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January 21st, 2009
Great Lines
George Shapiro Talks About The End of Seinfeld
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George Shapiro: Jack Welch and Bob Wright really wanted a tenth year.  And we had a meeting with Howard West and myself and Jerry and Bob Wright and Jack Welch, you know, he was the chairman of General Electric. Like the biggest entrepreneur in the world. And we had this breakfast on the thirty-eighth floor overlooking Central Park; we had engraved, you know, menus. And Jack Welch was there – he was pitching Jerry, it was just the opposite. He had charts, “Look how it went up, it went way past ‘Home Improvement’, all the shows – it’s still growing in its ninth year.” And he wrote on a little piece of paper, you know, what he was offering Jerry. And he handed it to Jerry and – whew! Do you want to know what it was?  Okay, because I think it’s been out already. It was five million an episode for twenty-two episodes. To do the tenth year. And Jerry said, “let’s talk.” You know, we went for a walk. Howard, Jerry and I went for a walk in Central Park, and we sat down on the bench on eight-first street and Central Park West, the same bench where he told his father he wanted to be a comedian. So anyway Jerry sits down, he said, “You know, as a standup comedian, you know, you feel you’re getting a standing ovation. And that’s the time to leave. You don’t want to stay on stage too long. You don’t want to stay on like another fifteen minutes so they say ‘Oh he was good but he was on a little long.’” He said, “My deepest gut, you know, is to leave now. Despite the offer and everything else.” So I was happy ‘cause I said, “This is a great – to go off like that and for the future you have that. Nothing – no one can ever take that away from you.

  • http://www.thirteen.org/artsandculture/great-lines-comedians-tell-inside-stories Thirteen/WNET » “Great Lines”: Comedians Tell Inside Stories

    [...] famous, and not-so-famous moments. From why Seinfeld chose to end his famous show, to when Harpo Marx finally spoke on stage, to Lucille Ball facing down a rabid dog, and [...]

  • Bob

    Amazing…in so many ways. Success comes in waves, I believe. And to those who were parti-
    cipating here, there’s been countless successes.
    And what remains remarkable is that not money,
    not food, not drama….but pure feeling and talk
    form what is to be. Jerry deserves attention as
    such a catalyst for not just humor, but enjoyment.
    And to the capitalist who knows how to turn more
    capital, he has earned and compels our attention.
    This excerpt describing how humor can become so
    important….no, more meaningful perhaps….com-
    pels. Thanks for sharing such candor and allow-
    ing us to see a part of this world noone else
    would have known about otherwise.

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    I honestly feel that ” Forbidden Doors ” is the most powerful screenplay ever written and that if it is made into a film, it will herald the coming of the Anti-Christ.

    Respectfully, Frank Ashby

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