‘Seinfeld’ Reunion: How Bernie Madoff Ruined George Costanza

Seinfeld may be one of the most well-loved and relatable shows in American history. The hit sitcom ceased its original run in 1998, but remains a highly-streamed show to this day. Fans may be interested to learn that Larry David once made a Seinfeld reunion clip a reality — and that the clip featured George Costanza getting wiped out by Bernie Madoff. Just goes to show how there’s always something relevant happening in the Seinfeld universe. Here’s how Bernie Madoff ruined George Costanza. 

Bernie Madoff dead at 82

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Before we dig into the Seinfeld reunion clip and George Costanza’s misfortune, we should acknowledge the history behind Bernie Madoff, as well as his death. 

The financier was once the chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, before he was caught orchestrating one of the biggest and longest-running financial scams in United States history. In fact, Madoff’s scheme was so large, it dwarfed even the original Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Charles Ponzi himself, per the L.A. Times.

“Not only was it the biggest of any of these schemes, but the amazing thing is that it went on for the better part of two decades,” explained Richard Sylla of the Museum of American Finance. 

When Madoff was arrested by the FBI in 2008, he was discovered to have scammed investors out of roughly $20 billion. His actions caused untold financial and emotional hardship for investors across the nation. 

Madoff’s own son, Mark Madoff, hanged himself in 2010, and his younger son, Andrew, disowned his father in 2011. 

“What he did to me, to my brother, and to my family is unforgivable. What he did to thousands of other people, destroyed their lives — I’ll never understand it. And I’ll never forgive him for it. And I’ll never speak to him again,” Andrew Madoff told 60 Minutes.

Bernie Madoff died of natural causes at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C. He was dealing with kidney failure, hypertension, and heart problems prior to his death. 

‘Seinfeld’ reunion sees George Costanza ruined by Madoff

Seinfeld character Geroge Costanza was ruined by Bernie Madoff during a Seinfeld reunion
Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld | George Lange/NBCU Photo Bank

Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme affected many U.S. citizens, and apparently even extended into the fictional world of Seinfeld. Larry David wrote a reunion clip for the Seinfeld cast, featured amid Season 7 of Curb Your Enthusiasm

One of the Seinfeld reunion clips sees Jerry comforting a distraught George Costanza as he details his financial ruin at the hands of Bernie Madoff. Kramer points an article out to George about Bernie Madoff and his office floor plan as Jerry tries to get Kramer to stop. 

“Do I need to hear this?” asks George. “I know what happened!” 

“What’s the big deal, you lost a couple of million,” asks Kramer, shrugging it off. 

“It was more than a couple!” rebutts George. Jerry then expands on the idea leading to George’s downfall — the infamous iToilet app, which could search out nearby toilets for those in need. 

“All of it Jerry! All of it!” says George, before putting his head in his hands.