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:
BRIAN’S ALIVE. THEY PULLED HIM FROM
THE RUBBLE. HE’S IN THE HOSPITAL!
OH MY GOD!
So you’re back together.
Jerry, known for his cleanliness, is troubled by the dust that blankets the city:
I can’t eat around this. This could
have been a person. Hey, Larry? Could
I get another sandwich?
LARRY, THE MANAGER, COMES OVER.
What’s the matter?
This one... has a little dust on it?
Dust? Three-thousand people are dead,
George is mistaken for a hero:
GEORGE ACCIDENTALLY BUMPS INTO A PASSING WOMAN. HE GRABS HER
SHOULDERS TO KEEP HER FROM FALLING.
That touch. I know it.
SHE CARESSES GEORGE’S FACE. HE AND JERRY ARE CONFUSED.
...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?!”
Yes. I am.
THE WOMAN EMBRACES GEORGE.
And Kramer, it turns out, loaned one of the terrorists his box cutter:
Kramer, he just crashed a plane into
the World Trade Center! He slit the
pilots’ throats with a box-cutter!
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.'
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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