‘Seinfeld’: Here’s the True Story Behind the Festivus Holiday

by Chase Thomas

Festivus for the rest of us! Every Seinfeld super fan remembers the classic holiday from the television show involving George and the rest of the Costanzas. There were so many iconic moments from the program of the ten years that it was on television. Do you remember the one about the Marine Biologist? There was the one about The Rye. The one about the Big Salad. The lists go on and on. It was the perfect show about nothing. However, what about Festivus? Well, here is the true story behind the holiday.

It was revealed that it was a Seinfeld writer by the name of Dan O’Keefe who brought Festivus into the Seinfeld universe. Yes, it wasn’t even O’Keefe, though, who made it up. No, it was his father who used the celebration to remember the first date he went on with his mother. It started out that way anyway. Then, eventually, things changed the and stuff involved got stranger and stranger and Festivus became a thing.

As you saw on television, a variation of it played out on the small screen for the delight of so many folks.

Jerry Seinfeld on the End

Seinfeld could not go on forever. At some point, the show had to wrap and it did after nine seasons. Seinfeld said at press conference, “I remember when I was in the ninth season and I was thinking maybe it’s time to wrap this up, and I remember inviting Michael [Richards] and Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] and Jason [Alexander] to my dressing room and we all just sat there and we stared at each other.” That was it. They had reached the end.

He continued, “We’ve had a lot of good fortune here. Maybe we shouldn’t push our luck too far. And we all agreed that this was the right moment. And I remember it’s the only time we all got together in a dressing room, the four of us, to make that decision. That was powerful.”

It was their group decision to wrap it up when they did. They went out on top, which is something most shows are never able to do.

Seinfeld concluded, “I remember I was in a cab one time and the cab driver said to me, ‘Why did you stop doing that show? It was very successful.’ And I and I said to him, well, I was at a point we had done it for nine years and I realized I could go off the air right now and the show could be a legend. I could be a legend of the sitcom world or I could make some more money.”

He was at a crossroads with the show. He had the opportunity to ride off into the sunset with everyone happy and that’s what he and the cast did.