Believe it or not the first episode of Seinfeld was 25 years ago – July 5th, 1989. I feel bad for kids these days who have only seen the show once or twice and don’t get the humor. Sure TV has evolved a lot since then, and we can’t imagine watching a show that isn’t in HD, and we don’t understand why the camera angles have to be so crappy. Sure we look back at Seinfeld now and wonder why tapered jeans were ever popular. But the show was still the funniest in television history. As hilarious as George, Kramer and Jerry were (Elaine was just there to make feminists happy, and I think she said like 3 funny things), it was the minor characters that made the show so great. Here’s the Top 20 Minor Characters from Seinfeld…..
20. The Maestro
His real name is Bob Cobb, but don’t you dare call him that. And don’t even think about renting a villa in Tuscany, because they’re all sold out. Everything’s booked. He also doesn’t like to wear pants in the office because they get wrinkled. Best idea ever.
19. Lieutenant Bookman.
Bookman is a simple man that just asked that you honor the library. His pet peeves include hippies burning library cards, Abby Hoffman telling people to steal books, flashy people, pee-pees drawn in books, and people without shoes in the New York Public Library. And people who keep overdue books for several years aren’t delinquents, they’re criminals.
18. Fat Hop Sings delivery guy.
Hop Sings is very specific about where it delivers to. If you pretend to live across the street, or you use an alias like “Ned Aisakoff” you will be caught and you WILL be blacklisted. Especially if you name name.
17. Lloyd Braun.
George’s arch-rival growing up and the son that the Costanza parents always wanted but never got. He kind of went a little crazy as the seasons went along. George and Jerry went to great lengths to fool Lloyd Braun with hilarious consequences. He wasn’t that funny himself, but he made the characters around him funnier.
16. Bob Sacamano.
Together with Lomez, Bob Sacamano is an integral part of the show without actually appearing in an episode. Sacamano is the brains behind Cosmo Kramer. Most of Kramer’s ideas originate in New Jersey, the home base for Sacamano. He has lived with Kramer for a year and half uninvited, worked at a condom factory, contracted rabies, and invented the ball with the rubber band and paddle. His father, Bob Sacamono Sr. sells bootlegged tip calculators called Willards that have ruined many a retiree at Del Boca Vista.
15. Jack Klompus.
Jack lives with Jerry’s parents in the retirement home at Del Boca Vista. He’s a simple man, but he does have a few pet peeves. If you are going to compliment his pen, that’s basically a slap in the face since he’s obligated to give it to you at that point. He also doesn’t like being blamed for crashing cars that crashed themselves into a swamp while he was in the driver’s seat.
14. Kenny Bania.
Kenny is Jerry’s rival/hack comedian adversary and acquaintance. He thinks ovaltine or anything that dissolves in milk is generally funny. He was the mentor to one of Jerry’s girlfriends, causing them to break up. His favorite places to eat are at Mendy’s and/or the Soup Nazi when it was still open. He is also rumored to have survived as a comedian based solely on the fact that he performed after the funniest comedians and believes that soup does NOT constitute a meal. He personally loves jokes that you don’t have to think about and believes they are “Gold Jerry, Gold.”
Newman lives down the hall from Jerry and is in the precarious position of being best friends with Kramer and mortal enemies with Jerry at the same time. Newman is a lot like my boy Larry – a man of routine. He’s a postman, but he DOES NOT work in the rain. He has slept with a model he wished for, his landlord’s wife, and Kramer’s mom, and also tried eating a butter, parmesan and oregano covered Kramer. Despite his hefty waste line, he is quite nimble and can climb trees like a ring-tailed lemur. None of this was able to save his failed homeless rick-shaw business though.
12. Uncle Leo.
Jerry’s Uncle Leo lives by one very strict rule: always say hello no matter the circumstances. He’s old and confused which often causes him to steal books. Uncle Leo is simply not to be trusted though. He has a tendency to steal wallets with hundreds of dollars out of the trash as well as not telling his brothers about money he was supposed to split with them from horse betting revenue.
11. Soup Nazi.
This angry Iraqi made the best soup in New York until he was run out of business by a vindictive Elaine. When you make the best soup and pour your heart into it you simply can’t accept anything less than that from your customers. No sane man would choose a woman over his soup. Don’t follow his procedures? No soup for you!! The only one who truly understands him is Kramer, and he has drawn comparisons to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
10. Elaine’s Dad.
He’s one of the more underrated characters on the show since he only makes a brief appearance once, but it was a memorable one. He doesn’t like funny guys, since the last funny guy he knew was a tail gunner in the Korean War and had his brains blown out all over the Pacific Ocean. He’s also a big fan of Les Miserables and has been known to sing it in the car. Whatever you do, you cannot appear in public with him wearing a candy-striped suit.
