12 Notable Actors Who You Probably Don’t Remember from Seinfeld

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Most TV viewers know that before Larry David created his comic hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, he co-created Seinfeld with Jerry Seinfeld. The show had an impressive run. It dominated comedy in the 1990’s and has a special place in TV history. A great deal of Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer’s highjinx will live on forever. Part of what I find so amazing about it as I watch it in syndication is the supporting cast. There are a surprising number of notable actors who pop up as extras on the show, most before anyone knew who they were. Here are twelve.

Peter Stormare
The episode: The Frogger
Right around the time that Stormare was becoming Hollywood’s Official Evil Blonde Foreign Guy™ in the 90’s, he showed up on an episode of Seinfeld. He was “Slippery Pete”, Kramer’s electrician acquaintance who George trusts to help him preserve his high score on Frogger. 

Catherine Keener
The episode: The Letter
Keener appeared in a very early episode as one of Jerry’s never-ending stream of girlfriends. She was “Nina the Artist”. She was responsible for creating the highly memorable portrait of Kramer. 

Jeremy Piven
The episode: The Pilot (Part 1 and 2)
Piven was Michael Barth, the actor who auditioned for the part of George on Jerry’s proposed NBC sitcom. He nails the loser aspects of George’s personality- so much so that George can’t stand him.

Teri Hatcher
The episode: The Implant; The Pilot (Part 1 and 2); The Finale
Hatcher’s appearance was the most momentous on this list. She was Jerry’s girlfriend who may or may not have had breast implants. This led Jerry and Elaine to hatch a nefarious, side-splitting plot to find out the truth. As it turned out, they were real. And they were spectacular. 

Bryan Cranston
The episode: The Labelmaker; The Jimmy; The Yada Yada; The Mom and Pop Store; The Strike
Cranston has proven himself to be one of the very best actors on television with his incredible performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad. Back in the 90’s, he had a fantastic part-time role as Dr. Tim Whatley, the dentist. Speaking of Breaking Bad 

Anna Gunn
The episode: The Glasses
Walter White’s wife on Breaking Bad, Skylar, is played by Anna Gunn. She took her turn on Seinfeld as- what else?- one of Jerry’s girlfriends. George believes that he caught her kissing Jerry’s cousin, although the information is suspect because he wasn’t wearing his glasses at the time. And while we’re still talking about Breaking Bad

Bob Odenkirk
The episode: The Abstinence
Odenkirk is currently known for his role on Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman. He showed up on Seinfeld as Elaine’s boyfriend, Ben, in the episode in which Elaine gives up sex. He was almost a doctor. Almost.

Stephen Root
The episode: The Invitations
Root is best known for his roles in Mike Judge movies, especially as Milton in Office Space, as well as several bit parts in Coen brother films. On Seinfeld, he played the bank manager who denied Kramer’s protest that “hey” is not the same as “hello”.

Jon Favreau
The episode: The Fire
George attends a child’s birthday party and encounters “Eric”, a clown. He asserts that it’s a horrible clown name and is nonplussed that “Eric” doesn’t know who Bozo the Clown was. “Eric” was Jon Favreau.

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Patton Oswalt
The episode: The Couch
Blink and you’ll miss him. Oswalt appeared very briefly as a video store clerk.

Sarah Silverman
The episode: The Money
Silverman had the role of Emily, Kramer’s girlfriend whose “jimmy legs” keep him awake at night. Ultimately, they wind up sleeping in different beds.

Larry David
The episode: far too many (40 total) to list
Believe it or not, Larry David appeared on Seinfeld a lot, but almost always subtly. For instance, he was the voice of George Steinbrenner, whose face is never shown. He pops up as an extra among a mob outside of Kramer’s door. He shows up as a man on the street wearing George’s cape. My favorite Larry David appearance was as a rambling actor in a sci-fi B movie yelling about “the flaming globes”. Here he is as a newsstand clerk.


