A very concise oral history of ‘Yada Yada Yada’ from ‘Seinfeld’

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By Webdesk


howler: When I came to LA, I told my agents, ‘I want to get Seinfeld‘, and the next day I had an audition. I wasn’t nervous, but I was excited because I was a huge fan. The table reading went well, and during shooting I spent most of my time with Jason (Alexander) because he had a theater background and we knew about 50 people in common.

Mehlman: One thing I remember from the taping was Bryan Cranston coming in. He has a crew in that episode because he was filming from the earth to the moon, where he played an astronaut. He was working on that all week and flew in the day we were filming. He did two rehearsals and then nailed the part.

Franklin: After the table was read, Michael Richards came up to me and asked, “Were you okay?” All I could think was, ‘Are you talking? meMy whole family came to the shooting, including my mother So embarrassing. She came with gifts for the cast. She brought this toy for Michael Richards and I had to tell her, “No, you’re not going anywhere near him.” She said, ‘Okay, but there’s one thing I to have to give Jerry. It was a golf T-shirt she said Jerry’s brother had given her. In her office she was talking about her daughter who had a Seinfeld episode, and this guy told her he was Jerry’s brother and asked her to give this shirt to him. She was so eager to give this shirt to Jerry that I finally said, “Fine.”

After the shoot, I introduced my whole family to Jerry, and my mom said to him in a singing voice, “I’ve got something for you.” “You do?” Jerry sang back to her. Then she sang, “It’s your brother’s,” and took off the shirt.

“I don’t have a brother,” Jerry sang back. I died. It was humiliating. I am still was ashamed of that.

howler: I remember Mehlman telling me, “This is going to be one of the greatest episodes ever.” I thought, “Yeah, it sure is,” thinking he was just a writer trying to believe that. Of course he was right.

Franklin: After the show was taped, Peter said to me, “Bring out your tuxedo,” and he was right. It was nominated for an Emmy. If Ellen hadn’t come out that year…

howler: Twenty years later I was asked to do more interviews about it Seinfeld than anything else in my career. When I was starring in a Neil Simon play in New York, I was relatively unknown and every night I would hear people in the audience whispering “yada yada yada” to each other. They were all trying to figure out how the hell they knew me. My dad was into it too. He bought me a mug that said “yada yada yada.” It’s in my closet now.

Franklin: My father became obsessed with Seinfeld because I wrote for it. i would get Seinfeld things in the mail from him every day after that. The nicest thing I got from him was a numbered etching by Al Hirschfeld. After my father died, my stepmother insisted on keeping it. We’re not talking.

The Hirschfeld that Jillian Franklin owned.

Mehlman: “The Yada Yada” was the last episode I wrote as a staff member Seinfeld. One of the reasons I decided I was going to leave was because ‘The Yada Yada’ was about small ideas, and that’s what I liked – little real-life stories like we would in season four. It was a throwback episode in a way, which is why I decided it was a good one for me to end with.

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