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A show as great as Seinfeld probably has lost episodes that are better than the best another series has to offer, but until now we've known very little about what got left on the cutting room floor. Thanks to an interview conducted with two former producers, however, we know just enough about some scrapped ideas to want them to come to life.
Two former writer/producers for Seinfeld, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, gave an interview with Entertainment Weekly where they spilled the beans on some of the best stuff that never made its way out of the writers' room. Tops on the list? An episode about Frank Costanza turning to weed to solve his health woes:
We went very far down the road with an idea that Frank was going to need medical marijuana for his cataracts, says Mandel. We thought the idea of Jerry Stiller on pot 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. We were really rigorous about not wanting to repeat things.
For those of you not familiar with Stiller's character Frank, there is almost no better combination than the elder Costanza and a hefty dose of chronic. Merging his loud, in-your-face personality with the benefits of medical marijuana would have been absolutely hysterical, and it's a crime they didn't go through with this idea. One possible downer here: if Frank was in permanent relaxation mode after receiving his prescription, there's no telling whether outbursts like those seen in the "Serenity Now!" episode would have remained part of his character:
Amongst other ideas — including an episode where Kramer would have refurbished skeletons for use in hospital teaching — was a proposal to make the famous Soup Nazi an actual Nazi. Disturbing.
Mandel claims they thought about ending the beloved episode with the Soup Nazi character returning to a group of former Nazi war criminals, passing down his treasured recipes for crab bisque, Jambalaya, and more. Mandel says it was "probably just as well that we didn't do that one," a statement all parties can probably agree on. Seinfeld remains one of the most beloved comedies of all-time, but as with any set of lost episodes, they can't all be winning ideas.
In any case, you can count on these as reliable tales of Seinfeld's past, given the connection of the duo to the show and its participants. Mandel and Schaffer continue to work directly with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Larry David on Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm respectively, so there's no doubt they're sitting on a treasure trove of old Seinfeld knowledge. Now give us more!