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The Seinfeld blunder that caused Michael Richards to split his lip

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Following in the footsteps of “Chinese Restaurant” Season 2, Season 3, Episode 6, “Garage” finds four misanthropic Seinfeld characters lost in a garage. Unable to find their car, the group wanders helplessly – Jerry desperately needs a toilet, George has dinner with his parents, Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tries to keep her fish alive, and Kramer struggles to carry an 80-pound air conditioner. Although the tension of the episode was carefully fabricated, the backstage antics ultimately resulted in Richards’ bloody injury.

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As Larry David and the rest of the crew reveal in a behind-the-scenes featurette, “Garage” was a lot harder to pull off than it looked (via YouTube). Apart from the problem of finding enough story in such a limited space, David overestimated their ability to shoot in a real garage. Ultimately, the set designers decided to tear down the entire production lot, including Seinfeld’s iconic apartment, and build a garage in its place, even using mirrors to give the illusion of a larger, infinite area.

The filming hours required for this episode were also apparently quite long, with Richards stating in the short, “We stayed up all night.” Seinfeld recalls being so tired that he and Louis-Dreyfus were unable to stand or sit due to the makeup, so it had to be applied while they lay on the concrete floor. Alexander notes that as a result of this exhaustion, the cast had a hard time keeping themselves together on set, giggling at just about anything, a quirk that frustrated director Tom Cherones.

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