Marine Biologist – Behind the Scenes

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

As I mentioned in the “seas were angry” post, I know some behind the scenes info from Seinfeld’s Marine Biologist episode. Now this isn’t because I used to be an assistant to the assistant editor or anything like that, this is just general info that you can find on the “behind the scenes” chapter on the DVD. Crazy huh? So anyway for all you Seinfeld nuts like me, prepare yourself for some wild stuff that you may have never known about one of the greatest Seinfeld episodes of all time…

  • If you recall, there is a scene where George actually walks out into the water, the original script called for the next scene to be George actually sitting on top of the whale. Yes literally.
  • In fact, they called Warner Brothers to try and find out how they could rent Keiko, the whale from the movie  “Free Willy” (seriously!).
  • Renting Keiko didn’t work out, so they constructed their own CGI version of a whale.  They had over 30 hours of work invested into this scene. The scene showed George flipping up and on top of the great fish (mammal!) to find himself face to face with the blowhole. Then he reached down and pulled out the obstruction. This was supposed to be the climax moment of the episode and the next scene would have been a recap conversation in the coffee shop.
  • It wasn’t until the night before they were scheduled to tape before the studio audience when Larry David decided to scrap that whole idea. Over 30 hours of work and thousands of dollars down the drain. As crazy as this idea was, it would be worth it.
  • He told Jerry about this idea and so with very little time, they spent most of the night writing the monologue for George’s famous “sea was angry” speech. They were most excited about having George reach down into his pocket to pull out the obstruction as if he was reaching into the blowhole.  They knew they had something special, but there was only one problem: no rehearsal.
  • The next day, with the studio audience in place and the cameras ready to film, Jason Alexander (George) arrived at the studio. They asked him if he was a quick learner, he said “sure” and in a matter of minutes he had memorized his new lines. The most incredible part of this whole story: what you see in the coffee shop was the 1st and only take for that speech.  This makes you appreciate these actors so much more.  George’s delivery of these lines are absolutely perfect.  Quite amazing really.
  • Jerry said when George pulled the golf ball out of his pocket, it generated probably the 2nd biggest studio audience laugh in the history of the show. (bonus points if you can guess the largest)

What I like most about this story is how Larry David decided to scrap the original idea at the last minute. He was willing to throw away everything for something new that he believed in. This is actually a really important life lesson.  How often are we willing to scrap ideas, even if we have invested lots of time, money, and energy in them?  Most of the time we hang on to the wrong things just because we would be ashamed or feel guilty of all the time that would now be considered wasted.  Imagine what we would have all missed out on if they would have thought the same way.

To watch this scene in all it’s glory… see here

To read the entire script… see here

  1. bryan says:

    my guess for #1 is Kramer slamming his money on the table and declaring “I’m out!”

  2. ben says:

    that was my guess, too, bryan.

  3. […] The busiest day of the year was September 16th with 168 views. The most popular post that day was Marine Biologist – Behind the Scenes. […]

  4. […] The busiest day of the year was September 16th with 168 views. The most popular post that day was Marine Biologist – Behind the Scenes. […]

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