Festivus for the Rest of Us! The Hidden Gems and Interesting Facts About the Sitcom Seinfeld

Who could forget the classic sitcom Seinfeld? The iconic show was an absolute must if you were an avid television watcher in the ’90s. Jerry Seinfeld, who is a comedian, played a comedian in the sitcom, where he was surrounded by a lot of off-the-wall and eccentric individuals who have become cult icons. Undoubtedly, you’ve heard phrases like, “No soup for you!” and “Yada, yada, yada,” which are legendary references to the show. You may not know about the origins of the popular sitcom and the “easter eggs” that occurred throughout its lengthy run. Take a look at some of these hidden gems and other things that you may not know about Seinfeld.

Jerry Seinfeld Then

Jerry Seinfeld played the titular character in the classic 1990s sitcom Seinfeld; he created and wrote the show with writer and comic Larry David. Jerry has grown to become regarded as one of the best comic of all time. Jerry got his start in comedy relatively early and by 1981 and had his first big break with an appearance on Johnny Carson.

Along with a very well-known writer and comedian, Jerry created Seinfeld in the late ‘80s and has since become a household name. Apparently, Jerry got the comic gene from his father Kalman Seinfeld who was said to have collected jokes while serving in WWII. In this photo, you see a young Jerry (right) alongside Judd Apatow who is now a comedic giant in his own right.

Jerry Seinfeld Did Not Want to Be a Pirate

“The Puffy Shirt” episode was the second episode that occurred in the fifth season of Seinfeld. The idea of the shirt came from producer Larry David. This was yet another simple yet hilarious idea from the mind of Larry David that got over with the viewers. There were several memorable lines from this particular episode. One such line came from Seinfeld himself, saying (referring to the shirt) “But I don’t want to be a pirate!”

The puffy shirt eventually made its way to the Smithsonian American History Museum. The shirt was a part of a collection and went on display in 2012. Per a commenter named Julian on the Smithsonian site, “The Puffy Shirt was originally made by a downtown LA clothing company called H2O. It was a copy of Prince’s shirt from Purple Rain, the movie. The shirts were made exclusively for a Hollywood Blvd. clothing store named Antenna. I sold the shirt to the show stylist for the episode.”

Jerry Seinfeld and the Number Nine

All too often people develop an attachment to various things or objects. Some people have even gone as far as documenting their attachment with tattoos, a trinket, or fixation that either motivates them or signals them to a particular direction in life. Jerry Seinfeld is one of these people. You may or may not know that Jerry has a connection with the number nine.

Jerry Seinfeld divulged his love for the number 9 in an interview that he had with Vanity Fair magazine in 1998. He exclaimed that “Nine is cool. By the end, we will have done 180 shows (1+8=9).” What is the whole purpose behind the nine? The number 9 in numerology is a number of completion and thus the last show ended up being show number 180.

What Was Jerry Seinfeld’s Favorite Episode of Seinfeld?

Any Seinfeld fan you talk to will be able to tell you about their favorite episode. With an iconic work like Seinfeld, even the show’s namesake had his own favorite episode. Jerry Seinfeld has said that his favorite episode is “The Marine Biologist.”

In this episode, George Costanza pretended to be a marine biologist in order to impress a woman he had a crush on in college. He pulls a golf ball from the blow hole of a whale to save the whale’s life. As George tells this story to his friends, Kramer exclaims that the ball was a “hole in one.” Hilarious!

What Was Jerry Seinfeld’s Least Favorite Episode of Seinfeld?

While most die-hard Seinfeld fans have a favorite episode, they also have one they do not particularly care about. If you count yourself a fan, surely there has been an episode or two where you fell asleep because you couldn’t relate to the situation, or what the characters were talking about.

Even Jerry Seinfeld has his own episode that he did not particularly care about. Can anyone guess what episode that was? Jerry Seinfeld’s least favorite episode was “The Alternate Side.” In this episode, Jerry gets his car stolen and Kramer gets the opportunity to appear in a Woody Allen movie. Kramer is remembered for a line from this episode, in which he says, “These pretzels are making me thirsty!”

Jerry Seinfeld Now

Jerry has continued to work in comedy after Seinfeld; he started his own web series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and does voiceover work for animation. One such animated film was Bee Movie, in which Jerry voiced the lead character. He also was a producer and writer on the film.

In 2014, Jerry appeared on a radio show and said that some kind of Seinfeld project was in the works which would include characters from the original series. Although, nothing has come to fruition thus far. It was also recently announced that Jerry, as many other comedians in this day and age, signed a deal with Netflix to do a comedy special as well as a scripted sitcom. Perhaps this will be the Seinfeld project? Fingers crossed!

