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Why The Rickshaw Scene From Seinfeld’s The Bookstore Was So Difficult To Film



In Season 9, Episode 17 (“The Bookstore”), Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) and Newman (Wayne Knight) come up with a plan to launch a rickshaw business to cart people around. They recruit homeless people to try out to pull the two-wheeled vehicle. One of them steals the rickshaw, and the two eventually get it back. On their way home, they determine Kramer should pull Newman. But things don’t go as planned, and Newman comically rolls down the street, hitting a recovering drug addict. While the scene was quite funny, pulling it off was no laughing matter.

In the special features of the Season 2 DVD (via YouTube), director of photography Wayne Kennan talked about that final moment with the rickshaw. “I think the biggest challenge was just figuring out how to get this rickshaw to move down the street and not have somebody get killed by it.” To ensure they stayed in control, Kennan said, “We had a truck pull the rickshaw down the street with Newman in the back of it, of course, and then in post erase the truck.” The plan was executed magnificently, and the whole thing turned out to be a hit with fans. The side-splitting scene posted on the “Senifeld” YouTube page received comments from users. Jonathon Salazar wrote, “That ending just sells this entire side story lol,” and kudos also went to the people behind the scenes, as user Brad Redford wrote, “Excellent camera work and editing at the end.”

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