pilot, "The Seinfeld Chronicles" was directed by veteran TV writer, Art Wolff before the director Tom Cherones came onboard and directed 81 episodes of "Seinfeld."
NBC had little confidence in "Seinfeld" and was not willing to commit to a full first season, but did offer a shortened four-episode run which Larry David initially believed would be enough time to tell the stories he and Seinfeld had discussed. The writers were shocked when TV critics found the series entertaining and were mixed about the option of extending the show with a second season. David believed they did not need to continue the show but Jerry Seinfeld agreed the show needed to continue in the early 1990s.
There have been few TV sitcoms in the history of U.S. Tv which have achieved the critical success of "Seinfeld" which entered the top 30 most watched shows in the U.S. with its third season. The show is still voted into the top ten of most lists when the best primetime productions in history are looked for with its Emmy and Golden Globe-winning cast and crew still remembered for their success. The show was one of the best reviewed of all time and took the crown as the top TV show of all-time in a 2002 TV Guide poll and remained in second place in the same poll in 2013. "The Finale" of "Seinfeld" was the most watched show of the year with over 38 million Americans tuning in to watch the final ever episode.
"Seinfeld" writers were forced to follow a few tough rules which included the fact the characters were never allowed to learn from their mistakes or show any kind of moral center. Despite being shown in the 1990s, "Seinfeld" touched on some controversial subjects, including "The Contest" episode which struggled to be aired despite the word "masturbation" never being mentioned. Changing the themes of TV sitcoms was one of the major aims of Larry David who famously banned the audience from cheering the entry of Cosmo Kramer in each episode.