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Larry David Has Always Been the ‘Seinfeld’ Finale’s Biggest Defender

Larry David Has Always Been the ‘Seinfeld’ Finale’s Biggest Defender

Seinfeld himself has perhaps been the most vocal about the episode in the years since. In a 2014 Q. and A. on Reddit, he said that he was “happy” with it and that he didn’t “believe in trying to change the past.” But in 2017, at a New Yorker Festival, he called it an “impossible” episode. “I sometimes think we really shouldn’t have even done it,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on us at that time to do one big last show, but big is always bad in comedy.”

In a 2013 interview with the Television Academy, Jason Alexander, who played George, called it “a good episode, not a great episode.” But he said he loved the idea and appreciated that David found an organic way to bring back characters who had shaped the show: the Soup Nazi, for example, or the low-talker. “We never really got to say thank you,” Alexander said.

And in probably the funniest sendup of the episode, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine, joked on the final “Late Show With David Letterman” Top 10 List: “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.”

In its defense, David has repeatedly said that, given the buildup and popularity, there was no way to live up to expectations.

“Everybody has it in their head what they think this show should be,” he told Charlie Rose in a 1998 interview, ahead of the finale. “Everybody has their own scenario going, so you have to top their scenario. Not only do you have to top their scenario, you have to come up with something that really brings some closure to the entire series. So it was a daunting prospect.”

If “Curb” goes for a redo of sorts on Sunday, it wouldn’t be the first time David has reopened this can of worms. In Season 7, he reunited Seinfeld, Alexander, Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards, who played Kramer, for an extended “Seinfeld” reunion story line. At one point, Seinfeld jokes to David, “We already screwed up one finale.” To which David responds, “We didn’t screw up a finale, that was a good finale!”

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