“Can you give me the Kennedy?”: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Rejected 1 Extremely Dark Seinfeld Script Before Kevin Costner’s Controversial JFK Release

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was vehemently against one (canceled) Seinfeld episode which had a highly controversial joke.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Seinfield Kevin Costner


  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus played Elaine Benes in the hit sitcom Seinfeld.
  • While the show managed to handle uncomfortable subject matter with humor, one episode took it too far which the actress was not ready for.
  • A canceled episode titled The Bet featured a joke on the controversial JFK assassination which Louis-Dreyfus objected to.
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus was one of the main attractions of the hit NBC series Seinfeld. The brainchild of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, many of its storylines were inspired by real-life experiences of Seinfeld’s life. The series ran for 9 successful seasons and is considered one of the most influential sitcoms of all time.

Cosmo, Jerry and Elaine having a funny conversation
A still from Seinfeld

The show in total consisted of 180 episodes throughout its entire run and while the makers pulled off some risky one-liners and jokes through them, one episode proved to be too extreme for the cast and they had to pull the plug on the episode. The details of that episode titled The Bet have been released online and one can understand why they did not go forward with the episode.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Was Against Going Forward With Seinfeld Episode The Bet

Elaine and Jerry in a dilemma in Seinfeld season 3
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s rejection of one controversial Seinfeld episode led to its cancellation

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry Charles have toed the line with how they have injected humor throughout Seinfeld, even during dark episodes with uncomfortable subject matter. They push it just enough that it does not alienate its audiences while also being bold and creative with the laughs. Jerry being amidst a white supremacist organization Aryan Union in The Limo, and a mental patient’s suicide in The Bris were some dark instances in the show carefully handled with humor.


However, one planned episode from season 2 titled The Bet may have taken things too far that they canceled it. In a copy of the script that has leaked online, details of its plot involving Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine contemplating buying a gun as she finds New York getting increasingly dangerous for women. While Elaine does not end up buying the gun, she takes advantage of Jerry’s unawareness of the matter.

While the plot up to this point is already tacking themes of gun control and ownership in a sitcom, the next point seems to be the main factor of its cancellation. As Jerry, Elaine, and Cosmo head to the airport in a car, Elaine threatens Jerry that she will shoot him in the head. This is when Jerry makes a JFK assassination joke which extends to Abraham Lincoln. The excerpt from the copy reads (via Slashfilm),

“Jerry: George … Annie Oakley … is it warm in here or are you just packing heat?

Elaine: One bullet in the brainpan oughta drop your body temperature considerably.

Jerry: I guess that would provide some cross-ventiliation. Can you give me the Kennedy? In here (MOTIONING TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD) and out here (MOTIONING TO HIS ADAM’S APPLE)?

Elaine: Maybe I’ll just take a little off the top.

Jerry: Aah, the Lincoln.”

As Slashfilm further stated, the episode was set to air in February of 1991, months before Kevin Costner’s film JFK, a film based on the investigation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Putting a humorous twist to a highly controversial assassination such as this may have garnered immense backlash and it was wise of Louis-Dreyfus to reject the episode.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus Teases a Very Character-Driven Thunderbolts* Film

Val recruits John Walker
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Val in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

After her fantastic debut as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Val) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is set to have a more expanded role in the upcoming Thunderbolts* film. The film which puts together an unlikely group of anti-heroes will see Louis-Dreyfus’ Val be the Nick Fury of the group.

In a Vanity Fair interview, she expressed her excitement about the project and getting o work with fantastic actors like Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell and David Harbour. Louis-Dreyfus also teased that the film will be very character-driven and is confident that Marvel fans will like it. The Marvel star said,

“I’m going to be in Thunderbolts*, we’re about to start shooting that momentarily. And Valentina is gonna be quite the force. I’m looking forward to working with Florence Pugh again, and Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell and David Harbour. I mean it’s a really good group of actors, and I’m excited about it. I’m particularly excited about it because it’s very character-driven driven this particular movie, so I think it’ll be fun. I think Marvel fans will dig it.”

The film will be directed by Jake Schreier and will have an ensemble cast including Stan, Louis-Dreyfus, Russell, Harbour, Hannah John-Kamen, Olga Kurylenko, Harrison Ford, Lewis Pullman, and Geraldine Viswanathan, Thunderbolts* will hit theatres on May 5, 2025.


Fans can watch Seinfeld on Netflix. 


Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 1046

Rahul Thokchom is a content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.