While Despicable Me continues its unstoppable and inexplicable reign as the most popular title on Netflix, there’s a new entry in second place. Too Hot to Handle, a reality show that “puts to the test whether these hot singletons can find emotional connection without the sex,” isn’t a fake 30 Rock series come to life — it’s a genuine hit. Considering the trashy premise (which, again, boils down to whether hot people can refrain from boning or, uh, self-pleasuring themselves for four weeks), it should not surprise anyone that Too Hot to Handle was inspired by masturbation. What is surprising, however, is the show’s connection to the masturbation episode (or lack thereof) of Seinfeld.
“None of them can actually do it, and so they actually all lose the money. And I thought, ‘There’s a TV format in that.’ Why don’t we get some of the hottest people on planet to try and see if they can hold themselves back for cash?” creative director and show developer Laura Gibson told Oprah magazine about where the idea for Too Hot to Handle came from. She’s referring to the Seinfeld season four episode, “The Content,” where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer compete to see who can go the longest without masturbating; the winner is… not Kramer (it’s Jerry, as we learn in the series finale).
So, that’s Too Hot to Handle‘s origin story. But did you know “The Contest” was inspired by an actual contest that Seinfeld co-creator Larry David took part in. “I would say there was only one other person involved [in the actual contest],” he told New York magazine. “I don’t remember what the bet was. There must have been some money involved. I think it was a small amount. [The contest lasted] two days. Maybe three. I just remember it didn’t last very long. I was surprised at how quickly it ended. I won handily, yes.”
The reason Too Hot to Handle exists is because Larry David didn’t masturbate decades ago. Something to think about.