Like many TV stars, Jason Alexander has worked as both an actor and a director during his career. And interestingly, it was an episode of Seinfeld that gave him his directorial debut.
Most fans know Alexander as the morally ambiguous George Costanza—an insecure self-serving New Yorker who hilariously complained alongside Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer for nine years on NBC. But what most people don’t know is that he honed his craft so well that the series actually gave him three of his own episodes to run.
And it didn’t take long for Alexander to get a shot in the director’s chair either. His first time helming an installment was all the way back during season 3 for an episode titled The Good Samaritan.
The classic story follows Jerry as he tries to help a person in need. But in true Seinfeld fashion, his motives are completely selfish.
However, fans may best remember the episode for its iconic “bless you” faux pas. While at a party, George passes the sentiment onto a woman after she sneezes. And the innocent pleasantry causes issues with her jealous husband. The installment also finds Kramer suffering from seizures every time he hears Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight speak.
Jason Alexander Directed Three Episodes of ‘Seinfeld’ During its NBC Run
After Good Samaritan, it took three years before Jason Alexander directed another episode of Seinfeld. And for his final projects, he only led clip shows.
The actor got back behind the camera for season 6’s Highlights of a Hundred to showcase the best moments of the first 100 episodes. Then in season 9, Alexander went back to celebrate the show in The Chronicle as the 1998 series finale neared.
And once Seinfeld ended, Alexander didn’t stop directing. Since leaving the classic series, he’s been part of 10 projects. The eight-time Emmy nominee has guest-directed episodes of other sitcoms such as Mike & Molly, Franklin and Bash, and Criminal Minds. And he’s also gone further and worked on full-length films like Just Looking.
More recently, he moved to the stage to direct the play Broadway Bound, which happened to be a remake of the same play that made him famous all the way back in 1986.
The play ran in LA in 2014. And since the project, Jason Alexander has been focusing more on his stand-up career. However, he did admit to The Hollywood Reporter that if he ever did have a chance at being a full-time director, he’d do it.
“If I could really move my career much more into predominantly directing, I would jump at that,” he admitted. “If you’re asking me would I ever start a company like Reprise again, I probably wouldn’t endeavor to do that in Los Angeles.”