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The Unique Moment When The Seinfeld Cast Unanimously Decided The Show Was Done

$5 million an episode —that's what Jerry Seinfeld turned down to do a tenth season of "Seinfeld." The comedian had already broken a record in Season 9, being the first actor to earn $1 million for a TV show episode, but blowing his own record out of the water never interested him. Seinfeld was adamant about not wanting to drag the show on just because people were still tuning in. He wanted to go out on top, very much like George (Jason Alexander) deciding to leave a room after he made everyone laugh in "The Burning" (Season 9, Episode 18).

It was about quality over quantity for Seinfeld, which he described perfectly when talking about a piece of art. "The most important word in art is "proportion." How much? How long is this joke going to be? How many words? How many minutes? And getting that right is what makes it art or what makes it mediocre," he noted.

But of course, the decision to end "Seinfeld" wasn't entirely Seinfeld's himself. While Larry David had already departed the series after the Season 7 finale, there were still three other very important people who needed to weigh in. Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards all agreed with Seinfeld on when to end the show, and the story of how it happened is quite sweet.

A dressing room get together effectively ended Seinfeld

While Season 9 of "Seinfeld" was filming, there still wasn't a definite answer on if Season 10 would follow. Jerry Seinfeld started to consider ending things when he called Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to his dressing room one day on set. Seinfeld remembered they were all quiet as they stared at one another, and what came next was obvious. "We've had a lot of good fortune here. Maybe we shouldn't push our luck too far," Seinfeld recalled of the meeting during a press conference in 2021. "And we all agreed that this was the right moment. And I remember it's the only time we all got together in a dressing room, the four of us, to make that decision. That was powerful."

It took nine years for the four main cast members to meet up in a dressing room, and that moment turned out to be a defining moment in their lives. Something certain was now gone, leaving four careers up in the air — but each of them was ready for what came next. Of course, Louis-Dreyfus went on to win award after award for her roles in "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Veep," cementing her as one of the great comedic actresses of all time. Alexander also has seen great post-"Seinfeld" success, lending his voice to dozens of animated projects and appearing in live-action hits like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." While Seinfeld could have retired from his extraordinary "Seinfeld" syndication deal, he still tours as a comedian and hosts the very successful "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Richards did a no-good-very-bad-thing in 2006 and hasn't been able to bounce back, but his "Seinfeld" royalty checks likely don't have him seeking new work.