Seinfeld – Doyle’s Space: SitCom Hall of Fame

You’re a nice guy, but I actually only have three friends. I can’t really handle any more.”

Seinfeld is an iconic American sitcom created by comedian Jerry Seinfeld and writer Larry David. It aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. The show is often called “a show about nothing” due to its unique and unconventional approach to storytelling. Seinfeld had a total of nine seasons and 180 episodes.

Instead of following a traditional plot, Seinfeld presents its characters’ everyday lives and humorous observations, with seemingly mundane situations becoming the basis for comedy. Seinfeld is often considered one of the most outstanding television series of all time. Its unique humor and memorable catchphrases have left an indelible mark on popular culture. The show’s impact can be seen in the success of its creators and cast members and the enduring popularity of its reruns.

Larry David is a highly influential comedian, writer, and actor known for his contributions to the entertainment industry. David’s unique comedic style and talent for observational humor played a pivotal role in shaping the show’s iconic humor. After “Seinfeld,” he went on to create and star in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” in which he plays a fictionalized version of himself.

This show, too, has received widespread acclaim for its sharp wit and Larry David’s masterful improvisation. David’s influence on comedy, both as a writer and performer, has left an indelible mark on the industry.

Main Cast
  • Jerry Seinfeld (played by Jerry Seinfeld) – The titular character, a stand-up comedian who often serves as the voice of reason in the group. He’s known for his dry wit and sarcastic humor. Post-Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld continued to perform stand-up comedy and remained active in the entertainment industry. He created and starred in the popular web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” where he interviews fellow comedians while driving in classic cars. Seinfeld also wrote books, including “Seinlanguage”.
  • George Costanza (played by Jason Alexander) – Jerry’s best friend, who is neurotic, dishonest, and constantly struggling in his personal and professional life. Jason Alexander had a prolific post-Seinfeld career in acting. He appeared in numerous films and television shows. He performed in various Broadway productions and received critical acclaim for his role in the musical “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” which won him a Tony Award. Alexander also lent his voice to several animated projects, including the character of Duckman in the animated series “Duckman.”
  • Elaine Benes (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) – Jerry’s ex-girlfriend and close friend. She’s independent, witty, and often finds herself in awkward situations. Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a highly successful post-Seinfeld career. She starred in the hit comedy series “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and later in “Veep,” which earned her multiple Emmy Awards. She also appeared in notable films like “Enough Said” and lent her voice to various animated projects. Louis-Dreyfus remained active in comedy and acting, cementing her status as one of the most accomplished actresses in television.
  • Cosmo “Kramer” (played by Michael Richards) – Jerry’s eccentric neighbor, known for his wild hair, physical comedy, and bizarre schemes. After Seinfeld, Michael Richards had a relatively low profile in the entertainment industry. He made guest appearances on various television shows and lent his voice to animated characters. He also returned to stand-up comedy, although he faced controversy due to a racially insensitive incident during a performance in 2006.

There are lots of memorable episodes including The Contest (Season 4, Episode 11) – The gang competes to see who can abstain from self-pleasure the longest; The Soup Nazi (Season 7, Episode 6) – The gang encounters a strict soup vendor who has a cult-like following; The Puffy Shirt (Season 5, Episode 2) – Jerry agrees to wear an absurd shirt on a television appearance, leading to disastrous consequences;

The Marine Biologist (Season 5, Episode 14) – George pretends to be a marine biologist, resulting in a memorable beach encounter; The Yada Yada (Season 8, Episode 19) – Jerry’s new girlfriend uses “yada yada” to skip over details, leading to misunderstandings;

The Serenity Now (Season 9, Episode 3) – George’s father introduces him to the concept of “Serenity Now,” with hilarious results; The Parking Garage (Season 3, Episode 6) – The gang gets lost in a parking garage while searching for their car; The Chinese Restaurant (Season 2, Episode 11) – The entire episode takes place in a Chinese restaurant while the gang waits for a table.

