Seinfeld Production

 

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By: Jack Lund

Today I am going to discuss what’s on the mind of the American public. The

question that I am going to discuss is how people in television produce the programs

that we the people watch on television. The show that I am going to talk about mainly is

the show about nothing: of course, I am talking about “Seinfeld.”When discussing

“Seinfeld,” we must first discuss the producers of the show, which is Larry David,

George Shapiro, Howard West “,and” Andrew Scheinmen. These guys produced the

show for the first 4-5 years of the program. Jerry Seinfeld who is not only the on screen

star and the shows namesake”,but” also later a producer taking over the full time

executive producer role after Larry David leaves for other things following the fifth

season of the show in 1996.

 

Seinfeld was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment . Since the shows

syndication the show has been distributed by Sony Pictures Television since 2002. The

show was largely written by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Some of the scriptwriters

include Larry Charles, Peter Mehlman, George Kavet and Carol Leifer to name a few. In

the later episodes Tom Gammil, Max Pross and Spike Feresten contributed to the script

writing process. Seinfeld had many sets throughout the nine years that the show was on

television, However the pilot episode of the show was filmed in stage 8 of what is now

Red Studios at 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles. The majority of the

show was filmed at CBS Studio Center at 4024 Radford Avenue in Studio City, CA. For

the first three seasons the show aired the main sets specifically Jerry’s apartment and

Monk’s Coffee shop were filmed in Stage 19. As the show begins to grow the production

team has to think about adding sets so that the cast can do more so many more sets

were added which forced the show to relocate to the largest stage on the lot Stage 9

and this is where Seinfeld spent the rest of the 9 year run.

 

Now that I have discussed the sets and locations that were used on the

production of seinfeld I am going to talk about the how the idea came into being I am

specifically going to talk about the idea and the pilot. When Larry David and Jerry

Seinfeld had the idea of doing a conversation show, which was an extension of

Seinfeld’s comedy act and Larry David’s life. The Idea for the show started in November

of 1988 after executives at NBC approached Jerry Seinfeld about doing a project with

the network after hearing about the suggestion from his manager Jerry sought to get

help from Larry David to help him develop the show. It was originally going to be a 90

minute special on how the comedians got their material.

Seinfeld is an American sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC

from 1989 to 1998. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring

as a fictionalized version of himself. The show is set predominantly in an apartment

building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in New York City. The show features a handful

of Jerry’s friends and acquaintances, particularly best friend George Costanza ( Jason

Alexander) former girlfriend(Julia Louis Dryfus), and his neighbor Cosmo Kramer “who

is portrayed by Michael Richards.

 

The show is often referred to as the “show”about nothing because many of the

episodes are about everyday life. Over the years, Seinfeld left a lasting impact of not

only the show’s fanbase, but also pop culture in general. There are some great

episodes throughout the history of the show,including my favorite episode “The Race,”

where Jerry is forced to confront his high school nemesis, Duncan, who has been on

the record accusing Jerry of getting a head start in a race they ran back when the two of

them were teenagers. At the end of the show Jerry finally agrees to re-race Duncan to

set the record straight and in typical Seinfeld fashion, Kramer starts his car and the car

backfires, sounding like the gun the gym teacher uses to start the race. This clearly

confuses Jerry, who again wins the race because of a head start.

Another one of my favorite episodes in the series is “The Old Man. This episode

starts with Jerry, George and Elaine volunteer to time to help senior citizens through an

agency that deals with old people. This episode is hilarious because at first things go

according to plan however this changes when Kramer and Newman steal the Old

man’s records because they believe that they have value. However it turns out that they

are only worth twenty dollars Kramer and Newman get into a fight with the guy at the

record store when they think they are getting ripped off. Another moment in this episode

that makes this particular episode funny is when Elaine finds out that the old woman

that she is volunteering with had an affair with Ghandi. However, my absolute favorite

episode is called the Marine Biologist. The reason that this is my favorite episode is

because not only does George fake the fact that he is a Marine Biologist to impress a

woman that he and Jerry know from high school but the episode ends with George

telling the story of how he saves a whale life. However it turns out the reason that the

whale was dieing is because Kramer hit a golf ball into the whale’s blowhole.

Next I am going to talk about how the seinfeld production team were able to

really make it look like (Michael Richards) Cosmo Kramer was hitting golf balls on the

Rockaway Beach. Michael Richards is not a very good golfer so in order to make it

seem as though he was hitting the golf ball members of the crew brought their golf clubs

to the beach and they and took turns taking swings in front of the camera and then they

added Michael Richards into the shot. Lastly for the whale in the beginning they thought

about using an electronic whale but then they realized that just seeing George walk into

the ocean and then telling Jerry and Kramer about it was funnier. Also the speech that

George gives at the end was not originally planned for as they were ending the day of

shooting Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld proposed the Idea of George giving the speech

about how he saved the whale the night before the episode was going to be shot and

the amazing thing is that what you see in the episode is the first time Jason Alexander

(George Costanza) is giving the speech. The reason that Jerry and Larry David were

comfortable giving Jason Alexander this one page monologue is because he is a quick

study and can memorize his lines incredibly fast. They needed Jason Alexander to

memorize this page monologue fast because they wrote it the night before they were

supposed to shoot the show.

 

Seinfeld is a show that was on for nine successful years and the production of

seinfeld took many hours of hard work and dedication by all the members of the crew

and the writers.

4 thoughts on “Seinfeld Production

  1. I have always been a huge fan of Seinfeld and you brought up a lot of good points that I had not really thought of before. The show ran for an astounding 9 years and as the years went on the characters got more of their own lives and personalities. I found the expansion of the set following the seasons to be very interesting and it does make sense as the protagonists are seen in many other locations following the first few seasons. I also like the fact that you said that the show itself is about practically nothing. The show literally revolves on these few friends talking about activities that regular people do on a regular basis. I feel as though the show’s simplicity and its relationship to everyday life is the reason for the show’s success.

    -Adam Kalogeros

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  2. It is a show about nothing but because it is about nothing there are endless plots created and with the cast they have it made it even more endless. The humor was before its time for TV shows and set the standard for shows like Friends etc. (even though I don’t like Friends).

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  3. Pat McAvoy

    This blog post is very intriguing because it covers why Seinfeld is one of the most famous shows of all time. Throughout the post you mentioned three points regarding the production of the show; how they were able to make it look like Kramer hitting the golf ball, the whale, and also the fact that they gave Jason Alexander an impromptu monologue the night before filming the episode it was for. Those three facets of the production aspect as interesting because it gives an inside look into how one of the greatest shows of all time was actually made.

    Seinfeld is usually found in the greatest shows of all time lists and this is incredible because the majority of the show is found in the same scenes. It was mentioned throughout how they had few different settings or scenes and this just goes to show how intelligent the creators of the show were. They reused sets, but instead of boring the audience, they were able to captivate them for nine years.

    Pat McAvoy

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  4. I have to say that I really enjoyed reading through this article as I love everything about Seinfeld. The point you made about the growth of the show in relation to the expanding set was a really cool aspect that I had not previously thought of. I am not one to name the specific season each episode is from but I recognize new sets like Elaine’s work, which a lot of her scenes take place in as the show progressed. I also agree that the show really is about nothing. The activities they do on the show, while some may be crazier than others, are things that any average group of people can do and it makes the show more relatable. By formatting the show in that way it makes for more memorable episodes and has, over time, created a pop culture around Seinfeld.

    -Adam Kalogeros

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