9. J. Peterman.
No one has a larger archive collection of Ziggy comic strips than Elaine’s unpredictable boss. He can be very tolerant, but has one major pet peeve: people who don’t like the English Patient. He is a collector of ancient cakes and occasionally takes trips to Burma, which you may better know as Myanmar, but it will always be Burma to him.
8. Rebecca DeMornay.
Rebecca DeMornay prefers to be called Rebecca DeMornay. She is a social worker that works at the homeless shelter and has two major pet peeves: muffins that are missing the muffin tops and books that have been in the bathroom. She gets very agitated when the homeless complain about having to eat the muffin stumps.
7. Mr. Kruger
George’s boss at Kruger industrial smoothing is pretty much the greatest boss you could ever have. He’s laid back, and his general policy is “Whatever”, even when his company accidentally smoothed off the head of the Statue of Liberty or loses the “R” in it’s name on the building. He’s been known to donate lots of money to the Human Fund and eat cake when the company is facing bankruptcy. He appreciates funny people, especially when they leave on a high note but detests and terminates boring people. Under no circumstances would he ever allow two Koko’s to work under him at the same time.
6. Mr. Steinbrenner
Although we never see his face, Mr. Steinbrenner (voiced by Larry David) pretty much is the exact same person as the real George Steinbrenner. He doesn’t mind being scolded about trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, gets addicted to calzones from Pizzano’s, and likes to threaten to move the Yankees to New Jersey just to upset people. His dislikes include people who pilfer equipment from the Yankees, sandwiches that don’t have the fancy mustard, and Billy Martin.
5. Morty and Helen Seinfeld.
Jerry’s parents are more laid back compared to Elaine’s and George’s. Morty was the former President of the retirement community at Del Boca Vista, sold raincoats for 38 years, invented the beltless trenchcoat and is the on-again off-again holder of the World’s #1 Dad ranking. He knows a Chinaman on 138th street that can get him good deals on materials and knows that dim lighting and cheap fabric is the only way to move merchandise. His pet peeves include showers with low flow, people who steal his wallet, velcro (because of the tearing sound), Jack Klompus, having Jerry pay for meals, and the idea of Frank Costanza moving to Del Boca Vista. His wife Helen is more laid back, can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t like Jerry, and enjoys listening in on her husband’s phone conversations with Jerry. Her pet peeves include Amber (Jerry’s ex-gf from Vegas), Newman and the Costanza’s.
4. Frank and Estelle Costanza
George’s parents are an eccentric duo from Queens. Frank is a great cook when he overcomes his fear of poisoning people. His hobbies include collecting TV guides, starting anti-Christmas holidays that allow you air your grievances to those who have disappointed you, saying “Serenity Now” to calm down, wearing “Bro’s” (or manzeres) to give himself more support, and stopping short in the car (in order to grab boobs). His pet peeves include being forced to take his shoes off (because of his foot odor), tinsel (which he finds distracting), owners who trade Jay Buhner, his wife’s “jimmy-arms” in bed, bums sleeping and urinating in cars, and the Seinfeld’s moving to Florida to try to get away from him. He doesn’t really seem to like his son and bought him dolls when he was younger while favoring Lloyd Braun most of George’s life. Estelle is almost always unhappy unless she is flirting with Kramer. She especially can’t stand when George treats his body like an amusement park by masturbating to Glamour magazine in their living room, or taking advice from girls from Long Island that she assumes are Chinese.
3. Izzy Mandlebaum
Izzy may be 80 year’s old but he can still out-lift anyone. He is a personal trainer that uses age-old techniques, including tying his clients to cars and dragging them. His general philosophy is that if you live in a Butcher shop he’ll treat you like a piece of meat. He can’t stand false claims to the World’s #1 Dad, people who think they are better than him, and people who think they can outlift him. He does however enjoy doing “Mandelbaum” chants with his elderly son and father.
2. Jackie Chiles
Jackie Chiles is a fast-talking lawyer with a large vocabulary. He has no tolerance for clients who listen to medical advice from the Maestro, take courtroom advice from their caddies, reach settlements with big Tobacco without consenting him, and prematurely accept lifetime supplies of coffee instead of cash settlements. He hates women who flaunt societal conventions by walking down the street wearing only bras, and laws that make you help people. He has suffered many public humiliations because of Cosmo Kramer and has a restraining order against him and loves O Henry candy bars.
1. David Puddy
Puddy is Elaine’s on-again off-again boyfriend, who is also Jerry’s mechanic. He enjoys Arby’s, painting his body for New Jersey Devil’s games and scaring priests, answering your questions when he’s wearing the 8-ball jacket, staring at the seat in front of him during international flights, giving high fives, and using Jerry’s sexual techniques (the move) with Elaine. His pet peeves include bossy girlfriends, being told he’s going to hell, having his Jesus fish stolen, being called a “grease monkey”, wearing coats that make him look like a dandy, and germs.
Am I forgetting anyone? Who are your favorite minor Seinfeld characters? Feel free to leave a comment to keep the conversation going.