Cosmo Kramer is a pop culture icon but his name wasn’t always Cosmo.
In an interview with ScreenCrush, Seinfeld writer Larry Charles and director Tom Cherones dish the truth about Kramer’s original first name and an episode that never got made because of it’s controversial subject matter.
Kramer’s name wasn’t revealed until deep, deep into the series — episode 97 titled The Bet to be exact — and the world learned Jerry’s wacky neighbor’s birth name was Cosmo. But not originally.
“It was Conrad. Because I was kind of thinking of Conrad Birdie from ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ So, it was Conrad, actually. And then eventually it became Cosmo. I remember feeling mixed feelings because I had named him Conrad. Although, Cosmo is a great name. But Conrad was good, too.”
Conrad. Cosmo. Seems about the same. Cosmo seems the funnier of the two but I’m no writer of the most popular sitcom ever.
The episode which never got made — titled The Bet — called for Elaine to purchase an hand gun. After reading the script, Julia Louis Dreyfus refused to shoot the show. According to Jason Alexander, the scene in the script that Dreyfus took issue with involved her character Elaine pointing the gun to her head and asking Jerry “where do you want it Jerry? The Kennedy? Or [holds the gun to her stomach] The McKinley?”
Larry Charles: “There were no ideas that were off limits.”
Tom Cherones: “You can’t make a funny show about guns, in my opinion.”
Larry Charles: “I don’t agree with that, though. I respect his opinion, but I don’t think there’s anything that’s not funny, necessarily.”
Could the episode have made a statement about gun use or gun control?
Tom Cherones: “Well, I don’t know about that. It was a comedy show. We weren’t trying to make statements.”
Larry Charles: “It’s all a question of how you handle it. From ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Blazing Saddles,’ you can draw from all kinds of sources where guns are used for comedic effect.”
Bold Jerry, bold.
I want more like this!
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