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Then

The character Elaine Benes was played by actress and comedienne extraordinaire Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Elaine is the best friend and apparent ex-girlfriend of Jerry. Elaine is also kind of neurotic and also constantly dating a string of different men.

She won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and five SAG awards for the role. Julia got her start as part of the comedy troupe Second City. Other famous members include Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey to name a few. Later, she was a Saturday Night Live alum before her role as Elaine, and it seems like she has only gotten funnier over the years!

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Now

She went on to have her own show called The New Adventures of the Old Christine for four years, before her role in the HBO sitcom Veep since 2012. Veep is a hilarious show where Julia plays a Vice President turned President of the United States.

In 2017, Julia made headlines after she used her win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards to renounce Donald Trump’s attempted executive order which he deemed a “Muslim ban” that took aim at specific countries and refugees fleeing war. She cited her father saying, “My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France.” She also referred to the ban as “un-American”. The ban has since been struck down by the judiciary, twice.

Jason Alexander Then

Jason Alexander is probably best known for his role as Seinfeld’s resident neurotic, George Costanza. Early in his tenure as George, he also made an appearance in the iconic film Pretty Woman alongside Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Even before that he won a Tony award on Broadway for a role in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Before acting, he was apparently an avid magician.

Jason studied for a time at Boston University but left before completing his degree. He wanted to pursue classical acting but was discouraged by a professor because of his appearance. The professor apparently remarked, “I know your heart and soul are Hamlet, but you will never play Hamlet.” The same professor did, however, have some good advice for Jason, pushing him towards comedy. Jason recalled while teaching an acting Master Class at Boston University’s CFA that the professor told him, “‘Learn to do comedy and love it.’ He was right.”

A Conversation about Buttons

Seinfeld has always been described as a show about nothing. Specifically, it was able to encompass the monotony of everyday life and make hit hilarious. If you give Seinfeld another watch, you should focus about the sheer hilarity of the common conversations had between the characters.

It’s easy to just focus on the punchlines and not the tiny comic minutia occurring, but sometimes that’s where the most hilarious bits lie, especially in the conversations between George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld. One hilarious bit that was ongoing between George and Jerry, particularly in season 9, was about an everyday item: buttons. George and Jerry had a recurring conversation about shirt buttons. As silly as this sounds, bits like this are what made the show a classic.

Where Did George Costanza Actually Come From?

Creatively, it is super common for people to be inspired by others they encounter throughout life. This is especially true in the acting world; for instance, the inspiration for the Sweathogs from the ’70s sitcom Welcome Back Kotter came from Gabe Kaplan’s experience with students in a remedial class with whom he attended school.

In Seinfeld, the late Jim Varney’s character, Ernest P. Worrell, was a combination of people whom he had encountered throughout his life. The rest of the cast is no different when it came to drawing inspiration from people who actually exist in real life. George Costanza is based on someone Jerry Seinfeld knows named Michael Costanza. Michael Costanza even sued Seinfeld producer Larry David for $100 million and went on to write a book called The Real Seinfeld (As Told by The Real Costanza).

Jason Alexander Now

Since Seinfeld Jason has continued to act and has gone back to his first love of theater. He has appeared in various productions of The Producers, Sweeney Todd, and A Christmas Carol. He has also continued to appear on television in a variety of roles and even directed an episode of CSI.

Jason is also an avid poker player and has played in multiple tournaments even appearing on Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown where he won the tournament and the money went to his charity of choice. Recently, he has been doing a lot of voiceover work and his most recent performance is the part of Noah Brooks in a documentary about the Gettysburg Address.

Michael Richards Then

Michael Richards is the actor who played the role of super eccentric neighbor Kramer. Kramer was always barging in or getting involved in some kind of crazy situation. He played the role so well that he even received several best-supporting actor Emmys for the bit.

Actually, Michael won the most awards out of the entire cast! Like most of the rest of the cast, Michael was a comedian before going into acting. Before Seinfeld, he had an array of other bit parts in well-known sitcoms like Cheers and Miami Vice. He also appeared in a string of very popular 1990s movies including Airheads, So I Married an Ax Murderer, and Coneheads.

Kramer Could Have Been Called “Kessler”

When it comes to sitcoms, there certainly seems to be a pattern for pilot episodes. Many actors who appear in pilot shows end up disappearing from the canon of the sitcom. Most people are curious about pilot shows and how characters evolve into totally different characters.

Cosmo Kramer was originally called Kessler in the pilot episode of Seinfeld. Seinfeld producer Larry Davis had a neighbor named Kenny Kramer. This neighbor was hesitant to have his name used in the series. Kenny Kramer was paid $1,000 for the rights to have the Kramer name used in the sitcom. Kenny Kramer went on to use his fame to start a tour bus company called Kramer’s Reality Tour bus company.

Did Cosmo Go Retro or Not?

