‘Seinfeld’: Jerry’s Biggest Issue in the Series Goes Far Beyond This 1 Legendary Episode

Nine seasons of NBC’s Seinfeld means there are nine seasons of Jerry Seinfeld’s biggest irritations. Many of those things get an entire episode for the comedian to interpret and explore. In one of the more iconic episodes, Seinfeld’s biggest turn-off in a partner is front-and-center. Ironically, it’s a theme that can actually be found throughout the series.

This ‘Seinfeld’ episode is a little ‘bizarre’

Jerry Seinfeld | NBCU Photo Bank

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In October 1996, Seinfeld embarked on the idea of a parallel universe in which similar characters existed, living totally opposite lives. While Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) stayed friends with an ex-boyfriend — and then befriended his crew — Jerry (Seinfeld) begins dating Gillian (Kristin Bauer van Straten).

Despite Gillian’s obvious “attractiveness,” Jerry can’t get past her “man hands.” The phrase would be used for years among the Seinfeld crowd. “The Bizarro Jerry” episode links Gillian to George (Jason Alexander) when he uses her photo to get into the “forbidden city” where everyone is attractive.

George’s time at the club ends when he accidentally burns the photo and has to ask Jerry to get another from Gillian. When Jerry attempts to snag a picture from Gillian’s purse, she grabs him. Jerry later describes the moment as her “ripping my arm right out of the socket.”

Elaine and her new group of friends — bizarro Jerry, George, and Kramer — come face-to-face with the real Jerry, George, and Kramer (Michael Richards), and Jerry obviously moves on from Gillian because he can’t get past the size of her hands.

The episode is a classic, leaving some to wonder if there was a stand-in when the camera panned in to show the hands.

Whose hands were shown in the ‘Seinfeld’ episode?

James Rekart
James Rekart | Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Van Straten played Gillian — who is probably better known for starring in True Blood. The stand-in for the hand shots was played by actor James Rekart. He’s so proud of his one-episode stint, it says “Actor Seinfeld Man hands” in his Twitter bio.

Rekart isn’t known as much for his acting when compared to his camera work. He’s also part of the electrical department. Some of his projects include The Titan Games, Rizzoli and Isles, Criminal Minds, and more.

“James Rekart was personally cast by Jerry Seinfeld,” according to IMDb. “Seinfeld remembered Rekart from acting classes they both attended.”

Seinfeld’s issue with ‘man hands’ appeared in multiple episodes

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld | Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank

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The “man hands” episode went down in history as one of the more memorable. But with Seinfeld’s particular taste in the women he dated, the issue of “hands” came up more often than not.

In season 2, “The Construction Guy” featured a construction worker who sets Jerry up with his sister who also has “the hands of a man.” In season 5, Jerry and George date women who each have “man hands.” To get out of their relationships, they create a wild scenario.

Likewise, season 6 shows George trying to set Jerry up with a coworker.

“She’s amazing, but I’ve got to warn you — she has man hands,” George tells him.

You’d think that’s all the references but there is quite a bit more talk of Jerry’s repulsion toward women with larger-than-average-sized hands. Now that it’s known, it’s worth looking for other common themes (idiosyncrasies) of Jerry’s continue through the years. For a show about nothing, there’s a lot to think about.