The First Show About Nothing Was Actually About A Girl From Lansing
Some trivia is more obscure that other trivia. The original pilot episode of Seinfeld, which was broadcast in 1989 had no Elaine character, Kramer's name was Kessler, and actress Lee Garlington was a wisecracking waitress at the coffee shop that Jerry and George Costanza hang out at. But the central story in this pilot episode titled "Good News, Bad News" centered on, as imdB described it, "Jerry and George argue whether an overnight visitor Jerry is expecting is coming with romantic intentions". And Jerry met this woman while doing a standup show in...Lansing, Michigan.
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While some of the basic elements of what would be staples of the Seinfeld series for nine series are in this episode - using bits of Jerry's standup routines, conversations about nothing (the show opens with a conversation about a button, as did the final scene in the finale.) - for whatever reason, changes were made after this episode. Garlington's Claire character was quite funny, but was written out. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who had never seen this episode of what was originally billed as "The Seinfeld Chronicles" until six years after the series had ended wasn't added to the cast until several episode of the first season. And while Larry David's real neighbor's name was Kramer, he's Kessler here for legal reasons, though the real Kramer took the deal and allowed his name to be used. And Kessler knocked before entering.
But here's maybe the ultimate weird factoid. The actress who played "Laura from Lansing", Pamela Krull, just before this, she's did an episode of a sitcom named 'Just the Ten of Us", where she played "Dr. Costanza".
And a h/t to Ken Coleman at Michigan Advance.