33 Comments

Filed under TV Shows

33 responses to “12 Notable Actors Who You Probably Don’t Remember from Seinfeld

  1. I’m always surprised that Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) was one of Jerry’s girlfriends.

  2. Erin

    The shmoopy girl is married to George Stephanapolis,

  3. Wow, I’ve got to go back and revisit my Seinfeld DVDs…I missed practically all of these! One you haven’t included that I did notice was James Spader in…I forget which episode. I think it’s somewhere in the last season.

  4. MC

    Of the top of my head, I also remember these people:

    Paula Marshall was the NYU reporter who outed Jerry and George as gay lovers.

    Philip Baker Hall was Bookman, the library cop who was chasing Jerry over his lost copy of I think it was Tropic of Capricorn.

    Kristen Davis was the girlfriend of Jerry’s whose toothbrush he dropped in the toilet.

    Janeane Garofalo was Jerry’s fiancee.

    and

    Jennifer Coolidge was Jerry’s masseuse gf who loathed George.

  5. Wow, there are sooo many great guest stars on that show. Somehow I knew you’d put Peter Stormare as #1 though :D I don’t remember Cranston and Jon Favreau, I must’ve missed those episodes. I was talking about this show with some friends the other day, though the show is funny but I think the cultural stuff might not translate well in other countries.

    • Favreau is the one that shocks me the most. The others, I remembered or have seen them in the episodes. But Favreau… I mean, he was a clown, and not even a clown that looked like Jon Favreau.

  6. Pretty amazing list. I believe Patton Oswalt was also in the episode where Elaine arrives at a movie theater and an usher (Oswalt) tells her that her writer boyfriend (who was supposed to meet her) had been rushed to the hospital…and she decides to get a box of Jujyfruits from the concession stand before going to see him.

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  7. Haha, love the list. Total trip down memory lane. Bryan Cranston’s role as Dr. Tim Whatley is just brilliant. I’ll have to take a look at the episodes with his Breaking Bad counterparts because I don’t remember them being on the show at all. Had no idea Jon Favreau was Eric the Clown either. Good stuff.

  8. Pigatron

    Don’t forget Mariska Hargitay auditioning to play Elaine. Speaking of Breaking Bad, the woman who played Gretchen Schwartz was also in a couple of Seinfeld episodes. And the guy who played Kramer in “Jerry” on Seinfeld also made a brief appearance on Breaking Bad. I swear there is another person who also appeared on both, but I can’t remember.

  9. teddybayer123

    And the winner is: the teenaged daughter of NBC President Russell Dalrymple, who George is caught eyeing, was a teenaged Denise Richards.

  10. The cheapskate record store owner who Kramer and Newman fought with was Tobin Bell, who went on to become Jigsaw in the Saw series of horror movies.

  11. Way

    Daphne from Frasier was the virgin

  12. julesk

    Mark Metcalf from Animal House and the 80’s Twisted Sister rock videos was the Maestro.

  13. julesk

    Kathy Griffen was Elaine’s old college roomate who Jerry said sucked at comedy and acting.

  14. Ryan

    Drake Bell was in the Frogger episode (as the kid playing Frogger in the pizza shop before George and Jerry went up to it).

  15. celly

    Amanda Peet in “The Summer of George”

  16. The mom from that 70s show was Jerrys Agent.
    i swear the daughter from “the Couch” episode is michonne on walking dead.

  17. David

    James Spader as Jason “Stanky” Hanky in “The Apology”

  18. Debra Messing as Beth in a couple Seinfeld episodes

  19. K

    Patrick Warburton was Elaine’s boyfriend Putty.

  20. c-dawg

    Lisa Edelstein from. “House” It was the episode when Elaine told Jerry she was always “faking it”.

  21. c-dawg

    I believe Robert from “everybody loves Raymond” was in an episode also. He was driving a car, I believe.

  22. norm

    Lloyd Bridges as Izzy Mendelbaum…… there are just so many

  23. Bert

    Lee Arenberg as the guy fighting with George over the parking space. Later was Pintel the little bald pirate in all 3 “Pirates of the Carribean” films.

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