The curtain finally fell on the long-teased Seinfeld reunion on Sunday night just before the Super Bowl halftime show when Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander (as his iconic character George Costanza), and Wayne Knight (as his character Newman) appeared in a short version of an episode of Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Though the comedian told BuzzFeed that it wasn’t an immediate “yes” for him when Fox approached him and Larry David, Seinfeld’s co-creator, about doing something for the Super Bowl. “The initial idea actually was I wanted to do just Larry and I talking,” he said in an interview before taking the stage for BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning on Monday in New York. “Then, Larry’s idea was, Let’s do you and Jason as Jerry and George from the show … Once Larry got that idea, then I got excited. I mean, I thought it would be fun to do it with just Larry and I talking about football, which we could do — Larry and I could talk about anything — but then when he got the idea to do it with Jason and then I don’t know who thought, Let’s do it at Tom’s Restaurant, which we’d never been to, any of us, that’s when it started to get really fun.”
As for who decided to bring Wayne Knight’s Newman into the mix, Seinfeld said with a hearty laugh, “As we were writing, I was saying, ‘If we’re gonna do Jerry and George, I just gotta say, “Hello, Newman” one more time.’ I mean, you never want to pass up that opportunity.”
In the short, Seinfeld’s on-screen Jerry and George have coffee at Tom’s, the iconic Upper West Side restaurant from the NBC series and Jerry is disappointed about not being at a Super Bowl party hosted by the Wassersteins, which he didn’t go to since George wasn’t invited, thanks to his over-cheering at a prior party.
Seinfeld and David wrote the short segment in one sitting. “I actually had to get up and go get Kleenex because we were weeping from laughing. Once we started with the mumble, the point of the ‘mumble’ and the ‘over-cheer’ and the ‘availed yourself,’ you know those are the things that just make us really laugh. It’s those little things that Larry and I love. Like Newman saying ‘savory’ is what makes us really laugh,” Seinfeld said, cracking up thinking about it.
“The Wassersteins actually are friends of ours. Larry and I like the name because it just sounds like the kind of name, how can I put this, ‘the high-end New York Jewish invite,’ shall we say? I had seen them and said, ‘By the way, I’m using your name in the Super Bowl just ‘cause I like your name.’ And they went, ‘Well, what are you saying about us?’ I said, ‘Oh oh. It’s nothing. It’s just silly.’ But they immediately texted us, ‘We have sweet and savory.’”
The pair didn’t think think included Michael Richards’ Kramer or Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine would work considering the short spot. “That would’ve been maybe a bit much for 90-seconds,” he said. Though the cast previously reunited on a 2009 episode of David’s HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld said he thinks this is the last cast reunion for now.
“I do kind of feel like [I’ve gotten it out of my system], I must say,” he said. “I think the timing was good. The opportunity was unique — to be on the Super Bowl is not something that we’re ever going to surpass. So I may be wrong, but I have a feeling you’ve seen the final coda on that very unique experience.”