Seinfeld Actor Reveals He Was Offered A Bribe To Leak The Series Finale
Seinfeld star Jason Alexander reveals he was offered a bribe in exchange for spoiling the show’s series finale. With the emergence of fan culture and social media in recent years, spoilers have taken on a new significance. This is most evident with shared entertainment experiences, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actors like Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland have garnered a bit of a reputation for unintentionally leaking big plot developments. On the television side of the ledger, the Game of Thrones cast have also felt the intensity of an audience that can’t wait to find out what happens next. Maisie Williams, who portrayed Arya Stark, has even had some fun cultivating some fake Game of Thrones spoilers of her own.
Looking back, however, there has always been a demand for spoilers. Seinfeld wasn’t immune to this reality, even though the sitcom was far from serialized and most episodes worked on a standalone basis. The two-part conclusion, written by Larry David, who returned to script the finale after departing after the show’s seventh season, aired in May 1998. It was watched by more than 76 million viewers, ranking as the fourth most-watched series finale ever. M*A*S*H, Cheers, and The Fugitive are the only shows to score higher ratings.
Alexander, who portrayed George Costanza throughout the run of Seinfeld, revealed that he was bribed by his publicist in exchange for spoiling the sitcom’s highly anticipated finale. Alexander shared the story during a recent virtual reunion with Seinfeld co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which was streamed on YouTube. The two recalled the precautions taken to keep details about the finale from leaking to the press, including specific walls that were built around set to keep the photographers out of the loop. Alexander then went into the bribery story. “My publicist was asking me if I was willing to leak out some secrets for money,” he said. “And I went, ‘They’ll kill us!’ How can you do that?”
Dreyfus asked if the publicist was fired for making the offer, to which Alexander jokingly replied that he gave the publicist a raise instead. It’s worth remembering the Seinfeld finale is highly controversial, with many fans and critics considering it to be a massive disappointment. Longtime viewers and critics agreed that the dour conclusion, with Jerry and the gang ending up in jail for all their major and minor misdeeds, didn’t fit with the tone that made the sitcom such a success. David would even go on to take a few shots at the finale on Curb Your Enthusiasm years later.
Seinfeld, on the whole, is still held as one of the best shows of all time. The eagerness, and then the dismay, over the finale serves as a good reminder that the importance of an ending can sometimes be overstated. At the time however, it was a huge deal and Alexander’s bribery story about the Seinfeld finale conveys that in an amusing way.
Source: Julia Louis-Dreyfus/YouTube