Nearly two decades after the final episode of the beloved situation comedy Seinfeld aired, the characters created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David remain household names to this day. With over 9 seasons of material airing as re-runs, the thought of “lost episodes” or gaining insight into some of the ideas that writers/producers David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer had for episodes that never aired is an exciting prospect.
In the recently published “Untold Stories” issue of Entertainment Weekly, these two sat down to share a story-line that never made the cutting room floor, but in many people’s opinion, should have. Along with his son, George, it’s hard to think of a character on the show with worse anxiety and anger issues than Frank Costanza. That is why the idea of an episode where Frank Costanza Gets Medical Marijuana: The episode Seinfeld never made would have been absolutely hilarious.
“We went very far down the road with an idea that Frank was going to need medical marijuana for his cataracts disease,” says Mandel. “We thought the idea of Jerry Stiller on marijuana just seemed like comedy gold. We heard that Cybill writers had a similar story in the works, and it was enough to make us put the idea aside.”
Besides the hilarity of it all, pairing this anxiety riddled old man with a prescription for medical marijuana might have been great for the character. Just think how many more unique and abstract things he could have invented (i.e. the Manssiere)! The characters personality, paired with the calming effects of medicinal marijuana would have made for a great episode.
Other than the issue with Cybill having a similar plot line, there were other things to consider when it came to marijuana appearing on TV. In the early 90’s, cannabis was a rare thing to see mentioned on network television. Until shows like That 70’s Show began normalizing people to the thought of cannabis on TV in the late 90’s, even though it was vaguely referenced at best.
This was not the only potential episode that did not make the cut however. According to Mandel and Schaffer, there were a number of other plot lines that simply did not end up making into the show. One of those ideas, (which sounds somewhat appalling now) was to change the famous “Soup Nazi” character…into a real Nazi. Even though this may have turned out to be funnier than it sounds now, Mandel says, it is “probably just as well that we didn’t do that one.”
At the same time, there were other unmade episodes that sounded hysterical.
Mandel also went on to explain an idea for an episode set in Mexico. In it, Jerry and the rest of the group would go on a vacation. After checking into their hotel rooms, Jerry and Kramer would end up across from each other (just like back home).
“They would check into their hotel rooms, and Jerry would end up with a hotel room right across from Kramer’s. The hotel-room dynamic would have been the same as their apartments.”
Sounds great, right? We thought so too.
While the entire show would take place in Mexico, all of the situations and locations would be extremely similar to what the main set was like. A Mexican diner, similar situations and issues to solve, all sounding extremely funny.
“I just thought the idea of taking the building blocks of the show like the apartments across the hall and the coffee shop, and then moving that to another location seemed really fun,” said Mandel.
Why can’t there be just one more season? This would have been amazing to watch.
Nine seasons is a long run for a situation comedy, and what is perhaps even more impressive is that it was so consistently funny. Seinfeld is a shining example of a show that just works. The ability to work in new plot lines, character shifts, and outrageous situations whilst maintaining the basic outline of a relatable television program is something that one could say is missing from modern network programming. With cannabis becoming normalized in today’s culture, the thought of Frank Costanza medicating with some legal cannabis is as funny as it is realistic! Here’s to hoping that Jerry Seinfeld pulls out the old set (which he still has in storage) and brings back the gang for a Seinfeld reunion.
Photo credit: Bustle