Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A Seinfeld Stagehand Is The Brains Behind A Famous Tim Whatley Moment

Before he was the lovably goofy Hal Wilkerson on "Malcolm in the Middle" or the ruthless drug kingpin Walter White on "Breaking Bad," most audiences knew Bryan Cranston for his recurring role on the beloved NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" – in which he played Jerry Seinfeld's dentist, Tim Whatley. Tim appears numerous times throughout the series, both in and out of the dentist's office, keeping pace with the ridiculous behavior of his fellow "Seinfeld" cast members.

A few notable examples of Tim's unhinged behavior include the time he converted to Judaism solely to make anti-semitic jokes, giving people Christmas gifts that turned out to be charitable donations in their name, and once having sex with his assistant (and possibly Jerry) while Jerry was unconscious during a dental procedure. In every single appearance, Tim Whatley makes his case as one of the most absurd characters that "Seinfeld" has ever produced – which is certainly saying something since nearly every character in the series is completely unhinged.

That said, it might surprise some fans to learn that one of Tim Whatley's most famous (and deranged) moments was actually not in the script at all – and was actually suggested to Bryan Cranston by a stagehand.

A stagehand suggested Tim take a hit of nitrous oxide

The Season 6 episode "The Jimmy" includes perhaps the most iconic Tim Whatley moment in the entire series: when Tim Whatley takes a hit of nitrous oxide right before securing the mask to Jerry's face for an upcoming operation.

Hilariously, this iconic bit wasn't actually scripted at all and was suggested to Bryan Cranston by a stagehand during their rehearsal. "It was not in the script, and I didn't think of it," Cranston said in an interview with CNN's Chris Wallace. "We had rehearsed that scene, and then I wanted to stay on my set... and I hear 'Hey, you know what would be funny?' And I look around and there's a guy on a ladder adjusting a lamp. 'No, guy on a ladder adjusting a lamp, what would be funny?' He said, 'If you took a hit of the nitrous oxide first before you give it to Jerry."

Cranston was blown away by how brilliant and funny this suggestion was and went on to use it during the first take – which made Jerry break character so badly that he fell over laughing. In a separate interview with The Rich Eisen Show, Cranston said that the cast and crew were all praising him for this bit of improv – until he pointed out the stagehand who had suggested it, who shook his head like it was no big deal at all. This iconic moment just proves that a good idea can come from anywhere on set, something that Cranston clearly understood after this chance interaction.