I didn't know [x] played that role...on Seinfeld

While watching some Seinfeld re-runs the other night, it occurred to me that virtually everyone who ever played a guest starring role on even a single episode of “Seinfeld” went on to become a well-known star of another series. Sure, every series that’s a more than a few years old will have a number of ‘future’ famous folks doing bit parts on episodes, but “Seinfeld” has an inordinate number of future stars. In virtually every episode I see, there seems to be some pre-famous actor appearing in a guest role.

From the last couple episodes I’ve seen:

Courtney Cox (Monica on “Friends”) appeared as the girlfriend who claimed to be Jerry’s wife in order to share his discount on drycleaning.

Jane Leeves (Daphne on “Frasier”) was the virgin who was disgusted by ‘the contest’ and eventually scored (off-screen) with JFK Jr.

Bryan Cranston (Hal on “Malcolm in the Middle”) played Dr. Whately, the dentist who converted to judaism just so he could tell jewish jokes.

And Debra Messing (Grace on “Will & Grace”) played Jerry’s bigoted girlfriend from the same episode as Cranston.

Who else can you think got the big career boost from the show about nothing?

I wouldn’t say he gota big career boost as a direct result of his Seinfeld appearance, but I was pretty damn surprised to discover that the dorky guy from Long Island that took up Jerry on his backhanded offer to come visit NYC, then got wasted with Kramer, hired a call girl, then stiffed her (heh) forcing Jerry to pay for it, was…Michael Chiklis! Makes his turn as Vic Mackey on The Shield all the more impressive.

How about Teri Hatcher? “They’re real, and they’re spectacular.”

There was one episode where they park in a handicapped spot, and there’s an angry mob waiting for the owner to get back to the car. The ringleader of the mob was Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

The inside joke was Jerry having Lois Lane as his girlfriend because he liked Superman so much.

Remember the episode where George went to a funeral for a girlfriend’s relative and had the “you double dipped the chip!” incident? His girlfriend was played by Megan Mullaly, now known for being Karen on Will & Grace.

I might have the episode wrong, but she did play George’s girlfriend at some point.

Except that her appearance on Seinfeld preceded the premiere of Lois & Clark.

Dana Patrick had an on-screen, non-speaking role in the “Man-Hands” ep. She is best known as the Beauty to Meat Loaf’s Beast in the video “I Would Do Anything for Love.”

Woah! I just blew my own mind!

Wayne Knight was in Third Rock and Jurassic Park shortly after being on Seinfeld.

I’ve seen Babu on a few things.

The mother on That 70s Show was Jerry’s agent.

Sort of opposite to the OP, there were quite a few well-established stars on that show as well.

Wilfred Brimley
Judge Reinhold
Jeanine Garofalo
Lloyd Bridges
Marissa Tomei

Who else?

Brad Garett (Robert Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond) was in a two part episode, playing a mechanic who steals Jerry’s car.

Wasn’t Kristin Davis (“Sex and the City”) on the show once, as Jerry’s girlfriend? I forget the exact plot of the episode she appeared in, though…

As a minor tangent note, the voice of George Steinbrenner, always seen from behind, was supplied by series co-creator and future Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Larry David.

Who was on SNL 1980s wannabe Fridays with Michael Richards, no?

Oh, and the guy that played Puddy later went on to star in the short-lived The Tick.

Jerry dropped her toothbrush in the toilet by accident.

Peter Krause who later starred in **Sports Night ** and **Six Feet Under ** played the clean cut neo-nazi in The Limo.

George (on the phone): Astroturf? You know who’s responsible for that, don’t you? The Jews.

Jerry Stiler played George’s dad. Later to star on King of Queens as Carrie’s dad.

“Shmoopie” now does a daytime talk show.

Amanda Peet was the girl who had a “dude” as a live-in boyfriend

Sex in the Citie’s Kristen Davis was a girlfriend

Marcia Cross and Brenda Strong from Desparate Housewives was a dermatologist Jerry was dating and Ellaines nemesis Sue Ellen Mishke.

Dan Cortez was Costanzas Cool friend

The Kruger Industrial Smoothing CEO (Mr Kruger) is in a ton of shit too, including Malcome in the Middle as the Comandant.

Philip Baker Hall, aka. Mr. Bookman. “Hard feelings? What do you know about hard feelings? You know what my problem is? Punks like you, thats my problem.”

Playing themselves: Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, John Voight, Bette Midler

Lawrence Tierney. “We had a funny guy with us in Korea - tailgunner. They blew his brains out all over the Pacific. There’s nothing funny about that.”

Patrick Warburton has had a pretty good career actually. He was in The Dish, a pretty funny movie. He had a hilarious recurring guest role on NewsRadio. He’s also the voice of Joe (wheelchair guy) on Family Guy.

Danny Woodburn went on to play Carl the Gnome on Special Unit 2.

She is not famous, but when we were looking to adopt a dog, one of the people at the rescue organization that brought a dog to our house for us to meet was the woman who, in one of my favorite episodes, had all the neat old toys that she wouldn’t let Jerry play with, so he would do stuff to make her fall asleep so he could play with them.

We didn’t end up getting a dog from her, by the way.
Oh, and Peter Sarsgaard (recently in Garden State) was in the “Pony” episode.

Jon Favreau played Eric the Clown.