An SNL Writer Has Made A 9/11 ‘Seinfeld’ Script, And It Will Make You Feel Very, Very Weird
The writer called it "an exercise in bad taste."
What if Seinfeld had been on the air during September 11? If that’s a question you’ve ever contemplated, then today is your lucky day — I guess? In 2001, many shows that centred around New York struggled to address the horrific events of 9/11 and how it irreversibly altered the city, while still trying to manage a cheery, distracting tone (Sex and the City comes to mind).
Even though Seinfeld is a quintessentially ‘New York show’ because it ended in 1998, it never had to confront this problem. But what if it had no choice but to address the misery that would surely cast a shadow over Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer’s selfish, pathetic and conniving lives? Would it change them, or would they still be the same hilariously despicable character they had always been, but in the face of great national sorrow?
For whatever reason, comedian Billy Domineau — who used to work for The Onion and is now freelance contributor to Saturday Night Live‘s ‘Weekend Update’ — decided that he wanted to find out. While helping someone with a sketch a few months ago, Domineau advised them that it needed to be an exercise in bad taste; “‘Like imagine if there was a 9/11 episode of Seinfeld… wait a minute”.
So, he wrote a 44-page Seinfeld script that takes place about a week after the Twin Towers fell. You can read the whole thing here, but here are some notable excerpts:
The show begins with a cold open in which Jerry tells jokes about getting into heaven. It then cuts to George at work with the Yankees, where they are celebrating the police and firefighters who first responded to the attacks. George manages to offend them.
George, Jerry and Elaine meet for lunch at Monk’s and discuss how quickly the block has been cleared of rubble and dust. Elaine’s boyfriend Brian is thought to have died on 9/11, but later in the episode she realises that he’s actually alive. She’s not happy about this.
It turns out that Kramer knew one of the terrorists in the planes. Elaine’s response: “GET OUT!”
Jerry is upset at Monk’s because he thinks that there’s dust on his sandwich. He tries to send it back and Larry is very upset by his insensitivity.
Later on, Jerry goes on a date with a girl who is volunteering at Ground Zero. He spots dust in her teeth and cannot bring himself to kiss her goodnight. Jerry becomes obsessed with the dust coating the city.
George somehow fools a victims group into thinking that he’s a 9/11 hero and ends up romantically involved with a widow. He later gets asked to speak at a September 11 benefit dinner and it does not go well.
Uncle Leo sees Jerry and mentions that he and Jerry’s cousin Jeffrey are casually bigoted now.
Hm. It’s safe to say Billy Domineau has upset quite a few people with his script and Reddit is not a very safe place for him at the moment.
I should let my day be ruined by a Reddit comment thread, right?
— Billy Domineau (@BillyDomineau) August 3, 2016