During Friday’s virtual Seinfeld reunion with Julia Louis-Drefyus and Jason Alexander, co-creator Larry David revealed his favorite episode of the NBC sitcom. Unsurprisingly, it’s the episode that won David his first Emmy: “The Contest,” a.k.a. the episode about masturbation where the word “masturbation” is famously never said.
“I didn’t even put on the board, because I didn’t want them asking. I just wanted them to come and see the read through. [When they did,] I had worked myself up into a lather because the read through really went great. I was watching [the network executives] and I couldn’t tell how much they liked it,” David said. “But I was ready to pack the whole thing in if they didn’t let us do this show: ‘I’m quitting. I’m quitting. I’m gonna quit.'” But the executives surprisingly didn’t object, and years later, “The Contest” was named the greatest episode of all-time by TV Guide. Not just for Seinfeld, but for all TV shows.
David believes “The Contest” put Seinfeld into another level of popularity. “That show changed something about how we were perceived in television land,” he said. “It really catapulted us to another place. It moved us to another level, I think.” It’s also one of Louis-Drefyus’s favorites. She praised the episode for having a “very feminist point of view, and kind of critical I think, looking back on it.” “The Contest” has an ambiguous ending over who won (not Kramer), but as we learned in the Seinfeld finale, George cheated, making Jerry the champion. David confirmed as much during the reunion, saying, “George throws out a line, he says he cheated. So, I guess, then Jerry won it.”
He only won because Izzy Mandelbaum wasn’t invited to participate. Mandelbaum!
(Via Hollywood Reporter)