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Top 5 Seinfeld Supporting Characters

July 10, 2009

One of the main reasons I consider Seinfeld to be the greatest sitcom of all time is the seemingly endless series of hilarious supporting characters seen throughout the show’s run.  I like a ton of them, but decided to only list my five favorites.  Many appeared in only one episode (not including the finale), like The Soup Nazi and Bubble Boy, so I excluded them from consideration.  I also excluded Newman, because he appeared in so many episodes (47) he might as well have been a regular cast member.  He’s like the Fifth Beatle of Seinfeld.  So, without further ado, here’s my list…

sfmastro5. The Maestro
(played by Mark Metcalf)

Having already established a permanent place in the annals of classic comedy with his performances as Niedermayer in the 1978 film Animal House and The Dad from those Twisted Sister videos back in the ’80s, the instantly recognizable Mark Metcalf completed his own three-decade trifecta in the ’90s with his brief but memorable appearances on Seinfeld as The Maestro (a.k.a. Bob Cobb).  The Maestro was the hilariously pretentious small-time conductor who whisked Elaine away to Tuscany while insisting to Jerry there were no rentals available there whatsoever.  His pre-show pants removal technique ensured a perfect crease and was adopted by many of the Seinfeld gang, most notably during a frustrating round of billiards in George’s cramped childhood bedroom.  To his comedic contributions, I say “BRAVO!”

sfmickey4. Mickey Abbott
(played by Danny Woodburn)

Just about everyone on Seinfeld had a sidekick.  Jerry had George.  The Gay Latin Armoire Thief had The Gay Anglo Armoire Thief.  And Kramer had Mickey, the bearded actor whose tiny body housed a raging temper.  Whether attacking Kramer for his ill-advised suggestion to wear lifts when standing in for a growing boy on a soap opera or reading him the riot act for developing Communist leanings while they worked together as a department store Santa and his elf, Mickey brought non-stop comic energy to every situation.  His reaction when George flippantly called him a midget was priceless, as was the time he and Kramer jostled for position when trying to determine which girl they were each dating.  They may have been mad for Merlot, but I’m mad for Mickey.

sfkruger3. Kruger
(played by Daniel von Bargen)

The funniest sub-category of Seinfeld supporting characters would have to be the many bosses of Costanza over the years.  Big Stein was a fascinating buffoon throughout George’s stint with the Yankees, and the way George’s boss at Play Now went so quickly from pitying him to intensely hating him was comedy gold.  But none of George’s bosses made me laugh harder or more often than his last boss, Kruger, whose go-to response for just about every situation was “Whatever.”  Upon learning of George’s attempt to defraud the company through a bogus charity called The Human Fund (“Money…for people.”), Kruger insisted upon accompanying George to the Costanza family’s resurrection of their long-dormant Festivus celebration.  Yet while chaos ensued around him, he merely shrugged his shoulders and broke out his flask.

sfjpeter2. J. Peterman
(played by John O’Hurley)

George wasn’t the only one of Jerry’s pals with a history of nutty bosses, as Elaine certainly had her fair share.  Mr. Pitt was a delightfully upper-crust British Magoo, while Mr. Lippman’s many quirks included being so attracted to Elaine that he renounced Judaism.  But the most hilarious of all Elaine’s bosses was the incomparable J. Peterman, who could instantly provide a catalog description off the top of his head for anything (and everything) he saw.  He provided so many side-splitting moments over the years, but the ones I always laugh at without fail are his exchanges with Kramer when negotiating to co-opt Cosmo’s life story for his own autobiography and his numerous cautionary tales about the many dangerous drugs found throughout the Orient.

sfdpuddy1. David Puddy
(played by Patrick Warburton)

Kramer and Costanza are undoubtedly the most impersonated and quoted Seinfeld characters, but neither of them have given me as much mileage since the series ended as Elaine’s on again, off again, on again boyfriend, David Puddy.  He’s a Devil-loving face painter, a foreplay-stealing auto mechanic, a kroner-counting jetsetter, a disposal-installing germophobe, a fur-wearing partygoer and a high-fivin’ Arby’s enthusiast.  Am I trying to say he’s a true renaissance man?  “Yeah, that’s right.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 21, 2010 10:20 am

    Good article i like David Puddy personally because he act like natural !!

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