Twenty-four years after it went off the air, Seinfeld’s popularity remains as resilient as ever. In the nearly quarter of a century since the Seinfeld finale, we’ve heard numerous behind-the-scenes accounts about the sitcom, the cast’s involvement in Larry David’s follow-up, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and we’ve even looked into Jerry Seinfeld’s brief foray into Scientology.
What almost no one ever seems to hear, however, are bad stories from behind-the-scenes of the long-running sitcom. This is not a bad story, per se, but Sarah Silverman did have a “bad experience” on the set with Michael Richards. Silverman had a guest role on the series early on in her career, and while she wasn’t one of the many girlfriends of Jerry, she did play a girlfriend of Kramer.
It wasn’t a good experience, as she recently revealed on The Sarah Silverman Podcast. “I auditioned and I got the part, and oh my God, here I am with Kramer, and I have a scene with Michael Richards, in bed.”
“So I’m nervous, and jacked up,” Silverman continues. “But you know, I’m still a pro.” She recounts the scene in which Michael Richards says his line, “What’s that noise?” and Silverman is supposed to respond, “It’s probably the wind.” Instead, she accidentally says, “It’s probably the rain.”
“This guy, Michael Richards, breaks character and just starts ripping me a new asshole. He points to the window and he goes, ‘Do you see rain in that window?! Do you see rain in that window!?’ and I go, ‘No,’ and he says, ‘Then why did you say rain?’ It’s not rain. There’s no rain in that window! The line is ‘wind’!”
Silverman was shocked by the moment. She said she had a “lump in her throat,” and just had to get through it. She processed it overnight, however, and thought, “F**k this guy. Nobody calls him on his sh*t because he’s Kramer from Seinfeld. He walks through the front door and he gets a standing ovation.”
The next day, Silverman returned to set, and she had a scene with Richards in the diner. They’re both sitting at the table, and while they are setting up the shot, Richards starts casually talking to Silverman about real estate and other small-talk matters, as though nothing happened.
“And finally, I just cut him off and I say, ‘I don’t give a f**k!’ And he’s kind of stunned, and it’s like he snapped out of it a little. He understand what I was saying was, ‘You don’t talk like that and act like nothing happened. I’m not going to be one of those people that joins in and acts like nothing happened. That was sh*tty behavior.'”
Silverman gives Richards credit, however, for accepting the criticism. “And then we became casually friendly,” Silverman says. “And he would call me sometimes” and ask for advice about stand-up (he clearly did not listen).
Silverman also recounted that Richards was a “famously odd guy,” and had heard a story about him from the Farrelly Brothers. They asked him to come in to discuss a role in their movie Kingpin, and the conversation didn’t go particularly well and there was a disagreement. At one point, Richards asked to use the private bathroom in their office. They allowed it, but after Richards didn’t return from the bathroom within half an hour, they had to break down the door to see if he was OK. That’s when they discovered that he’d climbed out the window and left.
“Showbusiness is filled with very odd people,” Silverman concluded. “Very talented, but very odd people.”
Source: Sarah Silverman Podcast