Has there ever been a character in the history of television more eccentric than Cosmo Kramer? From the hair to the clothing, everything about the character was odd. You noticed that Kramer did not have a sense of fashion. He kind of looked like a character out of a cartoon more than a sitcom character. Kramer’s wardrobe looked like it been taken out of the ’60s or ’70s.

The aim of him wearing these types of clothes was not to pay tribute to the eras but to show that Kramer never shopped for new clothing. Most of his pants were very short, and the wardrobe department had to keep extra clothing around for the character just in case of a wardrobe malfunction.

Michael Richards Now

After Seinfeld, Michael made an attempt to stay on television. He landed his own TV show, The Michael Richards Show, but it was canceled before the season was up. He later ended up returning to his comedy roots. Michael laid relatively low for years until 2006 when he made headline news nationwide. In 2006 Michael was appearing at the Laugh Factory comedy club and went on a racist rant where he said a very controversial epithet multiple times.

Someone shot a cell phone video of the entire event and it immediately went viral. He later publicly apologized and said that he was retiring from stand-up comedy. In 2009, his old friends gave him some help trying to rehab his image and he appeared on Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. The rest of the cast also appeared and he made fun of his entire embarrassing spectacle on the show.

Estelle Harris And Jerry Stiller Then

Estelle Harris and Jerry Stiller played the parents of George Costanza who were portrayed as extremely overbearing and nosy parents. Estelle didn’t get started acting in television and film until the 1980s. She had various roles in films like Stand and Deliver and Once Upon A Time In America. She also acted had roles in sitcoms like Married With Children and Night Court.

Jerry Stiller began acting as a young man and gained notoriety as a comedic duo with his wife Anne Meara in the ‘60s and ‘70s. They appeared on various programs together including the Ed Sullivan show and later had their own series called The Stiller and Meara Show.

“Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us”

One extremely memorable saying that sprung up from Seinfeld is “Happy Festivus!” However, for this particular saying, the idea didn’t come to be just for the sake of the show. It actually came about years before the sitcom was even thought of. It ended up in the show after a writer shared a real life family created holiday.

One of the staff writers on the show shared a story about their father who wanted to commemorate his first date with his wife. He decided to term it, “Happy Festivus,” and the rest his history. On the show, it is George’s father who created his own holiday. The Festivus term caught on with many people and Seinfeld fans around the world celebrate this fake holiday.

Estelle Harris And Jerry Stiller After The Show

George Costanza’s parents were very popular characters on the show, for their over-the-top nagging ways. Veteran actors Estelle and Jerry certainly played their roles to perfection and are one of the most memorable parts of the show. Jerry is the father of A-list actor Ben Stiller.

After Seinfeld, he continued acting in a variety of shows and films including his son’s movie Zoolander. He was married to actress Anne Meara until her death in 2015. Stiller passed away of natural causes on May 11, 2020. Estelle continued acting as well with notable roles as Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies and as Muriel on the kid’s show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Estelle is now 92 years old!

Larry David: One of the Brains Behind the Sitcom

Larry David is a comedian, actor, director, and producer who was one of the men responsible for the creation of the sitcom Seinfeld. Larry along with Jerry Seinfeld created this dark comedy masterpiece.

Larry was also the brains behind the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm and has a gift when it comes to comedy and it really shows in his works. Like many creative types in the world, Larry drew inspiration for their creations from real life events and even people in real life. There are all sorts of eccentric people who Larry David has met, and some of them ended up as characters on the show.

Looks Can Be Deceiving When It Comes to Norman Brenner

Norman Brenner is an actor who has appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld. Norman was primarily used as a stand-in on Seinfeld. You might be surprised to know that he served as Cosmo Kramer’s (Michael Richards’) double for the entirety of the show.

The actor pops up unexpectedly, which only adds to the uniqueness of his character and real-life persona. You could expect the unexpected when it came to the show and Norman was just one of the memorable “easter eggs” of the series. Norman Brenner’s appearance in Seinfeld has become somewhat of a cult sensation. He is basically the Where’s Waldo of the acting business and there are even websites dedicated to Norman.

When Seinfeld Quits, He Does Not Look Back

The old saying, “it’s not over until it’s over”, holds true for Jerry Seinfeld. The last episode of Seinfeld aired in 1998. Undoubtedly, doing the same thing for years and years on end could make anyone crazy after a while. In the case of Jerry, the monotony had to cease. Jerry felt like the ride was a good one while it lasted but it was time to move on.

When the final episode of the sitcom Seinfeld was filmed, he was certain that he did not want to go on to do another season of the show. NBC went so far as to offer Jerry Seinfeld $110 million to do a tenth season of the show. Money could not buy happiness in Jerry’s case and so he left the money on the table.

