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Jerry Stiller forced King of Queens to reboot before it even started

The King of Queens might have been nine seasons long, but it was subject to a reboot very early on on account of one the sitcom's eventual stars, Jerry Stiller.


The King of Queens ended up getting a reboot pretty early on its production process — and it’s all Jerry Stiller’s fault. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the sitcom, which ran for nine seasons between 1998 and 2007, centred on working-class couple Doug (Kevin James) and Carrie (Leah Remini), whose lives are turned upside down after Carrie’s father (Jerry Stiller) moved in with them.

David Bickel acted as an executive producer on The King of Queens throughout the show’s run, and in 2006, sat down for an interview about the ‘90s TV show, with The Futon Critic. It is during this interview that he shared countless secrets and little-known facts about the comedy series, which may well make us view what critics consider to be one of the best TV series of all time in an entirely different light. Namely, he revealed how the show ended up rebooting at an early stage because of a certain lead actor…

Describing how he got involved with the show, Bickel recalled, “I got the tape of the pilot and it really came alive for me. I don’t know if you knew this, but the pilot was a hybrid pilot because they initially shot the show with Jack Carter in the Jerry Stiller part.”

He continued, “So what they did was when they decided to do it with Jerry, they reshot just the first few scenes with him. So I’d be watching the show [with Jerry onscreen] and it was like, ‘Oh, this is great’ and all of a sudden Jack Carter would appear and it was like, ‘Ahhhh! What’s happening here?'”

“But it was great. The pilot was so well executed. Years later, I was in Costco and who’s there, buying batteries, yelling at his wife, but Jack Carter. And I’m thinking, our lives would have really would have been so different – both of ours – by this one event.”

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Clearly, the casting of Jerry Stiller in The King of Queens was something of a canon event for Bickel — but don’t tell Miguel O’Hara that. These days, Bickel is better known for being a writer and co-executive producer on The Big Bang Theory spin-off, Young Sheldon.

Now go see our guide to the best comedy movies of all time and the upcoming Deadpool 3.