- Not to be confused with The Contest.
“The Bet” (also known as The Gun) is an unproduced episode for Season 2. It was not made due to its controversial subject. It would have been the fourth episode of season 2, and would have aired on February 13, 1991. It was replaced by "The Phone Message".
In the episode, Elaine Benes bets against Jerry Seinfeld on the ease of buying a handgun to protect herself. In a subplot, Cosmo Kramer returns from a vacation in Puerto Rico and tells Jerry and George Costanza that he had sex with a flight attendant during the flight back. George makes a bet with him and goes to the airport with Jerry and Elaine to ask the flight attendant if Kramer's allegation is true.
The episode was written by Larry Charles to make a funny "dark-themed" episode, using elements that were unusual in sitcoms. Sets for the episode were built, and Bobbi Jo Lathan was cast as flight attendant Lucy Merrit and Ernie Sabella was cast as gun salesman Mo Korn, who was described in the script as "overweight, greasy, slow and low-key". The table reading of the episode was held on Wednesday, December 12, 1990. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stated, "I read the script and I remember thinking, 'We're not going to do this.'" According to Alexander, when she read a scene in which she holds the gun to her head stating, "Where do you want it, Jerry? The Kennedy? [holds the gun to her stomach] The McKinley?" (referencing the assassination of the two American presidents), Louis-Dreyfus turned to Alexander, stating, "I'm not doing this." Both Alexander and Cherones, who would direct the episode, felt that the gun content in the story was too provocative. Richards was concerned that his character would be open about arming Elaine, though in a later interview he stated, "Although, why not? I think Kramer could justify the use of a weapon."
The cast began rehearsing, but after 20 minutes stopped and turned to Cherones, who agreed to talk to Charles. While on his way to Charles' office, Cherones met NBC executive Glenn Padnick and informed him about the cast's reaction to the episode. Cherones said that Padnick was relieved to hear this, and they both discussed the problem with Charles, and decided not to use the script. Commenting on the episode, Charles stated, "You know, it would have been an interesting show, but [...] we couldn't solve the funny problem of it. It never seemed to quite be as funny as it should be and, because of that, the balance was off and the darkness kind of enveloped it, and it could never really emerge from that darkness and become what it should have been. So, it was disappointing but also understandable." The replacement episode, "The Phone Message", was written by David and Seinfeld in two days.
- Given the nature of the show, "The Bet" is most likely not the only unproduced episode, although it is the most infamous.
- It is also probably the only one that was partially filmed.
|Season Two Episodes|
| The Ex-Girlfriend | The Pony Remark | The Jacket | The Phone Message | The Apartment | The Statue | The Revenge | The Heart Attack | The Deal | The Baby Shower | The Chinese Restaurant | The Busboy|