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Elaine's First Seinfeld Appearance Is Straight Out Of A Larry David True Story

"Seinfeld" is the definitive show about nothing, and it remains one of the most beloved television programs of all time. However, the very first episode, "Good News, Bad News," was missing a key ingredient integral to the camaraderie of the core group of characters — Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza (Jason Alexander), and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards). No, there's nothing wrong with your math: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes, was a no-show in the "Seinfeld" pilot.

Seinfeld himself recalled the one note that the NBC network passed on to himself and co-creator Larry David after the executives viewed the pilot for the first time. And it's what led to the creation of Seinfeld's ex-girlfriend turned gal-pal. "You have to have a woman in this [show] that has a real part if this is going to be a TV series," Seinfeld said during a behind-the-scenes interview (via YouTube). "And we thought that was a decent idea."

Like so many of the "Seinfeld" episodes over the series' 9-year run, a number of the show's scripts were based on real-life events and people which were dramatized for the show. One such example is the fact that the character of Kramer was based on Larry David's true-life neighbor, Kenny Kramer. But did you know the storyline featured in Elaine's first episode, "The Stakeout," is a page right out of David's real life?

Seinfeld's The Stakeout was based on David's real-life experiences

"Seinfeld" co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David had to conceive a female character to join the group of Jerry, George, and Kramer, and David riffled through the pages of his real life to come up with Elaine Benes. During a behind-the-scenes interview (via YouTube), David revealed that his real-life experience with an old girlfriend, Monica Yates, would create a much more interesting foil for the character of Jerry on the show and that the male-female dynamic would be considerably more intriguing than if Seinfeld had just an ordinary, vanilla relationship with a girlfriend. 

Not only was the character right out of David's real life, but the storyline depicted in "The Stakeout" actually happened to the "Seinfeld" co-creator. In the episode, Seinfeld can't flirt with lawyer Vanessa (Lynn Clark) because he's at a party with Elaine, so he makes a mental note of the name of the building Vanessa works at. In the days following the party, Seinfeld and George (Jason Alexander) stake out the law firm's lobby, so Jerry can "accidentally" bump into Vanessa again. 

"We're [David and Yates] at this restaurant, and there was this other woman I kind of had my eye on," David said in the same behind-the-scenes interview. David elaborated that he couldn't shift into "high flirt gear," but he did overhear the name of the building the woman worked at. "I actually did 'The Stakeout' move," he continued.