Larry David Reveals His All-Time Favorite “Seinfeld” Episode

Why "The Contest" holds a special place in his heart

Larry David
Larry David attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Over the weekend, Larry David appeared in a Seinfeld-themed virtual fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Texas along with cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander, where he revealed his all-time favorite episode of the show: Season 4’s “The Contest.”

The classic, groundbreaking episode sees Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer participating in a contest to see who can go the longest without masturbating — something David said he was worried wouldn’t make it past network executives and onto the air.

“This one, I didn’t even put on the board because I didn’t want them asking,” he said. “I just wanted them to come and see the read-through. [When they did] I had worked myself up into a lather because the read-through really went great. I was watching [the network executives] and I couldn’t tell how much they liked it. But I was ready to pack the whole thing in if they didn’t let us do this show: ‘I’m quitting. I’m quitting. I’m gonna quit.’ Fortunately, they didn’t say a word. I was shocked.”

The rest, as they say, is history, and “The Contest” went on to become one of Seinfeld‘s most beloved episodes.

“That show changed something about how we were perceived in television land,” David said. “It really catapulted us to another place. It moved us to another level, I think. And the show got much more popular after that episode.”

Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander also picked their favorite Seinfeld episodes during the fundraiser: “The Soup Nazi” and “The Marine Biologist,” respectively.

Below, Seinfeld, David and Alexander discuss the latter episode, the climactic scene of which was rewritten and performed for the first time on set the night of the recording.

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