The Controversial ‘Seinfeld’ Lost Episode That the Cast Refused to Film Involved Guns
Wait, so, there was a taboo topic that Seinfeld didn’t traverse? Apparently so: During a recent interview with Screen Crush, writer Larry Charles and director Tom Cherones revealed the story behind the controversial episode of Seinfeld that never aired: “The Bet.”
The episode revolved around Elaine meeting up with a shady character she was introduced to by Kramer (of course) to purchase a gun. It was during a time when America was fascinated by the idea of women owning lethal weapons, and seemed like a timely topic. But the script called for Julia Louis-Dreyfus to mock the assassination of JFK, and the actress wasn't comfortable with doing so. Soon the entire episode was in question, “yadda, yadda, yadda,” and everyone decided not to move forward. Cherones recalls,
I went back to the stage and the actors looked at me and said, ‘We don’t want to do this episode.’ I said, ‘I agree with you. Guns are not funny, no matter what you say.’ I walked back before the network guys left and I said, ‘We don’t want to do this episode. [The] cast and I do not want to do this.
At the time, Seinfeld was still in its early stages and not quite the ratings powerhouse it would become, but Charles and Cherones remain split on whether or not the topic would have worked in the later years.
Down the line, when we were golden and doing great in the ratings and we could tackle any subject we wanted to, I’m sure some version of this episode could have been done. There were no ideas that were off-limits.
I was a gunnery officer in the United States Navy. Guns aren't funny. You can’t make a funny show about guns, in my opinion.
The episode, which would have aired during season 2 and been the ninth overall, would have also revealed Kramer’s (Michael Richards) name to be Conrad as a part of a B-plot story that involved George (Jason Alexander) and Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) placing a bet over whether or not Kramer’s story about sleeping with an attendant on a flight from Puerto Rico was true. Jerry was convinced it really happened while George didn't believe their bumbling friend had joined the mile-high club. We did eventually learn Kramer’s first name four seasons later, and by that time, it had changed to Cosmo.