The Deal with the Seinfeld 9/11 Script

The Deal with the Seinfeld 9/11 Script
Photo: Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia

What's the deal with this Seinfeld script that takes place after 9/11?

What started as Billy Domineau helping his friend with a comedy writing exercise has turned into a viral, ultra-dark script for a Seinfeld episode that was never filmed.

The episode, written by Domineau over the last year, takes place shortly after the attacks on 9/11. Being a New-York-City-centric show, Seinfeld provided the ideal geography, if not the ideal format, for the idea.

And the thing of it is...it's actually pretty good.

It's got a very Seinfeld feel to it. Each of the characters has their own problem following the attacks.

Elaine was about to break up with her boyfriend. He was believed dead in the rubble, however it turns out he's alive:

ELAINE

BRIAN’S ALIVE. THEY PULLED HIM FROM

THE RUBBLE. HE’S IN THE HOSPITAL!

JERRY

OH MY GOD!

GEORGE

So you’re back together.

ELAINE DEFLATES.

 

Jerry, known for his cleanliness, is troubled by the dust that blankets the city:

JERRY

I can’t eat around this. This could

have been a person. Hey, Larry? Could

I get another sandwich?

LARRY, THE MANAGER, COMES OVER.

LARRY

What’s the matter?

JERRY

This one... has a little dust on it?

LARRY

Dust? Three-thousand people are dead,

you know.

George is mistaken for a hero:

GEORGE ACCIDENTALLY BUMPS INTO A PASSING WOMAN. HE GRABS HER

SHOULDERS TO KEEP HER FROM FALLING.

WOMAN

That touch. I know it.

SHE CARESSES GEORGE’S FACE. HE AND JERRY ARE CONFUSED.

WOMAN (CONT’D)

...My God. You’re the man who saved me

from the World Trade Center!

GEORGE CONSIDERS THE OPPORTUNITY. HE TURNS TO JERRY FOR AN

OPINION, WHO SHAKES HIS HEAD. “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!”

GEORGE

Yes. I am.

THE WOMAN EMBRACES GEORGE.

 

And Kramer, it turns out, loaned one of the terrorists his box cutter:

JERRY

Kramer, he just crashed a plane into

the World Trade Center! He slit the

pilots’ throats with a box-cutter!

KRAMER

Not “a” box-cutter - MY box-cutter. He

borrowed it last week!

 

Though Domineau chose a topic that's a tough sell, the script definitely reads like a Seinfeld that was left on the table in the writer's room. And he seems to be striking a balance between being understanding and sympathetic while asserting his right to make tragedy into comedy:

I will never attempt to mitigate or shy away from anyone’s response to this script...You can stand in front of me for an hour and scream at me. What I won’t allow you to do is to tell me what we cannot talk about, because then we’re just one step away from ‘freedom fries.'

You can read the script in its entirety here.

What say you? Too soon? Will it never not be too soon when it comes to 9/11? Can the level of humor "earn" the dark subject matter?

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News by Peter Derk

Peter Derk lives, writes, and works in Colorado.  He's a master of library science (which is a real thing) and considers himself a master of picking out the one functional treadmill in any gymnasium (which is not a real thing).  Buy him a drink sometime and he'll talk books all day.  Buy him two and he'll be happy to tell you about the horrors of being responsible for a public library's restroom.

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