TV | Inside TV

Jerry Seinfeld talks about the 'Seinfeld' reunion on 'Curb'

jerry-seinfeld_lThe cast of Seinfeld is reuniting on Curb Your Enthusiasm this fall? Giddyup! The multi-episode story line on Larry David’s HBO comedy will follow our favorite pessimist as he recruits Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards for a reunion show. You can read all about it in this week’s EW, but here are some bonus quotes from Mr. Seinfeld.

On why the cast decided to reunite:
“Doing it with Larry and on his show just seemed like the only possible way it would be fun….We would never do the type of thing that these shows usually do. That wouldn’t be our style. But something like this — that was sillier and a little more offbeat — felt like it might be right for us.”

On possibly passing up big bucks if the gang had held out for a traditional “reunion show”:
“I don’t think we really thought about that. If we were about the money we would have kept doing the show. We were about: ‘What would be the biggest treat for the audience?’”

On getting together at Larry David’s house to write dialogue for the “reunion show” scenes:
“We did have this one scene that Larry and I wrote, as we always did, really fast. We were just boom, boom, boom, like a tennis game where you hadn’t lost any of your skills. We knew each other, we could read the lines, it just goes right through the processor: ‘Oh, I know what to do here. I think you’re over here in this one.’ ‘Why don’t you walk, I’ll follow.’ ‘Yeah, right, right!’ That was a lot of fun.”

On being back on Stage 19 of the CBS Radford lot, where the old Seinfeld sets had been taken out of storage and updated:
“The best analogy is a snow globe. You’re walking into a miniature fake environment that has been recreated. As I told people about it, I could go back in your life 10 years and recast your friends, recreate where you live, everything in it exactly how it was, and now somebody with a headset points at you and you walk in now, and there it was, and you go, ‘Jesus Christ, this is my old life!’ We all felt like it was a very special experience. Just to go back in time in life is a fantasy.”

“One of the coolest moments was to sit down again in that little foursome that we always sat in. Somebody suggested something about some camera shot: ‘Can you switch?’ And we looked at the guy like, ‘Are you kidding?’ Because we would always sit in that exact configuration. There was no way we were going to change now.”

On his contribution to the Curb world:
“They have this running gag on the show where whenever Larry suspects someone of lying, he does this squinty stare into their eyes. And I came up with a heightened version of it, kind of a double test: You stare into their eyes, you look away and then you look back about an inch from their face, with your eyes even wider open.”

On how he feels about the reunion:
“Larry and I both felt like this was a bit of a miracle, the way this fell together. The proof of it is that he — who had really designed the whole thing — had no idea that it would come out like this. He was very surprised. That was the coolest thing.”

On Seinfeld’s 1998 finale:
“Looking back on it as a way to bring all the memorable characters back in a funny situation, I have to say it’s pretty clever. I think people were expecting a memorable episode, one more episode of one of their favorites. And it was not that. But if you’re going to do one last show, we wanted to see all those people again. We wanted to see Babu and the Soup Nazi and all our favorite characters. So we had to come up with a structure where they would all come back. And I thought this was a pretty clever way to do that.”

On the decision to end the show after nine seasons when it was still No. 1:
“I think I was at that point with the show where I was in danger of killing the little thing of joy that’s inside you that makes you want to do anything that’s supposed to be fun. The thing I like is that the show sustained over time. I’m more excited about the show now than I was then, because I see now that it’s taken on this other position in people’s minds. And I do think it relates to the way it ended, because it was kind of a portion control thing. That was in my mind. You give people a certain amount — different amounts create different feelings — and I thought we had given them the right amount.”

Originally posted September 2 2009 — 8:25 AM EDT

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