Seinfeld reveals who almost played Elaine

Jerry Seinfeld with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Seinfeld.
Jerry Seinfeld with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Seinfeld. News Limited

JERRY Seinfeld has revealed that another sitcom star almost won the role of Elaine in Seinfeld.

The legendary comedian was asked by radio host Howard Stern to set the record straight about actors who were close to being cast in the sitcom which ran for nine seasons.

When it came to his character's ex-girlfriend, Elaine Benes, Seinfeld said that a Will & Grace star was one of his favourites for the role.

"You know who was close was Megan Mullally," Seinfeld told Stern, "we liked her a lot".

Mullally is best known for her role as Karen Walker in Will & Grace and will appear in the rebooted show which premieres on Stan on September 29.

Will & Grace stars Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack and Debra Messing.
Will & Grace stars Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack and Debra Messing. News Limited

Seinfeld also added that Rosie O'Donnell was a contender for the role of Elaine but as soon as he saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus audition, he knew that the role was right for her.

Speaking about the role of George Costanza which was played by Jason Alexander, Seinfeld shot down a persistent rumour that David Letterman's musical sidekick, Paul Shaffer, was offered the role.

"Wrong," he said, "I don't know how that got started, not true."

If he wants to know how the rumour got started, Seinfeld need look no further than Shaffer who has been telling the story on TV for years.

In a 2012 interview with George Stephanopoulos, Shaffer was asked about the rumour and said, "that is absolutely true".

"The receptionist took a message: 'Jerry Seinfeld called. He's getting his own show and he wants you to be his sidekick. You don't even have to audition'," Shaffer said.

"I was kind of overwhelmed and I said, 'Jerry Seinfeld. What kind of show could he possibly get?'"

Shaffer never returned Seinfeld's call.

Paul Shaffer on Letterman.
Paul Shaffer on Letterman. Contributed

When Seinfeld ended in 1998, the comedian was offered $US5 million per episode to bring the show back for one more season.

He turned it down and told Stern that he's been offered even more money since to bring the show back to life.

"I have been approached with astronomical numbers by certain large entertainment entities to bring it back, even just for one show," he said.

But don't get your hopes up Seinfeld fans because he says it's never going to happen.

"You can only make it worse," he said.

Topics:  jerry seinfeld julia louis-dreyfus seinfeld television

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