Best Seinfeld Supporting Characters, Ranked - VRGyani News and Media


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Best Seinfeld Supporting Characters, Ranked

The hit NBC sitcom Seinfeld always manages to find a way into more homes for new generations to watch and finally understand all their parents' references. Now, the series has made its way onto Netflix, and the misadventures of the quartet of Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), George (Jason Alexander), and Kramer (Michael Richards) have never been so accessible.

Across the seasons their mishaps have brought them face-to-face with some of New York's more "interesting" individuals, whether they be eccentric millionaires or devious postmen next door. With this list, I will count down the very best side characters to come across our main group, under the condition that they appeared in five or more episodes. Through sheer force of will or just plain strangeness, these characters made the world of Seinfeld the playground of absurd that makes it special.

11. George Steinbrenner

A side character with a huge presence, but of whom we only saw the back of his head and heard the voice of actor and series co-creator, Larry David. This fictional version of the famed Yankees owner was rambling and bizarre, his tangents going to unforeseeable places and becoming so absurd that the only thing George could do was slowly inch his way out of the room. So little was done with him, but the hilarious atmosphere of him easily makes him one of the more ingeniously crafted side characters of the series.

  • Best Episode: “The Secretary”
  • Best Line: “They're gonna take you away to a nice place where you can get some help. They're very friendly people there. My brother-in-law was there for a couple of weeks. The man was obsessed with lactating women. They completely cured him, although he still eats a lot of cheese.”

10. David Puddy

Oh, David Puddy. A big, simple, dummy who somehow got Elaine to fall for him harder than any of her previous boyfriends and lovers. It defies reason, and that’s a large part of what makes their match and Puddy as a character so memorable. Watching her mouth hang when he would ask things like “Why can’t dip be a meal?” probably rang true for any woman who dated their own Puddy at one point or another. Actor Patrick Warburton brought his deep-voiced to the often monotone Puddy, making him stand apart from the other theatrically ridiculous characters we’ve seen come and go throughout the series.

  • Best Episode: “The Face Painter”
  • Best Line: “Yeah, that’s right.”

9. Helen Seinfeld

A true mother of the household, Jerry’s mother Helen still has no problem viewing her fully grown son as her young son, asking if he needs money, being overly concerned about his well-being, and certainly never wanting to be a fuss. Most importantly, she’s the voice of order amid the occasional chaos of Jerry and his father Morty, speaking up against the other when either is being a bit too much. Liz Sheridan’s timing is often brilliant (Why’d you take his pen?”), and her work alongside Barney Martin as Morty is seamless, and you feel they’ve been married and bickering for years — much like another two characters I’ll soon get to.

  • Best Episode: "The Pen"
  • Best Line: “No, it's not true. You're a wonderful, wonderful boy. Everybody likes you. It's impossible not to like you. Impossible!”

8. Mr. Pitt

Seinfeld would occasionally take swipes at New York’s elite and wealthy, often making them goofy figures with weird habits that make them far stranger than anyone thinks. Enter one of Elaine’s bosses, Jason Pitt, who is impossible to please and often drives her insane, like when he cannot decide on the perfect pair of white socks. Actor Ian Abercrombie always got the laugh by undercutting his pomposity by bringing out Pitt’s eccentricities, like eating a Snicker’s bar with a fork and knife and obsessing over trying to find the spaceship in a picture Kramer gives him. So wealthy. So weird.

  • Best Episode: "The Pledge"

7. Morty Seinfeld

No man holds a grudge or a gripe like Jerry’s father Morty — especially if that person didn’t pay for the Coke they definitely got at lunch. A former New York raincoat salesman who loves to tout all his connections in the garment district, Morty seems to only ever be thinking about who slighted him and how much money they owe him down to the 0.1 percent. Barney Martin plays Morty like a man who has never known happiness beyond a perfect early bird special, making him a hilarious curmudgeon we all love to see take someone to task.

  • Best Episode: "The Money"
  • Best Line: “The service was slow, and God forbid they should refill the water. How does 12.4 percent sound?”

6. Uncle Leo

You can almost smell the mothballs every time Jerry’s uncle Leo enters on screen. The way he grabs Jerry’s elbow to bring him off to the side to talk, the cheek pinches, the way he never misses a chance to talk about how well Jerry’s cousin is doing. He’s frugal to an immense fault — like when grabs a watch out of the garbage — and just drains the life out of Jerry the moment he drops his trademark “Hello!” And yet, there’s something endearing about him thanks to Len Lesser’s big personality and smile. He’s the loud family member you can’t imagine life without, as much as you might want to.

