I love the fact that some TV shows don’t even need to be on the air anymore to keep the interesting stories coming. For instance, while rumors have floated around for years about why Heidi Swedberg’s Seinfeld character Susan Ross got killed off the show at the end of Season 7, star Jason Alexander has confirmed the real reason for the darkly comedic passing: nobody liked working with the actress. That’s a bit of an overstatement, though not a misleading one.
Alexander appeared as a guest on The Howard Stern Show today and when Stern brought up the rumors that Swedberg herself was the reason for Susan’s death, Alexander first pointed out that he is quite fond of the actress as a person, but then went into detail about how uncomfortable he got acting in scenes with her, as she constantly threw his timing off. When he got that news that George was going to be marrying Susan, he was appropriately perturbed, and it seems the only reason Susan even lasted as long as she did was because nobody else had any scenes. Here’s how he described what happened when Susan entered the lives of other characters.
I was the only actor doing scenes with her…Finally, they do an episode where Elaine and Jerry have a lot of material with her. They do the week, and then we get to the restaurant afterwards and they go, ‘You know what? Its fucking impossible. It’s impossible.’ And Julia actually said, ‘I know. It’s just…Don’t you want to just kill her?’ And Larry went, “Ba-bang!’ Now we gotta kill her!
Alexander said that previous to this conversation, neither Larry David nor Jerry Seinfeld really knew how that season was going to end. And all it took was someone making a vague death threat at a dinner table to get her knocked off of the show, and in the most magnificent way possible: cheap, poisoned wedding invitation envelopes. It’s funny how some jokes just wouldn’t fly with NBC, but Susan’s death wasn’t a problem, even with the blasé way the characters reacted.
Check out the whole conversation about it between Stern and Alexander in the clip below.
You’ll be able to watch Susan die in “The Invitations” again and again whenever you want when Seinfeld hits Hulu later this month on June 24.