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Old 02-15-2010, 11:28 PM
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Jason Alexander - real life personality?

I don't know much about Alexander's work, except for his work as "George" from Seinfeld. I think he was in "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts, but that's about all I can remember him in until I saw him in "Curb Your Enthusiasm". In "Curb", many characters that play themselves seem to "play themselves", (i.e. they seem to portray themselves close to their own personalities).

I don't know if this is true, but if so, Alexander seems to be a fairly arrogant, unlikable prick. I know he's been trying to break away from his "George Costanza" persona, but if he's anything like he is portraying himself in CYE, he's a real jackass, and it's easy to see why he's not been getting a lot of work. I saw him show up in a Jenny Craig ad, so pickings may be slim for Jason.

Anyone out here know what he's like IRL, and if my Mickey Mouse analysis is accurate?
  #2  
Old 02-15-2010, 11:35 PM
statsman1982 statsman1982 is offline
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I've never met him, but he's been on Real Time with Bill Maher, and he seems to be a thoughtful, likable fellow.

I can't find any links on YouTube with his appearance on Real Time, but there is video of him on Bill's old show, "Politically Incorrect."
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:53 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Prior to Seinfeld, he was mostly known as a solid, reliable character actor, song and dance man and a very prolific voice actor for animation.
  #4  
Old 02-15-2010, 11:56 PM
DianaG DianaG is offline
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I don't think people play their actual selves on CYE, so much as they play their most recognizable "self", which in Alexander's case, is George Constanza. He's not exactly a tabloid darling, people don't know much about his personal life.
  #5  
Old 02-15-2010, 11:58 PM
notfrommensa notfrommensa is online now
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Every year, he plays in the World Series of Poker. ESPN gives him some camera time and he appears to an affable fellow. I think he actually made it fairly deep this past summer in the WSoP.
  #6  
Old 02-16-2010, 12:00 AM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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I've also seen him in other things where he seems like a nice guy, not that that means anything. I always thought he's probably really good at what he does and can make it believable. He's probably pretty typecast at this point, and doesn't exactly have leading man looks. I doubt he's hurting any for money.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:03 AM
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Interesting. statsman1982 and Krokodil, have you had the chance to see him in CYE? If he's trying to be "in character", it's not a very appealing one.

Perhaps he's had a hard time shaking the "George" character, and this is his way to break free of it.

It sounds to me like you both have seen him in other roles and have enjoyed him.

I think the best thing to see would be that clip from Real Time with Bill Maher. That would probably be the best insight into his real personality. I'll do some searching for it. Thanks for the tip.

ETA: Sorry, I missed a number of replies before posting, but the theme is familiar.

I just got the impression, especially from Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, that they were basically "playing themselves", so I just attached that to Alexander. Perhaps that was unfair. I have to say, he was easily the most abrasive of the Seinfeld cast, but when in the George character, he was his usual, paranoid Costanza.

Last edited by crypto; 02-16-2010 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:06 AM
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I'll chime in with the rest in saying that in interviews I've seen he comes across as a pretty quiet, good-natured guy. It's probably a combination of the George character and in some weird, triple-backwards way that on CYE he's playing a version of Larry David (if that makes any sense) - and Larry David does strike me as being a bit of a prick in real life.
  #9  
Old 02-16-2010, 12:11 AM
HISSNLISSN HISSNLISSN is offline
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I thought the George Costanza character in Seinfeld was a thinly veiled Larry David?
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:07 AM
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As noted above, CYE is scripted and is satirical. I have seen Alexander on Everybody Hates Chris as Chris's principal, and his character seemed pretty caring and down-to-earth. Hard to say if that is the real Jason Alexander, but that character came across as pretty appealing. I also see him in commercial advertisements for the ASPCA, and he comes across as caring and sympathetic in that one as well, and hopefully, he is being true to himself in that one.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:21 AM
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I thought the George Costanza character in Seinfeld was a thinly veiled Larry David?
That's how I understood it. Which, after watching CYE, I can see the resemblance. Costanza is a bit more of a dependent wimp than David portrays himself on the show, but you can see the resemblance in the characters.

