Jerry Stiller, who most famously played Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, has died. He was 92. Along with his role as George Costanza's dad, he also appeared on screen in Zoolander, both Hairspray films, and The King of Queens. From Variety:
Though known as a comedian, Stiller was also a serious dramatic actor with a long history on Broadway.
Long before Stiller became known for his appearances on “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens,” Stiller and Meara, were a top comedy act in the 1960s, appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” some 36 times. The pair were also members of the improv group the Compass Players, which later became Second City....
Stiller was born on June 8, 1927 in New York City. He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in speech and drama, and he also studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village.
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At r/Seinfeld, MrJonLott writes:
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At the Raynham flea market 2 years ago I found a DVD with 80 minutes of previously unseen Seinfeld bloopers. These are different from the official DVD bloopers, which are already on YouTube. This DVD was in a bootleg case with a bootleg design, and a simple unvarnished disc inside. I ripped the footage from the DVD and uploaded it raw to YouTube. Forgive the video quality; the DVD has low-grade video.
The DVD was produced in 2000, which makes me think it's a bootleg of a blooper DVD made for the cast and crew of Seinfeld in 1998 or 1999, to be shared in the days before internet. There is nothing else on the disc.
The clip above is from Stay Tooned!, a 1996 computer game developed by Funnybone Interactive. From Wikipedia:
The player takes the place of an ordinary patron living in an apartment. The player starts off simply channel-surfing with a TV remote and watching short cartoons and commercials that parody real-life shows (such as Seinfeld, which is parodied as Whinefeld). One channel even has the game's chief programmer providing hints on how to play the upcoming game. Several cartoon characters either forbid or encourage the player to push the red button on their remote as the player surfs the channels. When the player pushes the button, the cartoons break out of the television set, steal the remote, and cause the entire apartment complex to go into animated form. The player must recover the television remote, which is the only thing that can zap the escaped toons and send them back to TV Land, the fictional toon world found within the depths of the television.
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Here's something that might make you feel old: The first episode of Seinfeld ran July 5, 1989. Thirty years ago! To celebrate this 30th-anniversary milestone, designer Brent Waller has recreated Jerry's now-iconic Manhattan apartment in LEGO, along with minifigs of Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, George, and Newman. The set is only a concept right now -- not that there's anything wrong with that!. But, if it gets enough votes in the LEGO Ideas contest, it will become an actual product you can buy in stores. Vote now.
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There's a Seinfeld-themed hardcore metal band from New York City (of course) called Grindfeld.
Born out of a mutual love of Death Metal, comical observations, coffee and Hardcore, Grindfeld is a project built on the existential dread hidden just under the surface of daily life.
Yes, they're real and they've got "5 Songs About Nothing." The first is a loud little ditty called "The Contest":
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=3551058588 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]
The other four songs -- The Soup Nazi, The Limousine, The Bizarro Jerry, and The Letter -- are available from their $5 digital album. They also have merch.
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In 2017, Great Big Story talked to the creator of the Seinfeld theme, composer Jonathan Wolff (whose URL is amusingly https://seinfeldmusicguy.com), to tell the story behind the iconic song.
He says, "I have no idea how many themes we did for Seinfeld."
Every single episode had a new version of the music that Wolff improvised based on the rhythm of Jerry's opening monologue.
Here's an older interview with the now-retired musician:
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On November 18, 1992, the Seinfeld episode "The Contest" aired for the first time. That was the one about who could control their masturbatory urges to become "master of their domain," yada yada. New York/The Vulture have an oral history of this classic bit of television history:
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Larry David, writer of “The Contest”: I can’t believe I have to discuss this at my ripe age. I would say there was only one other person involved [in the actual contest]. Should I mention his name? I don’t even know — my friend Frank Piazza. I don’t remember what the bet was. There must have been some money involved. I think it was a small amount. [The contest lasted] two days. Maybe three. I just remember it didn’t last very long. I was surprised at how quickly it ended. I won handily, yes.
Kenny Kramer, friend of Larry David, a.k.a. the real Kramer: I wasn’t in [the contest] because I knew I would never win it.
David: By the way, [the idea] was in my notebook for some time and I never even mentioned it to Jerry [Seinfeld] because I didn’t think there was any way that he would want to do it, and I didn’t think there was any way the show actually could get done on the network. So it took me a couple years, you know, to even mention it to Jerry because it didn’t even occur to me that it was a possibility. But he was all for it.
People are having fun writing Seinfeld scenes for this incident that took place recently at some star-studded event. Read the rest
"After over 100 hours of work, I present to you Seinfeld.wad," writes Doug Keener. "A replica of Jerry Seinfeld's Apartment from his hit sitcom, Seinfeld!"
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Join Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine in this neat Doom/Seinfeld crossover! There are many custom textures and sprites to bring you the full experience of being inside Jerry's Apartment, inside Doom 2! Each sprite has audio clips and death animations! Have fun slaughtering the gang relentlessly in this wad about nothing! ...
Special Thanks to GIMP 2.0, GZDoomBuilder, Slade3, applekwisp, Seinfeld cast and crew, and the lovely people over at ZDoom forums and wiki.
Vintage interview with Jonathan Wolff, composer of the iconic Seinfeld theme (and music for Caroline in the City, Full House, Saved by the Bell, and many other shows).
"I started with (Seinfeld's) voice... and took a meter from his delivery, and made that the tempo of the Seinfeld Theme," Wolff says.
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Jerry Seinfeld does 5 minutes of hilarious stand-up last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This guy needs a TV show!
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Game developer Jacob Janerka made this sprite of George Costanza for a Seinfeld adventure game (about nothing?) that he hopes to someday complete. Janerka posted the GIF to Reddit and answered some questions in the comments: "In my spare time I'm making a fan made Seinfeld adventure game, I started off by making George." Read the rest
Jerry Seinfeld usually brings along a fellow comedian for a ride with him in a vintage car to a coffee shop, but this time he mixed things up a bit by inviting the President to accompany him. Unfortunately, the Secret Service wouldn't let Seinfeld and Obama drive past the White House gate, so they ended up having coffee in the White House basement, which looks like a set for a 1970s sitcom about an aluminum siding telemarketing boilerhose. There, they had a fun conversation while drinking low-quality coffee made in a Mr. Coffee machine. I'm glad they aren't wasting money on Keurig pods, at least.
From Crackle: Read the rest
Six minutes, 172 episodes. Read the rest
Claire L. Evans examines the classic Seinfeld episode "The Parking Garage" as a "specifically Ballardian nightmare: the pornography of infinity, somehow contained within a New Jersey mall."
Like the Unidentified Space Station (in this JG Ballard short story), which conceals, from the outside, its magnificent vastness, The Parking Garage becomes its own world, a replacement—literally, since they broke the apartment set down to build the mirror-garage—for the comfortable parameters of Jerry Seinfeld’s ordinary world. It seems to have its own mores; Elaine, desperately seeking a stranger to drive them around the lot and help find the car, only comes into contact with indifference and aggression. No one will help, because on some level no one here is real.
"The Parking Garage" (Thanks, Chris Arkenberg!) Read the rest
Sportscaster Adam Lefkoe of WHAS11 in Louisville, Kentucky dropped 41 Seinfeld references into five minutes on air. More at Syracuse.com. Read the rest