Here’s What Would’ve Happened on the Lost Cannabis Episode of ‘Seinfeld’
Despite being billed as “a show about nothing,” ‘Seinfeld’ — which turns 30 this month — touched on numerous controversial issues, including homophobia (“The Outing”), racism (“The Puerto Rican Day Parade”) and contraception (“The Sponge”). And if it hadn’t been for Cybill Shepherd, the show would’ve also tackled medical marijuana, which became a hot topic in the 90s after California legalized medicinal cannabis use in 1996.
So what would the cannabis episode of ‘Seinfeld’ have looked like? Well, the concept didn’t involve any of the four main characters getting a marijuana card. Instead of having Jerry, George, Elaine or Kramer smoke up, Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) would be the one having a puff for the sake of his health. And the condition that he would be treating had nothing to do with his notorious temper, which was immortalized in his signature exclamation, “serenity now!”
No, Frank would dabble with medical cannabis in order to treat an eye problem, according to David Mandel — who wrote for seasons 7 through 9 of ‘Seinfeld’ before serving as executive producer of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and the showrunner of ‘Veep.’
“We went very far down the road with an idea that Frank was going to need medical marijuana for his cataracts,” Mandel told Entertainment Weekly back in 2017. “We thought the idea of Jerry Stiller on pot just seemed like comedy gold.”
But the show’s producers decided to scuttle the idea because of Cybill Shepherd.
“We heard that ‘Cybill’ writers had a similar story in the works, and it was enough to make us put the idea aside,” Mandel explained. “We were really rigorous about not wanting to repeat things. I don’t think it was fully outlined, but that was a story that was ready to go. That would happen a lot.”
So we never got to see Frank try medical marijuana, which is a shame because he probably could’ve made a pretty sweet bong out of his Festivus pole.