I saw an anniversary show about CYE, and everyone loved Larry David. Granted, he's the reason they all have jobs, but they all speak well of his personality, generosity, and sense of humor.
  #12  
Old 02-16-2010, 08:38 AM
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I would say that is should be the sign of a very good actor that it is difficult to know who or what is the true Jason Alexander.
I know many actors play themselves, but even with Jason Alexander playing George you could see where he started out imitating Woody Allen and then started really developing the character and also started integrating some of the personality of Larry David.
  #13  
Old 02-16-2010, 09:09 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Jason Alexander was in the parody show Forbidden Broadway, and then won a Tony for Jerome Robbin's Broadway. No way you can succeed in live theatre by being an arrogant little prick.

His Goerge Cantzana peronatlity shows how versitle an actor he really is.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:45 AM
Rafe Hollister Rafe Hollister is offline
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He played himself/stereotypical Hollywood-type in the Brad Paisley video of "Celebrity" and seemed to be a really good sport about making fun of the demanding arrogant celebrities. I'd have to guess that someone willing to do the things he did there is probably a likeable guy.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:48 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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I've seen him sing and dance because (lord help me) I've seen the multicultural version of the R&H Cinderella starring Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. He's terrific!
  #16  
Old 02-16-2010, 09:49 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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In this area, ION TV is rerunning the Criminal Minds tonight at 10:00 where Alexander plays a serial killer who walks into the police station and confuses to his crimes.

Click to see a decided un-George portrayal.
  #17  
Old 02-16-2010, 09:54 AM
Rafe Hollister Rafe Hollister is offline
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Celebrity by Brad Paisley
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:59 AM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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I no nothing about his personality, but I saw a photo of him the other day and he was wearing a rug of Shatneresque proportions
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:03 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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He's also in Online.
  #20  
Old 02-16-2010, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
In "Curb", many characters that play themselves seem to "play themselves", (i.e. they seem to portray themselves close to their own personalities).
I'd have to disagree with that assessment. Actors who play themselves on CYE are playing fictionalized versions of themselves (as is Larry himself), which may or may not mirror their own personalities, or sometimes highlight a public perception of them for comedic value. Christian Slater, for example, played "himself" as an insufferable asshole.
It's no secret that the George character was mostly based on the real-life Larry David. Hence, I thought it was a clever choice on CYE to give Jason some of Larry's more unlikeable traits, and for the two of them to not get along.

I don't think he's really like that.
  #21  
Old 02-16-2010, 10:48 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Met him briefly once - he gave a talk before a large number of Infertility Specialist physicians (reproductive endocrinologists) at a banquet - it was about his family's struggles to have a baby and their eventual success.

He killed - freakin' hilarious; he had to stop for applause and to wait for the laughter to die down several times.

Away from the lectern, he was a very charming, nice man - he was clearly "on" for the event, so he had his performance face on, but he came across as pretty cool.
  #22  
Old 02-16-2010, 11:09 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Every year, he plays in the World Series of Poker. ESPN gives him some camera time and he appears to an affable fellow. I think he actually made it fairly deep this past summer in the WSoP.
Only for the last three years, but he's played on the World Poker Tour as well. He did go deep this year - he made it nearly to the end of Day 3, or a few hours shy of the money-winning placing.
  #23  
Old 02-16-2010, 11:45 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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George Costanza's not so bad. I'd only worry if in real life he's much more like Duckman.
  #24  
Old 02-16-2010, 04:50 PM
randwill randwill is offline
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I don't know him, but he and I share a passion for magic. He did a magic performance at the The Magic Castle which was, along with an interview, released on a DVD magazine called Reel Magic. Magic geeks are okay by me.
  #25  
Old 02-16-2010, 06:00 PM
McGeek McGeek is offline
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I have to go off-topic for 1 sec to say Shatner is way cute in this! There's another cafe society thread going on about whether you still find your childhood celebrity crushes attractive, and I have to admit Capt. Kirk was one of my crushes (I was 6 when ST:TOS first aired). He is a big goofball but I still find him totally entertaining.