  • Best Episode: "The Watch"
  • Best Line: “Jerry! Hello!”

RELATED: Which 'Seinfeld' Character Wins In a Deathmatch? These 7 Classic Episodes Hold the Answer

5. J. Peterman

Like an adventure movie star warped out of time and placed in the 90s, John O’Hurley’s Jacopo “J” Peterman just as well traversed the world’s deepest jungles as he did run a print fashion catalog. As ridiculous as the rest of the series’ best characters, but in a debonair, almost heroic way. O’Hurley found the hilarity in his worldliness and showmanship, able to talk up his grand escapades with a captivating bravado while keeping in mind he’s a silly man who’s also probably a bit full of shit.

  • Best Episode: "The Shower Head"
  • Best Line: “I know what you're going through. I too once fell under the spell of opium. It was 1979. I was traveling the Yangtze in search of a Mongolian horsehair vest. I had got to the market after sundown. All of the clothing traders had gone, but a different sort of trader still lurked about. ‘Just a taste,’ he said. That was all it took.”

4. Kenny Bania

The genius of Steve Hytner’s Kenny Bania is how he can often be such a force of positivity amongst such negative people and yet is absolutely unbearable. There are times when he should be too innocent and naive to hate, but you can’t find him immensely obnoxious. All he wants to do is be Jerry’s best friend and go out to have a meal with him, but Jerry can’t stand him, and you can’t but side with Jerry. Hytner’s performance blends so well the admittedly sweet with the annoying, so even when he’s doing anything that would bug any sensible person, there’s still that part of you that can’t help but root for him.

  • Best Episode: “The Soup Nazi”
  • Best Line: “That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!”

3. Estelle Costanza

One-half of George’s fascinating parents, Estelle Harris' Estelle Costanza is the kind of melodramatic mother who perhaps loves to make you feel guilty for not calling or staying over for dinner. Overbearing in every sense of the word, she still treats her middle-aged son like a child and turns every inconvenience into a shouting match. She definitely comes off as a woman who, as George claimed, has never laughed, which is no surprise given how she has had to deal with Frank (Jerry Stiller) for decades. The source of all George's troubles with women, she's the kind of character who brings gut-busting laughs to life by making George's even worse.

  • Best Episode: "The Contest"
  • Best Line: "I don't understand you. I really don't. You have nothing better to do at three o'clock in the afternoon? I go out for a quart of milk. I come home, and find my son treating his body like it was an amusement park!"

2. Newman

If Kramer is the kooky neighbor next door, Newman is the nemesis down the hall. A devious figure with hysterical delusions of grandeur, he’s as likely to ask Jerry to use his bathroom as his to declare his intent to bring his eventual destruction. He’s mysterious and obtuse, maniacal, and a bit pathetic. The layers of Newman know no bounds, and the brilliance of Wayne Knight in the role is how he’s able to glide through them all seemingly at the snap of a finger. One minute he can seem like just a regular guy who works a regular job at the post office, and the next he’s launching into an almost Shakespearean speech recounting the most basic events of his day. With a laugh that can curdle milk and a presence that guarantees hilarity, there’s only one character who ranks supreme above the man they simply called Newman.

  • Best Episode: "The Bottle Deposit"
  • Best Line: "Hello, Jerry."

1. Frank Costanza

It takes quite the duo to turn George into the specimen he is, and if Estelle is the piercing arrow of constant passive aggressiveness and guilt-tripping, Frank is the monsoon of theatrical belligerence and endless embarrassment. Having lost all traces of a filter long ago, he’s not so much always on the verge of a hilarious meltdown no matter how big or small the situation — like Estelle putting bananas in the yogurt or challenging George to a wrestling match at dinner on Festivus. A comedic force of nature, Jerry Stiller made Frank the character who dominates the room with his ridiculous, bombastic personality, stealing the show from the main cast and instantly elevating any episode he’s in.

  • Best Episode: "The Strike"
  • Best Line: "The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now, you're gonna hear about it!"

KEEP READING: 'Seinfeld' Gets Trapped in a LEGO Apartment in Hilarious Netflix Trailer

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