Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David was also the co-creator of Seinfeld, and even appeared in the show several times. For one Seinfeld character David played, you never actually saw his face, but just heard his voice and saw what was supposed to be the back (or shadow) of then-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
And this week on The Rich Eisen Show, David told Rich Eisen that the real Steinbrenner actually filmed a scene for Seinfeld, but it was so bad that they had to cut it (this was actually confirming what Jerry Seinfeld recently told Eisen, which led Eisen to then ask David).
“And oh my god, he was so awful. He was so bad. You couldn’t use it. It was much better from behind with my voice than actually seeing the real guy doing it.
David had to call Steinbrenner to let him know that they were cutting the scene.
“True story, yeah. We brought him out I think for the last show of the ’95 season. He flew out on his private jet to do the show; flew back that day. And, okay, he did it, and then I go into editing and I’m watching the show. And oh my god, he was so awful. He was so bad. You couldn’t use it. It was much better from behind with my voice than actually seeing the real guy doing it. He was with Elaine in a restaurant I think (in the scene).
I had to call him up and tell him he was cut. I called Yankee Stadium, and I said, ‘I want to talk to Mr. Steinbrenner. It’s Larry David.’ He got on the phone. I said, ‘Mr. Steinbrenner, it’s Larry David calling from the Seinfeld show.’
[Steinbrenner] ‘Yes yes Larry, what is it?’
I said, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this…’
He said, ‘Come on you can tell me, I’m a big boy, I can take it.’
And I said, ‘You’ve been cut from the show.’ I said, ‘It’s not your fault, but the scene wasn’t working, and that was it.’ He was a big boy, he took it well.”
While searching YouTube for scenes of David playing Steinbrenner, I came across what must be the real Steinbrenner’s (cut) appearance on the show. And it actually appears to be a few scenes, including one that also has George Costanza (who played the assistant traveling secretary to the Yankees).
It’s not quite as bad as I expected, but still feels a bit off for Seinfeld so you can definitely understand why they cut it.