NBC Execs Apparently Thought The Iconic Theme Song To ‘Seinfeld’ Was ‘Annoying’ And Almost Had It Killed

Seinfeld emerged in an era still beholden to TV theme songs with lyrics, often explaining the premise at hand. But fitting for a show that was famously about “nothing,” its own main theme had no lyrics — just some jazzy synths, some mouth snaps, and one helluva slap bass line. But it was almost too pure for this world. In a new Yahoo! Entertainment interview with composer Jonathan Wolff (as caught by The AV Club), coinciding with the recent, belated release of its soundtrack, we learn NBC almost shot it down.

Wolff says a typical theme song wouldn’t work with the show’s opening, which always found Jerry Seinfeld’s Jerry Seinfeld doing a new stand-up bit. He wanted something that wouldn’t be too distracting. So he came up with what he calls a “basic and sophomoric” bass line, and threw in “the human nature of my finger-snaps and lips and tongues doing stuff.” And thus an iconic theme song was born.

Except that it was almost snuffed out at birth. NBC execs, Wolff recalls, thought it “sounded odd and weird.” Others found it “distracting,” and “annoying.” He argues that one reason was that the slap bass “had not yet enjoyed ‘celebrity status’ as a solo instrument” — this coming before Primus used it for another famous TV theme song, for South Park.

Who saved it? Larry David. Upon hearing that the suits found it bizarre, he sprung into action, fighting for its inclusion. As per Wolff, “Larry, he loves annoying! He lives for annoying! That’s his primary goal in life.”

And that’s why ‘90s Must-See TV got the funkiest theme song since Barney Miller.

(Via Yahoo! Entertainment and The AV Club)