Recurring Characters
  • Newman (played by Wayne Knight) – Jerry’s arch-nemesis and neighbor, who works as a postal worker.
  • Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) – George’s father, known for his explosive temper and eccentric behavior.
  • Estelle Costanza (played by Estelle Harris) – George’s overbearing and neurotic mother.
  • Jackie Chiles (played by Phil Morris) – A flamboyant lawyer who frequently represents the main characters in various legal matters.
  • Susan Ross (played by Heidi Swedberg) – Susan is George Costanza’s on-and-off girlfriend throughout the series. Her character plays a significant role in several storylines, including her ill-fated engagement to George.
  • David Puddy (played by Patrick Warburton) – Puddy is Elaine’s on-again, off-again boyfriend who is a mechanic with a quirky personality. His character is known for his catchphrase “Yeah, that’s right.”
  • Morty Seinfeld (played by Barney Martin) – Morty is Jerry Seinfeld’s father, known for his unique way of speaking and his involvement in various humorous business ventures.
  • Helen Seinfeld (played by Liz Sheridan) – Helen is Jerry Seinfeld’s mother. She’s often seen meddling in her son’s life and is known for her distinctive voice.
  • Sue Ellen Mischke (played by Brenda Strong) – Sue Ellen is an heiress and Elaine’s rival who frequently appears in the series, often wearing provocative clothing and causing tension between characters.
  • J. Peterman (played by John O’Hurley) – J. Peterman is Elaine’s eccentric boss at the J. Peterman catalog company. His character is known for his dramatic storytelling and unusual adventures.
  • Uncle Leo (played by Len Lesser) – Uncle Leo is Jerry’s uncle, known for his enthusiastic greeting, “Jerry, hello!” and his tendency to get into comical situations.
  • Jack Klompus (played by Sandy Baron) – Jack is Morty Seinfeld’s neighbor and friend who often gets involved in disputes with the Seinfeld family, leading to humorous confrontations.
  • Poppie (played by Reni Santoni) – Poppie is a hot-tempered restaurateur who becomes a recurring character and is known for his culinary mishaps.
  • Sister Roberta (played by Diana Bellamy) – Sister Roberta is a nun who is a friend of Elaine’s and plays a memorable role in the series.

The original concept for Seinfeld wasn’t for an ongoing series, but a one-off, 90-minute special titled “Stand Up” that was set to run for one night only in Saturday Night Live’s time slot.

That slap bass and those mouth pops and sighs may have sounded like they were all cut from the same track, but composer Jonathan Wolff[1] made each one individually, basing them around Seinfeld’s opening monologue for the week. In “The Betrayal”, part of which takes place in India, the theme is heard played on a sitar.

The diner used for the exterior shot of the eatery the Seinfeld gang frequents is famous. Known as Monk’s on the show, the restaurant seen in the shot is actually a diner called Tom’s Restaurant that is located on Broadway and West 112th Street in New York City.

Before Seinfeld, it gained fame as the basis of the 1981 Suzanne Vega song, “Tom’s Diner.” The series debuted on July 5, 1989, on NBC, as The Seinfeld Chronicles. The pilot episode was met with poor reviews, and as a result, NBC passed on the show. However, NBC executive Rick Ludwin believed the series had potential and therefore gave Seinfeld a budget to create four more episodes, which formed the rest of season 1 and began airing on May 31, 1990.

Many terms were coined, popularized, or re-popularized in the series’ run and have become part of popular culture, including “Yada, yada, yada”, “No soup for you!”, “Master of my domain”, and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

A Few of the Actors Who Made an Appearance on the Show
  • Bryan Cranston – He played Tim Whatley, Jerry’s dentist, in several episodes.
  • Teri Hatcher – Teri Hatcher appeared as Sidra Holland, Jerry’s girlfriend, in the famous “They’re real, and they’re spectacular” episode.
  • Courteney Cox – She played Meryl, Jerry’s girlfriend, in the episode titled “The Wife.”
  • Judge Reinhold – He played Aaron, the close talker, in the episode “The Raincoats”.
  • Jon Voight – Jon Voight appeared as himself in a memorable episode where he is Elaine’s boyfriend.
  • Lauren Graham – She played Jerry’s girlfriend in “The Millennium” episode.
  • Debra Messing – Debra Messing made a guest appearance as Beth Lukner in the episode titled “The Wait Out.”
  • Megan Mullally – She played Betsy in “The Implant” episode.
  • Mariska Hargitay – Mariska Hargitay appeared as Melissa in the episode “The Conversion.”
  • Jeremy Piven – Jeremy Piven played Michael Barth in “The Pilot” episode.
  • Jane Leeves – Jane Leeves, best known for her role on “Frasier,” appeared as Marla the Virgin in “The Virgin” episode.
  • Denise Richards – Denise Richards made a guest appearance as a girl who takes an interest in George’s hair in “The Gum” episode.
  • Anna Gunn – She appeared as Amy in “The Glasses” episode.
  • Fred Savage – Fred Savage played a character named Mark in “The Fire” episode.
  • Catherine Keener – Catherine Keener appeared as Nina, Elaine’s roommate, in “The Letter” episode.
  • Marlee Matlin – Marlee Matlin played Laura in “The Lip Reader” episode.
  • Keith Hernandez – Former baseball player Keith Hernandez played himself in a multi-episode arc.

  1. Jonathan Wolff is a talented American composer best known for his iconic theme music compositions for popular television shows. He gained widespread recognition for creating the distinctive slap-bass theme music for the hit sitcom “Seinfeld,” which became synonymous with the show’s humor and charm. Wolff’s ability to capture the essence of a show’s tone through music contributed significantly to the success of “Seinfeld.” In addition to his work on “Seinfeld,” Wolff has composed music for numerous other television programs, like “Will & Grace”, “The Hughleys”, “Married… with Children”, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”, and “Caroline in the City”, demonstrating his versatility and talent in the world of television scoring. [Back]

Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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