Seinfeld is one of the few, if not only series in the history of television that has successfully managed to kill off a long-running character as a punchline. You have to admit, it was a bold decision to kill Susan, George Costanza’s on again-off again girlfriend, temporary lesbian and eventual fiancee; but it worked given that Susan Biddle Ross was that unlikable of a character, even amongst a bunch of terrible people.
As Jason Alexander told Howard Stern this morning on his radio show, the decision wasn’t purely from a comedy standpoint. The cast of Seinfeld, particularly Alexander himself, loathed working with Heidi Swedberg, the actress who played Susan. There was nothing scandalous going on behind the scenes, though, as Alexander assures Howard that Swedberg herself was a perfectly lovely girl, but acting with her was apparently not unlike trying to mix oil and water.
So, it goes without saying that Alexander was not exactly enthused when Larry David, prior to the seventh season of Seinfeld, informed him that George would be getting engaged to Susan. It was after filming one particularly trying episode where Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus both had a lot of material with Swedberg, however, that at a cast lunch afterward, Julia said, “Don’t you just wanna kill her?” The rest was history.
You can listen to the segment below (may need to refresh page to get player to load):
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