OK, about Jason Alexander, I heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR during the peak of Seinfeld. He was definitely very nice and self-effacing. One remark I remember was he described himself something like "Hamlet in Falstaff's body", or maybe it was Romeo in Falstaff's body, but anyway point being that he had the heart of a hero, but not the looks and he knew it. He made fun of his own performance in early episodes of Seinfeld, saying it was like a lame Woody Allen impression until he got the hang of what he was doing.
He also said right out that George was supposed to be Larry David, that at times Alexander & other Seinfeld cast members would question some of the mishaps written for George to get into, and Larry David would say, Well actually that really did happen to me.

Last edited by McGeek; 02-16-2010 at 06:01 PM.
  #26  
Old 02-17-2010, 01:01 AM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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No way you can succeed in live theatre by being an arrogant little prick.
Um, what? You actually had me laughing out loud at that one!

Back on topic, wasn't there someone here who said he ended up playing cards with him but had no idea who he was, and then Jason said "Thanks for not making a big deal that I'm here" as he left? I understand he's not George Constanza, but I've heard a couple of stories of his arrogance...
  #27  
Old 02-17-2010, 01:15 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Alexander plays a serial killer who walks into the police station and confuses to his crimes.
Does he confess them while speaking backwards or something?
  #28  
Old 02-17-2010, 06:56 AM
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He has served as the national spokesman for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, which was also his designated charity for his appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy. His sister is afflicted with this disease, and he frequently makes appearances to raise money for research.
  #29  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:19 AM
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I don't know him, but he and I share a passion for magic. He did a magic performance at the The Magic Castle
JA also turned up as a special guest at the 'MAGIC Live!' convention in Vegas in 2007. He was interviewed in front of the convention crowd for about half an hour, talking about his interest in magic and his performances at the Magic Castle and elsewhere. The fact that he agreed to show up would suggest that he isn't an egomaniac. (By way of contrast, Copperfield never shows up at conventions, although many of his back-room team do).

For the most part, JA came across as a pleasant, chatty, likeable guy with a sense of humour who was appropriately modest about his magical talent and experience. He didn't actually perform at the convention, but friends who have seen him perform at the Magic Castle said he was okay, albeit he played it safe.

I think there is a little bit of egotism about him, but a forgivable amount. It is often said that showbiz people need a bedrock of egotism in order to succeed in a business where setbacks, hard knocks, fierce competition and harsh reviews are the norm.
  #30  
Old 02-17-2010, 09:53 AM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is online now
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Anyone willing to portray themselves as an unhygenic jerk on a show is OK in my book.

Kind of like how my wife and I like Orlando Bloom after his performance in Extras.
  #31  
Old 04-04-2016, 12:05 AM
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Not sure how true, but the brother of a good friend of my wife's told us of an incident in New York in the early 2000's. At the time, the brother of my wife's friend was a waiter and the story goes that Jason Alexander came into the restaurant about 20 minutes before closing with two companions. When Jason was told that the place was closing soon and the kitchen was closed, Jason said arrogantly "Do you know who the f*%k I am? Get your manager out here!" So the guy calls his manager who comes out and Jason makes a fuss about how he's in town and wants them to open the kitchen "pronto" and added "don't worry your sweet asses, you'll get a good tip." The manager apologized but the kitchen was closed when Jason apparently muttered "unf*%ken-believable," to which the manager, having had enough, suggested an all-night diner on Broadway, which apparently was the dinner that appears in the Seinfeld show. Jason apparently laughed and gave the middle finger and walked out. True or not, it was a funny image and story.

