Jerry Seinfeld Reveals Never-Told-Before Story About Famous Marine Biologist-Golf Ball Scene

You will appreciate George Costanza's speech about ripping golf ball from whale's blowhole even more after reading this story

1. “The sea was angry that day, my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.”

That famous Seinfeld line, of course, was delivered by George Costanza, to his friends, Jerry, Kramer and Elaine, as he told the story of saving a beached whale’s life by removing a golf ball from its blowhole.

Here’s Seinfeld’s account:

“When Kramer is hitting golf balls at the beach and George is dating this girl, pretending to be a marine biologist, and walking on the beach and then saves a whale on the beach, we're shooting the episode—I don't know the schedule that week, but let's say we're shooting it on Wednesday, it's Tuesday—we don't have ‘the golf ball goes into the blowhole of the whale.’ We don't have it. It was never in the script.

“It was the night before we shot the scene with Jason in the coffee shop. I said to Larry [David], ‘Hey,  what if what puts the whale in distress is Kramer's golf ball?’ He's hitting golf balls at the beach. George is walking on the beach with the girl. We haven't connected them. We saw no connection.

“We write that speech the night before, two in the morning. We show up the next day. We hand Jason, who's an effing genius, we hand Jason that speech. How long is that speech? It's a page, two pages, yes? This is TV. This is why film sucks. You walk up to a TV actor like Jason and you hand him two-and-a-half pages and I go, ‘We got to shoot this in a half hour, memorize it.’ He goes, ‘no problem.’ That’s TV. No preciousness.”

Seinfeld gave Eisen one more tidbit about the famous closing scene from the “Marine Biologist” episode.

“I got a nugget for you. When Jason is doing the speech, there's one cut to me with my eyes, my eyebrows, I'm watching him. You think I'm reacting to the story. I'm reacting to, I can't believe he's getting this speech word perfect. That is what I'm thinking. I'm not even in the scene. I'm not acting. I'm just watching Jason get the speech right in front of a live audience. It’s not film. In movies, you screw it up and we do it again. In TV, this live audience is going to hear this speech for the first time once. Once. So you want those juicy laughs of they're hearing these jokes the first time and he's getting it perfect. That is why I have that look on my face in that scene.”

2. Charles Barkley shed more light on the future of Inside the NBA during an interview with Dan Patrick on Friday. The bottom line, as I said on this week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast, is simple: If TNT (Warner Brothers Discovery) doesn’t match NBC’s offer for the NBA’s “B” package of games, the legendary studio show with Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaq is done.

3. Last season, ABC aired every Monday Night Football game, in addition to the broadcast airing on ESPN. That won’t happen this season. Only a handful of games will be simulcast on ABC.

4. Here’s your daily example of umpire ineptness. Somehow, the umps in Thursday’s Cubs-Mets game decided that Chicago’s Pete Crow-Armstrong was safe on a play in which he used his helmet to remain on the bag. I mean, this is just flat-out embarrassing

5. Cubs pitcher Shōta Imanaga is 5–0 with a 0.78 ERA. He’s also still getting used to America. One of the rules of the road has really made an impact on Imanaga.

6. The latest episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina features an interview with Puck senior correspondent, John Ourand, about all the latest sports media news. Ourand breaks down the latest reports regarding the NBA’s upcoming television deals and where things stand between the league and ESPN, TNT, NBC and Amazon. Ourand also shares thoughts on how the new TV deals would impact the future of the Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal.

Ourand also discusses the changes at CBS’ NFL Today with Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms out and Matt Ryan in, whether the NFL Draft would ever move to a Wednesday-Thursday-Friday schedule instead of Thursday-Friday-Saturday, the status of the Marchand & Ourand Podcast and more.

Following Ourand, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins Jimmy for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s topics include an NFL Draft shocker, a blow to an MLB superstar, Dave & Busters allowing gambling, Jerry Seinfeld turning 70 and much more.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I’ve written a lot this week about the future of Inside the NBA. So I figured I’d close out the week by posting what is probably my all-time favorite video from the show.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter,Instagram and TikTok

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Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.