‘Seinfeld’ Writers Renamed Jerry’s Girlfriend Dolores When Audience Member Suggested it During ‘The Junior Mint’
Seinfeld is one of the funniest television sitcoms in history and best of all, those jokes have mostly withstood the test of time. Series fans are still quoting the same one-liners and phrases from Seinfeld that made the show popular in the first place.
Part of this comes from the show being different than anything else on television. Seinfeld focused on the funny moments from everyday life, which is why critics called it a “show about nothing.” Even if co-creator Jerry Seinfeld disagreed on that point.
But despite their apparent indifference, the truth is Seinfeld creators did care what fans thought of them. Which could be why they changed a character’s name based on an audience suggestion.
‘The Junior Mint’ tackled a tricky topic on ‘Seinfeld’
One aspect of Seinfeld that some fans took issue with was how the main character treated women. In general, Jerry was very superficial with whoever he was dating and fixated on qualities that don’t matter, such as physical characteristics.
In “The Junior Mint” from season 4, Jerry forgets the name of a woman he’s dating. He only remembers that she got teased about it in school because it rhymes with a part of the female anatomy. Jerry and George brainstorm what the name could be and finally decide on the ridiculous option “Mulva” (rhymes with “vulva”).
The woman storms out of Jerry’s apartment and moments later, Jerry recalls that her name is actually Dolores (which sort of sounds like “clitoris”).
A ‘Seinfeld’ audience member came up with the name Dolores
Seinfeld writers knew how they wanted the episode to go, but they weren’t totally sure which name to use for Jerry’s date. They were planning to use “Cloris” until one clever audience member changed their minds, WikiSein reported.
According to the show’s “Inside Look” extras on the DVDs, a stand-up comedian performed for the live studio audience during taping for “The Junior Mint.” When they asked audience members to guess the woman’s name, one person shouted, “Dolores!” The writers and Seinfeld liked that idea better than “Cloris,” so they quickly rewrote the scene with the new name.
Meanwhile, the fan never realized they had inspired the change. When Jerry revealed the name Dolores at the end, a producer overheard the audience member’s husband saying to her, “You guessed right!”
The ‘Seinfeld’ episode was a huge success
“The Junior Mint” still would have been hilarious even without that clever audience member. It aired during the so-called “golden age of Seinfeld” while co-creator Larry David was still involved in the production. That episode maintains an 8.8 rating on IMDb.
And it wasn’t just an amazing segment for Jerry. Fans loved how this episode was the first time Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) received applause upon entrance, finally giving her the credit she was due. Actor Michael Richards, who played Kramer, received recognition of his own with his first Emmy win of the series.
It was all thanks to a Junior Mint and a woman named Dolores — not Mulva or Cloris.