(NEW YORK) — Twenty-five years ago this Saturday, one of the most popular sitcoms in American television history premiered.
The first episode of Seinfeld — initially titled The Seinfeld Chronicles — aired July 5, 1989. NBC later ordered more episodes, and yada yada yada, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer became iconic TV characters who made countless contributions to the pop culture lexicon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
However, the Seinfeld pilot didn’t quite resemble the show that millions came to know and love. It began with Jerry Seinfeld’s Jerry and Jason Alexander’s George dining in their native New York City at Pete’s Luncheonette, rather than the familiar Monk’s Café. They weren’t even sitting in a booth.
In the scene, Jerry riffs on the buttons on George’s shirt. The show harkened back to this conversation in the final moments of the series finale in 1998, when Jerry and the gang were jailed.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character, Elaine, was not yet part of the cast. The lead female role belonged to Lee Garlington, who played a sassy waitress at Pete’s. Michael Richards is featured in the episode, but his character is referred to as Kessler, not Kramer.
The pilot was the only Seinfeld episode to air in 1989. The retooled first season resumed the following summer, this time with Louis-Dreyfus in the fold.
The so-called “show about nothing” aired for a total of nine seasons, picking up an armload of Emmys along the way, and continues to live on in syndication.
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