Seinfeld Was Never Pitched As A Show About Nothing

For decades, the prolific and influential sitcom "Seinfeld" has been jokingly referred to as the "show about nothing," a title which references the fact that every single episode is just about the daily lives of its main characters with no overarching theme or idea connecting those stories. Despite how iconic the "show about nothing" tagline has become, according to series co-creator Larry David, the nickname is a blatant misnomer.

During a 1998 interview with Charlie Rose, David explained that "Seinfeld" was never actually pitched as a "show about nothing," and that the actual pitch for the show was exploring "how a comedian gets his material" by following the mundane day-to-day life of said comedian. In hindsight, the show's premise seems extremely obvious, mainly because most episodes either open or close with Jerry Seinfeld performing stand-up comedy and incorporating the events of that episode into his jokes. Although the "show about nothing" title not have originated in that initial pitch with NBC, it still became synonymous with "Seinfeld" for most people – having been featured prominently in an episode parodying the show's creation.

The expression originated in 'The Pitch'

Longtime "Seinfeld" fans will know that the "show about nothing" moniker actually originated in the episode "The Pitch," which saw Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza (Jason Alexander) pitching their own sitcom to NBC — with George proudly telling the executives that the series is about "nothing."

The show that George and Jerry are pitching is a direct parody of "Seinfeld" itself, with Jerry playing himself and George, Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richardson) all being represented through on-screen counterparts. Larry David explained to Charlie Rose that the "show about nothing" moniker was an invention of the episode and was never used by himself or Jerry Seinfeld. The expression simply caught on after that episode was released.

Despite not actually being the original pitch for "Seinfeld," the expression is still quite fitting given the series's focus on everyday minutia: like shopping at the grocery store, going to the movie theater, or just waiting for a table at a restaurant. Even though the "Seinfeld" pitch had much more substance to it than George's horrendous pitch to NBC, at this point, there's no shaking the unfortunate "show about nothing" nickname.