Last edited by KarlC; 04-04-2016 at 12:07 AM.
  #32  
Old 04-04-2016, 12:34 AM
phreesh phreesh is offline
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Re: JA not getting work, his Seinfeld money allows him to work as much or as little as he wants. I wouldn't put much stock in him not being able to get a job because he's a dick.
  #33  
Old 04-04-2016, 01:11 AM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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the brother of a good friend of my wife's
Well that sounds reliable.
  #34  
Old 04-04-2016, 01:22 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Not sure how true, but the brother of a good friend of my wife's told us of an incident in New York in the early 2000's. At the time, the brother of my wife's friend was a waiter and the story goes that Jason Alexander came into the restaurant about 20 minutes before closing with two companions. When Jason was told that the place was closing soon and the kitchen was closed, Jason said arrogantly "Do you know who the f*%k I am? Get your manager out here!" So the guy calls his manager who comes out and Jason makes a fuss about how he's in town and wants them to open the kitchen "pronto" and added "don't worry your sweet asses, you'll get a good tip." The manager apologized but the kitchen was closed when Jason apparently muttered "unf*%ken-believable," to which the manager, having had enough, suggested an all-night diner on Broadway, which apparently was the dinner that appears in the Seinfeld show. Jason apparently laughed and gave the middle finger and walked out. True or not, it was a funny image and story.
Maybe that was the Jason Alexander that Britney married briefly. That guy seems to be a jerk.
  #35  
Old 04-04-2016, 03:18 AM
Newtosite Newtosite is online now
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He was a judge at a musical theatre workshop I attended. I remember being very
impressed by his intelligence and knowledge -- he spoke brilliantly when he critiqued the show.
  #36  
Old 04-04-2016, 04:03 AM
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Stood behind him in line at a Starbucks once. I didn't speak to him, only noticed how bad his hair looked. Really bad dye job or hairpiece or some combination. He was lowkey and didn't throw off any diva vibes. If anyone recognized him no one approached but that's kind of normal in Los Angeles.
  #37  
Old 04-04-2016, 04:07 AM
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I've never met him, but he's been on Real Time with Bill Maher, and he seems to be a thoughtful, likable fellow.

I can't find any links on YouTube with his appearance on Real Time, but there is video of him on Bill's old show, "Politically Incorrect."
To be fair, that's easy when your contrast is such a smarmy character.
  #38  
Old 04-04-2016, 04:10 AM
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Jason Alexander also played a prick on that one episode of Malcolm in the Middle
  #39  
Old 04-04-2016, 04:12 AM
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Isn't that also him in the video for Paisley's "Online"?
  #40  
Old 04-04-2016, 09:06 AM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is online now
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Isn't that also him in the video for Paisley's "Online"?

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He's also in Online.

Six years ago, they said yes.
  #41  
Old 04-04-2016, 10:02 AM
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I've been watching Sienfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I could not get through more than a few minutes of the Jason Alexander episode. Jason seemed to be doing his Costanza personality, and it was flat as hell.
  #42  
Old 04-04-2016, 10:14 AM
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William Shatner had that show Raw Nerve where he interviewed some random ass celebrities, I wish the show had lasted a little longer. Anyway on the show he inter viewed Jason Alexander, he seems like a nice enough guy but there is something under the surface that irks me like he always seems to be annoyed in his tone when he talks to other people, like he doesn't want to really be bothered, that's my perception maybe it's just something about his voice and demeanor that he can't control.

I don't know who would be worse to be stuck in an elevator with Alexander or Shatner.
  #43  
Old 04-04-2016, 10:26 AM
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Several years ago I saw him on a group interview program on Shalom TV. He seemed to be down-to-earth and not conceited, and knowledgeable about Judaism. The main thing I remember him saying is that any excuses for the "I thank God for not having made me a woman" prayer (that traditional Jewish men say every morning) were bullshit. He also came out with some funny witticisms, seemed like a likable guy.


