The ‘Seinfeld’ Cast Members Weren’t Friends, According to Jason Alexander

​​Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer made so many stops at the coffee shop and faced so much together in the nine seasons of Seinfeld. The foursome’s friendship was solid, even up to their imprisonment by the series finale. So it’s hard to believe when Jason Alexander, who brilliantly portrayed George Costanza in the hit NBC comedy, says the Seinfeld cast members weren’t friends in real life.

The ‘Seinfeld’ cast members seemed like such good friends

Seinfeld cast members, Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld
‘Seinfeld’ cast | David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The four main characters seemed to be buddies in the iconic and often-quoted sitcom. Or maybe they could never find any other people who could stand being with them.

Through thick and thin — through bets, relationships, and countless meals and movies together — when Jerry, Elaine, George, or Kramer had a problem or a minute detail to report about their day, they would turn to one another. Or at least to Jerry’s apartment, where they would ultimately appear.

Peter Mehlman, one of Seinfeld‘s producers and writers, said it best when speaking with Rotten Tomatoes in 2019: “Characters on shows now are basically so good to each other, and if they are not, they apologize. On Seinfeld, they screwed each other over every single week and remained best of friends the next week.”

The ‘Seinfeld’ cast members weren’t friends off the set, said Jason Alexander

In real life, it was all just another day at the office, Jason Alexander said, speaking as an industry veteran. What viewers see on TV shows like Seinfeld or Friends that draws them in, that gives them a sense of familiarity, is not the same in real life.

Speaking with The Project in March 2020, Alexander clarified that, although the Seinfeld cast members were friendly on set, that’s pretty much where the pleasantries ended.

“We were never social friends; we were work friends. We had very different lives,” he explained. “But we really hung out with each other at the show. We were workmates. After nine years, when the show ended, we kind of went, ‘Oh, bye, see ya!'” 

The actor said he and his castmates keep in touch once in a while with birthday emails, and when they see each other after a long while, “it’s like no time has passed.”

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David’s enduring friendship

Larry David — star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of Seinfeld — and Jerry Seinfeld have been friends for decades. Perhaps, like George and Jerry, it’s a friendship of convenience, but either way, it has worked out lucratively for both.

In her book Seinfeldia: The Secret World of the Show About Nothing That Changed Everything, author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong explains how the two comedy legends met.

“Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld first noted their comedic affinity for each other when Seinfeld read some comedic material David had ‘gifted’ a friend, Carol Leifer, for her birthday,” Armstrong writes. “David — nearly broke — had given Leifer some jokes as a birthday ‘gift.’ Too drunk to read them aloud, she handed them off to Seinfeld; he killed, which suggested some creative potential between the two men.”

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