‘Seinfeld’ Script That Was Too Disturbing to Air Has Been Leaked

Photo Credit: NBC / Carlito / MovieStillsDB

Seinfeld was mostly a light-hearted show. However, every once in a while, it covered some darker topics. One episode that never made it to production, titled “The Bet,” would’ve been its darkest topic of all. In line with its subject matter, it may have been retitled “The Gun” had it made it past the table read. Ultimately, it was deemed too morbid to move forward, and recently, the script was leaked online, revealing just how dark the episode truly was.

The episode was about guns

The episode dealt with some dark subject matter. (Photo Credit: NBC / Carlito / MovieStillsDB)

In the episode, Elaine (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) expresses worry about the increasing crime being seen in the city. Because of this, she decides to purchase a firearm. She discusses this decision with Jerry (played by Jerry Seinfeld) and George (played by Jason Alexander) at the Monk’s Café, with Jerry arguing against the idea. His character says, “Elaine, if you buy a gun, you’re just perpetuating the violence! You’re as bad as the criminal!”

In the end, Elaine ends up purchasing a toy gun rather than a real one, but still makes a handful of jokes to her friends based on the firearm. This is a subplot that occurs alongside the main plot of the episode, which sees Jerry and George trying to determine whether Kramer (played by Michael Richards) is telling the truth about having a romantic encounter with a flight attendant.

Almost no one was on board

The script never made it past the table read. (Photo Credit: NBC / Carlito / MovieStillsDB)

Interestingly, this episode would have been the ninth episode of the entire show. It made it as far as the table read, but practically everyone felt uncomfortable with the subject matter. Alexander said that he knew almost immediately after reading the script that the episode would never come to fruition. Director Tom Cherones was particularly against the script and said, “In my opinion, guns aren’t funny.” It seems Richards was the only one who didn’t care about the gun subplot, saying, “Why not? I think Kramer could justify the use of the weapon.”

The episode didn’t form out of thin air. It was actually inspired by a real employee working on the sitcom named Elaine Pope. Charles explained how, “I can’t remember if she was contemplating buying a gun or whether she had already bought a gun, but she felt very justified in buying the gun and would defend that position. And it was also at a time when that was a subject that was finding its way into the media: women buying guns. And I thought that was kind of fascinating. And I think it was as simple as me wondering, ‘What if Elaine bought a gun?'”

How did it get leaked?

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As we know, the episode never made it to airing. Instead, the show aired “The Phone Message” in its place, where George tries to get the tape from his girlfriend’s answering machine. This episode was far more in line with the vibe of the sitcom. However, the script of “The Bet” has recently been leaked online, with Charles confirming its authenticity.

“I haven’t gone through it page by page but it looks real, including my penciled-in revisions,” he said. “I still have my original table read copy with the cover. From looking at the first few pages it seemed funnier than I remember. But very hard-edged.” Checking his own archives, Charles noticed that his own copy had none of his writing in the margins, something the leaked version had. This led him to believe something snatched his original copy from the table read.

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“Looking at what I have, it seems like someone stole my copy of the script, with my notes,” he said. “Not sure how or when but I would guess they picked it up at the table read decades ago.”

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