(Incidentally, the funniest remark of the show was from Kyra Sedgwick, who had only recently found out she was Jewish. Someone asked her if her husband was Jewish, and she said wryly, "No, Kevin BACON is not Jewish.")
  #44  
Old 04-04-2016, 11:52 AM
Loach Loach is online now
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Dammit didn't know this was a zombie when I started to reply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I'd have to disagree with that assessment. Actors who play themselves on CYE are playing fictionalized versions of themselves (as is Larry himself), which may or may not mirror their own personalities, or sometimes highlight a public perception of them for comedic value. Christian Slater, for example, played "himself" as an insufferable asshole.
It's no secret that the George character was mostly based on the real-life Larry David. Hence, I thought it was a clever choice on CYE to give Jason some of Larry's more unlikeable traits, and for the two of them to not get along.

I don't think he's really like that.
Yeah anyone who thinks people are playing themselves on CYA is missing the point and probably most of the jokes. They play fictionalization versions of themselves often in a bad light. I recently started a thread trying to find out if any show before Larry Sanders did this. Certainly CYA, Extras, Episodes and a few other shows have made this a large part of the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGeek View Post
I have to go off-topic for 1 sec to say Shatner is way cute in this! There's another cafe society thread going on about whether you still find your childhood celebrity crushes attractive, and I have to admit Capt. Kirk was one of my crushes (I was 6 when ST:TOS first aired). He is a big goofball but I still find him totally entertaining.

OK, about Jason Alexander, I heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR during the peak of Seinfeld. He was definitely very nice and self-effacing. One remark I remember was he described himself something like "Hamlet in Falstaff's body", or maybe it was Romeo in Falstaff's body, but anyway point being that he had the heart of a hero, but not the looks and he knew it. He made fun of his own performance in early episodes of Seinfeld, saying it was like a lame Woody Allen impression until he got the hang of what he was doing.
He also said right out that George was supposed to be Larry David, that at times Alexander & other Seinfeld cast members would question some of the mishaps written for George to get into, and Larry David would say, Well actually that really did happen to me.
I heard him say the Falstaff quote on a recent podcast. Maybe it was The Nerdist. It was his acting teacher who told him that. It was practical advice that he was never going to be the leading man type.
  #45  
Old 04-04-2016, 12:00 PM
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hSr2aylfDIA

Forgot to post the link to William Shatner interviewing Jason Alexander.
  #46  
Old 04-04-2016, 12:46 PM
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I know nothing about him other than from watching him play George in Seinfeld. But this I do know. There is absolutely no way you could judge a person's character reliably from watching him play himself in CYE.
  #47  
Old 04-04-2016, 01:36 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Well, Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards graciously consented to interviews on Jerry's hit web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. They were wonderful, insightful interviews.

Jason Alexander did a coffee shop scene in character as George Costanza. Seems very odd he wouldn't do a real interview with an old friend.

Seinfeld never asks intrusive or deeply personal questions. He's interviewed some big names in the comedy business.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-04-2016 at 01:40 PM.
  #48  
Old 04-04-2016, 01:55 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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When I've seen him on talk shows his speech and mannerisms are just like George Costanza's. His attitude was very different though, he was a happy, jovial man, no surprise as the interviews all followed the success of Seinfeld.
  #49  
Old 04-04-2016, 03:02 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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He was playing a character that was an exaggerated version of the real life Larry David. I've read that of all of the Seinfeld characters, he is the most different in real life than his character.
  #50  
Old 04-05-2016, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by phreesh View Post
Re: JA not getting work, his Seinfeld money allows him to work as much or as little as he wants. I wouldn't put much stock in him not being able to get a job because he's a dick.
He showed up briefly in the live action Fairly Odd Parents movie playing Cosmo. Maybe he did for laughs, but the first I thought was "poor guy."

Last edited by furryman; 04-05-2016 at 12:05 PM.
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