Which Seinfeld Character Are You?
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It can be said without any hesitation at all that Jason Alexander’s George Costanza is one of the greatest characters – if not the greatest character - ever to grace a television screen. He’s basically a perfect representation of pure Id – using every lie and trick he has in his playbook to try and get what he wants – but that personality is tied to a fate that ensures that he will never find happiness or success. As a result, George is little more than walking, talking organized chaos, and it’s never not hilarious to watch him constantly work to squirm out of every horrible situation he himself put him in. It’s really impossible to single out the greatest George moment of the show – from his time as The Opposite, to his selection of the famous poison wedding invitations – but one thing that is very easy to declare is that he is the greatest Seinfeld character ever.
There are many elements that contribute to Cosmo Kramer coming together as one of the most genius television characters we’ve ever seen. The way he freely mooched off of Jerry was unprecedented and ridiculous; his off-beat and inventive mind led him to straight into some of the weirdest stories the show ever portrayed; and his kooky mannerisms and jerky motions made him effortlessly and eternally unpredictable. All and all, however, what it really comes down to is the physical comedy genius of Michael Richards. From his casual slide into Jerry’s apartment to stunts like chugging a beer and smoking a cigarette at the same time, Kramer helped us all realize the bizarre lengths that the human body can be stretched, and to this day is still a marvel to watch in reruns.
On the surface, Elaine Benes comes across as the most put-together member of Seinfeld’s lead character group – what with her having a decent level of intelligence and the ability to maintain a respectable job – but when you really take a closer look at her you can see the same kind of damage and funny sociopathic tendencies that plague her closest friends as well. Though she is apparently looking for someone to settle down with, she’s just as self-destructive in relationships as Jerry (while bringing a completely new color that comes with being a female character) and equally finds herself lost in ridiculous and frenzied situations of her own selfish creation, be it buying Jujyfruits before an emergency hospital visit or simultaneously trying to prove herself as the world’s best and worst babysitter. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ performance may be the most underrated on the show, but I’m doing my best to correct that mistake by giving her the number three spot on this list.
As the self-proclaimed “Even Steven,” Jerry never really had the luck of Kramer or the incredible and regular misfortune of George, but through nine seasons excelled as the perfect anchor to ground all the stories in the same reality and as the obvious lynchpin of the series (it is his name in the title, after all). There are few characters in television history who have served as better magnets for crazy people through everyday life, and though he never really cared about anyone or anything, his serial dating habits kept Seinfeld regularly populated with fresh faces and bizarre relationships. While he may not necessarily be the “best” character on the show (as indicated by his #4 ranking), it’s impossible to deny that he is the most important.
It’s a well-known secret that Frank Constanza’s awkward, halting way of speaking was caused by the fact that Jerry Stiller often struggled to remember all of his lines, but history will paint him as a genius for his highly bizarre but incredibly hysterical approach to playing George’s dad. His ridiculous rage made him a great tool for the Seinfeld writers to throw into any kind of situation, and he not only heightened the energy of every scene he was in, but also brought it out of the other characters as well. If you’re looking for some real magic, pay attention to the relationship between Frank and Elaine over the course of the show, as it is easily one of the most underrated in the series.
The presence of Jackie Chiles in Seinfeld is an example of how the show reflected the time period it was aired – as the character was clearly a parody of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran – but while it’s been more than 20 years since the O.J. Simpson trial, Jackie remains just as funny today as he did in the 1990s. Capturing the Cochran attitude and spirit was all in the voice, and actor Phil Morris killed every time he was brought back for the show. If I had to pick my favorite case, it would probably have to be his case against the tobacco companies, as his first reaction to seeing Kramer once again in his doorway is priceless and perfect.