The Sniffing Accountant - Production


This episode was written by series co-creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and was directed by Tom Cherones. The cast first read the script for this episode on September 8, 1993, at 11:00 a.m. Filming took place on September 14, 1993, with eighteen members of the Vandelay Industries Mailing Listing (a Seinfeld fan club) among the audience.

"My accountant, whose name I won’t mention (not that he doesn’t deserve the infamy) stole I think fifty thousand dollars from me, and snorted it up his nose... just gave him an envelope of cash, and never saw it again. And I used to talk about that guy and how much I hated him, so he became the Sniffing Accountant. That was some measure of revenge."
— Jerry Seinfeld

In real life, Jerry Seinfeld's accountant stole money (about US$50,000) from him to buy illegal drugs, thus inspiring the main plotline for this episode.

Larry David actually worked as a bra salesman during his years as a struggling comedian. That had been many years prior to this episode though, so he had to do research in order to write dialogue pertaining to the configuration of modern bras. This was pre-internet, so the writer's assistants called bra companies to ask questions.

Kramer's display of simultaneous drinking and smoking in this episode was unscripted, and required two takes to get right. After the first attempt, Michael Richards let out a loud belch (with smoke) that necessitated a second try at the scene. This scene helped Richards win an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the character. Though the first take was seen in Seinfeld's one-hour retrospective The Chronicle, which took place prior to the original airing of "The Finale." It is now included in the 2005 Season Five DVD set's blooper reel. Julia Louis-Dreyfus said that she was "in awe" when seeing him pull that off.

The line "barring some unforeseen incident" was first uttered in this episode by the character Sid Farkus, and the line eventually became a catchphrase around the show for years after this episode was filmed. Julia Louis-Dreyfus commented on how much she loved that line on the "Inside Look" commentary of the Seinfeld season 5 DVD set. She said that it was like a line from Foghorn Leghorn, and worked as a "precursor to chaos."

A big element to this episode was the element of private investigations. In actuality, Wayne Knight had experience with this line of work. He said, on the "Inside Look" commentary of the Seinfeld season 5 DVD set, that "before coming to Seinfeld, I’ve worked for five years in New York as a private investigator. It was after having done Broadway, I crapped out, and needed a job, didn’t want to work as a waiter, and had a friend who got a job as a PI, because they liked hiring actors."

During this episode, Kramer mentions how he wants to become a professional private detective. Coincidentally, after Seinfeld had ended, Michael Richards later played a Los Angeles private detective on The Michael Richards Show.

Read more about this topic:  The Sniffing Accountant

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