Seinfeld creator Larry David reveals his favorite episode. David was involved in some of the show’s greatest moments and even returned to pen the sitcom’s divisive finale, but he has a special affection for one episode in particular.
Of course, the question of which Seinfeld episode is best inevitably leads to plenty of discussion and debate. The NBC sitcom is recognized as one of the best and most influential television programs of all time, minting stars out of the four core cast members in Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards. Although they’ve all found notoriety and success in other projects, with David creating the comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm for HBO, Seinfeld remains significant in the cultural landscape. In new remarks, David shed some light on his favorite Seinfeld episode.
Per THR (via Act Blue), David’s revelation came as part of an extended chat with Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander. During the reunion, which was hosted by Seth Meyers and organized to benefit Texas Democrats in the upcoming presidential election, David revealed that his favorite episode was the season 4 installment “The Contest.” Deceptively simple in its premise, the episode revolved around a simple question: which of the sitcom’s four main characters could refrain from masturbating the longest? David also elaborated on his thought process for “The Contest,” admitting his fear that NBC would not agree to air the episode because of its potentially sensitive subject matter. Though he says he was prepared to walk away if he received pushback, David says that network executives didn’t voice any concern over the episode.
Louis-Dreyfus had her own favorite episode, season 7’s “The Soup Nazi”, while Alexander cited “The Marine Biologist” which features a memorable speech by George. Though they all ultimately agreed that “The Contest” helped to firmly cement the place of Seinfeld at the center of pop culture, they each had their own idea of what represented the comedy at its very best. For a series which flaunted the fact that it was about nothing, Seinfeld has endured precisely because of the rich episodes that David, Louis-Dreyfus, and Alexander discussed in their reunion.
If anything, the response to “The Contest” ran counter to what David had anticipated. The episode earned David his first Emmy, after numerous nominations, and it is widely regarded as a classic half-hour of television. Part of the delight is baked into the fact that the conceit involves Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. Usually, in a standard episode of Seinfeld, the foursome is separated into their own individual stories and only intersect at certain points. The episode is also notable for popularizing “Master of Your Domain,” in lieu of directly referencing masturbation, and offered fans an ambiguous ending for subsequent rewatches and binges over the decades.