In the late ’80s, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David teamed up to create Seinfeld, the show depicting the “excruciating minutiae” of life through the experiences of four friends living in New York City. Jerry Seinfeld himself would play the leading role, but when creating his “show about nothing,” Seinfeld knew that he needed a right-hand man. Every main character needs a trusty sidekick, after all.
The creators toyed with a number of big names in Hollywood, from Danny DeVito to Steve Buscemi to Paul Shaffer. In the end, however, the role of George Costanza was filled by the now-beloved actor Jason Alexander. And Seinfeld fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
In a Reddit thread discussing their favorite Seinfeld characters, the responses were almost unanimous: George Costanza. “Probably the best character and acting EVER for a Sitcom,” one fan wrote. “I just started watching [Seinfeld] from Season 1 again. I’m on Season 5 now and you can really see how Jason comes into this character and gets comfortable with him over the years. Best. Ever.”
Another Seinfeld enthusiast explained that what makes George Costanza stand out from the rest is the unique way in which he was written. Unlike Kramer, George is one of one. “Kramer is a great character,” they said. “But the ‘kooky neighbor’ trope has been used in countless sitcoms. George Costanza is truly an original creation, and Jason Alexander played him perfectly.”
And they’re not the only one to put George above Kramer. Though Kramer was undoubtedly the ultra-comedic character, one fan believes George is the true comedian of the group. “He is the funniest, most self-loathing character; but at the same time, the most likable,” they wrote. “Not to mention, his one-liners are perfect.”
The George Incident That Almost Made Jason Alexander Quit ‘Seinfeld’
Though many fans consider George Costanza the heart of the show, Jason Alexander almost left Seinfeld before the series’ most beloved seasons. Here’s what happened.
As we know, one of the members of the iconic friend group was Elaine Benes, Jerry’s friend and ex-girlfriend. Now, George Costanza was written as Jerry’s best friend. As the show progressed, however, Jerry and Elaine got closer and closer until finally, George wasn’t included in a Season 3 episode.
The episode, entitled “The Pen” focuses on Jerry and Elaine’s trip to Florida, where they will visit his parents. Rather than flipping back and forth between Florida and New York, George and Kramer were written out entirely. And, well, Jason Alexander did not appreciate this decision.
When he returned to film the following episode of Seinfeld, Jason warned producer Larry David to never write him off again. “If you do that again, do it permanently,” Jason Alexander recounted to Access Hollywood. “If you don’t need me to be here every week, I’d just as soon go back home and do what I was doing.”