‘Seinfeld’: Why Jason Alexander Hated One Season 4 Storyline

by Caitlin Berard

The beloved 90s sitcom Seinfeld was a television anomaly in that if anyone were to attempt to explain the series, it would (and does) sound incredibly boring. Jerry and his friends were exceptionally ordinary people who led painfully ordinary lives. And that’s just what made the show great.

Rather than high-stress drama filling each episode, every Seinfeld story relies on relatable, realistic events that everyone’s experienced at least once. An embarrassing dinner party, a long wait at a restaurant, the headache of trying to find a parking space – Seinfeld was intentionally written to be a show about nothing.

Because of the simplicity and relatability of previous seasons, Jason Alexander wasn’t a fan of a Jerry story arc in Season 4 of Seinfeld. In it, Jerry and George pitch a TV pilot and “crazy” Joe Davola tries to kill Jerry.

In the DVD extras of Seinfeld, Alexander explained that his first impression of the storyline was that it didn’t fit the show. A very small percentage of people, after all, can relate to the struggles of pitching a TV show. The actor also felt that the storyline was too “self-congratulatory.”

Though Seinfeld is now known as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, it hadn’t yet reached its peak in 1993. Jason Alexander knew whatever Jerry put together would be funny, but a reference as meta as Jerry pitching a TV show on his own TV show seemed a little egotistic.

With filming underway and Bob Balaban as the NBC executive Russell Dalrymple, however, Alexander changed his mind. Once he saw it come to life, he knew it would work. And Seinfeld fans agreed with him, the storyline receiving an overwhelmingly positive response.

‘Seinfeld’ Star Jason Alexander Once Experienced Poor Chemistry With Co-Star

One of the great things about Seinfeld is the actors’ natural chemistry with each other. Jason Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld’s friendship always appeared genuine because the actors enjoyed their time together on set. This isn’t always the case, however. Like any relationship, sometimes the chemistry simply isn’t there.

In a 2015 interview on the Howard Stern Show, Jason Alexander explained that working with his on-screen wife Heidi Swedberg was nearly impossible because of their poor chemistry. “I love Heidi Swedberg,” he said. “But I could never figure out how to play off her. Her instincts and my instincts were diametrically opposed. If I thought something had to move, she’d go slow – if I went slow, she’d go fast. If I paused, she’d jump in too early. Love her. Hated Susan.”

Heidi Swedberg’s co-stars disliked working with her so much, in fact, that her character was killed off in Seinfeld. “They go, ‘You know what? It’s f—ing impossible. It’s impossible,'” Alexander recalled. “And Julia actually said, ‘Don’t you want to just kill her?’ And Larry [David, series creator] went, ‘Ka-bang!'”