Festivus has come a little early this year for “Seinfeld” fans.
“Seinfeldia” (Simon & Schuster, $26), Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s appreciation of the ’90s sitcom that became a ratings sensation and a pop-culture phenomenon, serves up tons of tidbits, such as these seven, that are tastier than a chocolate babka from Royal Bakery or Schnitzer’s marble rye.
BY GEORGE, HE’S GOT IT
Nathan Lane, Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi, David Alan Grier and Larry Miller all tried out for the role of George. Jason Alexander won the part thanks to his chemistry reading with star Jerry Seinfeld.
THIS IDEA DIDN’T STINK
“The Smelly Car” episode from season 4 involving a nasty odor that clings to Jerry’s car came about after a lawyer friend of writer Peter Mehlman told him about his experience dealing with a valet parking attendant who had terrible B.O.
NO ‘PEN’ PALS
Alexander threatened series creator Larry David after being written out of season 3’s episode “The Pen.” “If you write me out again,” the actor said, “do it permanently.”
SHE’S GOT THOSE MOVES LIKE MICHAELS
Julia Louis-Drefyus followed in the awkward footsteps of Lorne Michaels in “The Little Kicks,” the season 8 classic wherein Elaine showed off her spastic dance moves at an office party. Writer Spike Feresten, who started as a receptionist at the “Saturday Night Live” office, recalled seeing Michaels’ unusual skills on the dance floor at an “SNL” after-party.
Jon Voight really sunk his teeth into his guest role — as himself — in season 6’s “Mom and Pop Store.” For the scene, which involved Kramer (Michael Richards) getting an impression of Voight’s teeth marks, the Oscar winner thought it would be fun to actually bite Richards. “Damn Method actors,” Richards muttered afterward.
Actor Larry Thomas, aka the “Soup Nazi,” showed up for his audition dressed in Army fatigues and a beret that made him resemble Saddam Hussein. “That was funny, but I don’t get why the character is so mean and angry,” Seinfeld said after reading with him. After asking Thomas to try it again, but making the character nicer, Seinfeld remarked: “Forget about the direction I gave you.”
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
“The Contest,” arguably the series’ most famous episode which dealt with a bet among Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer about which one was “master of their domain,” was based on a real-life incident involving Larry David, the series’ creator. David claims to have won the contest.