No Hugging And No Learning… Or Else!

In all of the goofiness that occurred on the set of Seinfeld, there had to be some order and stability that came about as well. Producer Larry David had a strict policy that included two things: no hugging and no learning. What in the world do you think Larry David means by “no hugging or no learning?”

The characters on the show had to be kept in line as to not have any type of emotional attachment with the audience. In other words, stick to the humor at hand! There was to be no hugging at the end of a show if something emotional did happen, and no lessons were to be learned at the end of any given show. If someone had a problem during the show, it would just fester without any remedy.

Sixteen Hello’s and That’s All Folks

With nearly anything and everything, there has to be an opposing force. For every good guy in a workplace, there has to be the bad guy. A comedy sitcom like Seinfeld was no exception. Newman, played by actor Wayne Knight, was the antagonist of Seinfeld’s character.

When you have an antagonizing neighbor, an actual human interaction with that person is near impossible. A simple hello may be hard to utter to that neighbor that you cannot stand. Wayne Knight absolutely played the role of the obnoxious neighbor to annoying perfection. If you really paid attention to the series, Jerry only said “hello” to Newman 16 times throughout the series. Instead, he typically greeted him with a disgruntled, “Newman“.

Brushing Your Teeth with Water from the Toilet?

Let’s take a jog down sitcom memory lane. Do you remember the Seinfeld episode known as “The Pothole?” Okay, let me refresh your memory about the truly horrifying plot point that occurred in this episode. Jerry’s girlfriend’s toothbrush falls into the toilet. Before he can inform her that the toothbrush fell into the toilet, his girlfriend in this episode uses the toothbrush. That is nasty, isn’t it?

The inspiration for “The Pothole” actually came from a real life event in which someone’s toothbrush falls into a toilet and is not informed about it. The idea came from one of the writers of the series who had that exact situation play out in his apartment.

Seinfeld Put a Spin on Screen Credits

There are two kinds of people in life: those who stay after the movie to read the credits and those who get up and leave. For those who wait to see the names of all who worked behind the scenes, people enjoying seeing who the creative minds and skilled professionals are who collaborated to put together a masterpiece for everyone’s viewing enjoyment.

Jerry Seinfeld broke the mold in a sense when it came to screen credits and how they were displayed. Jerry had the credits displayed during the start of each episode instead of the introduction of the show. Seinfeld was the first show to do this and afterward, other sitcoms followed suit with the same style of displaying screen credits.

The George and Woody Connection

Woody Allen is a famous playwright, actor, comedian, and musician. His work is considered iconic and has influenced many actors, comedians and other entertainers over the years. The sitcom Seinfeld had a connection to the Hollywood legend and it has to do with actor Jason Alexander, aka George Costanza.

When Jason received the script for the pilot and looked it over, he was immediately reminded him of a Woody Allen movie. Jason decided to do a Woody Allen impression on his audition tape. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were very impressed by Jason’s imitation of Woody Allen, and this is how he got his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld.

TV Land Honors Seinfeld for Its Last Episode

The popularity of Seinfeld spread far and wide to television viewers everywhere. TV Land decided to do something special when it came to the last episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, in order to honor the long-running series.

The last episode of Seinfeld aired on May 14, 1998. To go out with a bang, the folks at TV Land decided to take a break, literally. While the last episode of Seinfeld did not air on TV Land, the people at TV Land posted an image of a closed office door instead of the scheduled programming. The door had two notes on it which said, “We’re TV fans so…,” and another note saying, “We’re watching the last episode of Seinfeld. We will return at 10pm ET, 7pm PT.”

Did Jerry Seinfeld Ever Ride That Bicycle?

Have you ever wondered about the bicycle that appeared on some of the episodes of Seinfeld? You might remember a lime-green colored bicycle. If you’re a Seinfeld super fan you might have also noticed that the color of the bicycle was different in some of the episodes.

While you never saw Jerry ride the bicycle in the series, it was still there in the background of his apartment. However, did you notice that the model of the bicycle changed every so often throughout the entire run of the series? Many people believe the bicycle was thrown in just so that people could have something to talk about one day. There was never an explanation given about the bicycle although bike lovers across the Internet still speculate on it’s appearance.

No Soup for You!

If you were around back in the glorious era that was the 1990s, you might remember the so-called Soup Nazi. His outrageous attitude was the talk of water cooler conversations in work places everywhere. The Soup Nazi such a memorable character he has solidified a spot in the pop culture lexicon.

As with most of the Seinfeld characters, the “Soup Nazi” character was based on a real person named Ali Yeganeh, who was not happy about his likeness being portrayed for millions of people to see on television. Ali Yeganeh did several interviews expressing his dissatisfaction of the character and said he did not like the “clown” portrayal of him on television.