Seinfeld was one of the most popular TV shows in history at the time it ended, and the cast’s remuneration reflected that.

Jerry Seinfeld, the sitcom’s title character, earned an astounding $1 million per episode during the show’s ninth and final season.

Despite being promised exorbitant sums to return for a tenth trip, the actor and comedian turned down the offer, which has understandably bewildered many admirers.

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Seinfeld was also willing to accept a tiny compensation bump. A tenth season would have paid the actor $5 million every episode, five times more than the previous season alone.

Even more amazing, he would have earned 250 times more per episode than he did in the show’s first season.

However, Seinfeld believed the show needed to finish when it did because he was concerned it would get stale if it lasted past season nine.

“I could not go to that point where it starts to age and whither,” Seinfeld said Howard Stern in 2013.

“And it won’t take long. Too much cake, too much anything–it alters the overall mood.”

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Seinfeld noted that he has always known when it was time to cease doing something.

“I have a sense of time. “I have it in my jokes, my sets, and my career,” he said. “I knew when I was ready to tackle something bigger, like a sitcom. I just knew. And I knew it was our moment.”

While both of these arguments are genuine and acceptable, many onlookers remain perplexed by his refusal to accept such a large sum of money.

So, when questioned again about his decision in 2018, this time by the New York Times, Seinfeld went into greater detail.

“The most important word in art is ‘proportion,'” he went on to say. “How much?” How long will this joke be? How many words? How many minutes? “And getting that right is what separates art from mediocrity.”

While Seinfeld (the guy) will always be connected with Seinfeld (the program), he admits he purposefully avoids watching it when it airs.

“I think there’s a level of focus you need to get something to a certain point creatively,” the entertainer said.

“You pay a price for that, which is you can’t ever look at it again.”