There are plenty of things to love about Christmas — the gifts, the quality family time, the excuse to eat candy canes for breakfast and drink peppermint mocha hot chocolate until Starbucks runs out — but there’s also a few things to dislike, include the sense of commercialism that saturates the holiday. That’s why Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe created the idea of Festivus, a holiday “for the rest of us,” that boycotts traditional Christmas traditions in favor of other, non-commercial ones. Borrowing elements of his own family traditions, O’Keefe invented the holiday for the 1997 episode The Strike, during which George explains his father’s quirky Festivus traditions: setting up an unadorned pole instead of a tree, airing your grievances during a “Festivus” dinner, and showing off your “feats of strength” over some light, post-dinner conversation.
“The Strike” went down as one of the funniest episodes in Seinfeld history, sparking a worldwide “Festivus” phenomena that occurs every year on December 23rd and giving thousands a people a new word to slip into their holiday vocabulary. In fact, it’s almost impossible to watch the Festivus dinner scene without breaking out into giggles halfway through.
Apparently, we’re not the only ones. According to writer Alec Berg via Uproxx, Julia Louis-Dreyfus struggled to get through this scene without laughing. The word struggled is not an understatement: the Seinfeld actress and Veep star attempted to get through the scene almost 30 times. Berg tells Uproxx how “She would start to laugh and part of me was like, ‘Ugh, dammit, we gotta get this done so we can go home and get a few hours of sleep before we have to come back tomorrow morning and start all over again.’ But her laugh is so infectious and so enjoyable that everybody else would just start laughing, and I can’t even remember what the line was.”
One scene in particular, where Colin “the long-haired guy” starts hitting on Elaine, was particularly difficult, sending Dreyfus into embarrassed giggling fits almost every time. But then, when a stranger comes up and whispers “You’re a fox” into your ear over and over and over again, can you really blame her?
Featured image via NBC.