It was apparently well-known among the “Seinfeld” cast and crew that star Julia Louis-Dreyfus struggled with giggle fits when shoots ran late and that they could become quite infectious. Apparently, that’s exactly what happened during the episode that brought the world Festivus.
Titled “The Strike,” the December 1997 episode would join all the main characters (and some unwanted guests) at a dinner at George’s (Jason Alexander) parents’ house in honour of Festivus, a holiday meant to be secular and inclusive during the Christmas season.
“When shooting ‘The Strike,’ one of my favourite things, in hindsight, that used to happen is when it was very late at night Julia Louis-Dreyfus would get the giggles and it was usually the last or second-to-last scene of the night,” writer Alec Berg told Uproxx.
He continued, “She would start to laugh and part of me was like, ‘Ugh, dammit, we gotta get this done so we can go home and get a few hours of sleep before we have to come back tomorrow morning and start all over again.’ But her laugh is so infectious and so enjoyable that everybody else would just start laughing.”
In trying to find the perfect “scuzzy slum bag” for Louis-Dreyfus to play off of, the show hired Colin Malone. He hosted a cable access show called “Colin’s Sleazy Friends,” in which “he would hang out with porn stars.”
“We thought he was such a hilarious scuzzy scumbag guy,” Berg said. “I can’t remember what the line was but she was supposed to turn to him and say something and we must have tried to do that line 30 times and she just kept breaking.”
Watch Louis-Dreyfus’ break into laughter while shooting the memorable scene below:
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