I get a lot of questions being a Seinfeld fan but one that tops them all is: Who is your favorite character? There truly is not answer to that for most top sitcoms from my perspective and Seinfeld is no exception. Its a total chicken and egg situation. One is not as funny without the collective so it is hard to single anyone out in such an ensemble cast. Would Jerry’s “And you wanna be my Latex salesman” be quite as funny without George writhing in despair on the ground? Would Frank Costanza be as funny alongside anyone else but Estelle? What wine did Mickey and Kramer end up ordering when the Merlot was out (not pertinent here but I always wondered). But recently, I wondered if maybe I need to make a choice once and for all. To do so, I felt it necessary to break each main character down by a few defining moments in the show that showcase who they are in the Seinfeld universe. And without further, ado, I give you the candy lineup (George Costanza)
Snoopy and Prickly Pete
This is just classic George Costanza and is pure Larry David for those that have seen his inspiration shine through. Susan, George’s ex-fiance, has passed away and he thinks he is free and clear. His almost in laws Mr. and Mrs. Ross try to rope him into the Susan Ross foundation which would in turn be tons of work. George decides to lie to them and say he can’t participate due to making a trip to the Hamptons to finalize a purchase of a fake home. When his lie is spoiled by Elaine (I told em ya didn’t. And I laughed and I laughed), George engages in an episode-long game of chicken, both sides knowing the other is lying but both also seeing who will blink first. “Ya wanna get nuts, let’s get nuts!” Complete with a day-long driving trip, a stop to buy a housewarming gift and a trek on foot to finish it off, George finally collapses in defeat. George Costanza to the max.
The Penske File
When George heads to a job interview, he ends up not knowing if he indeed was hired. Now anyone sane human would inquire as to whether or not they are employed by a company, not George Costanza. After all, back in college they rid refer to him as the Little Bulldog. His plan: knowing the boss is out of town for a few weeks, he decides to show up and ensconce himself in the fabric of the company. That way, even if he didn’t get the job, the boss would have no choice but to hire him. Now, throw yourself in that situation. Even if you had the gumption to try this, wouldn’t you lay low initially? Again, not GLC George Lewis Costanza. On day 1, they have a lovely little party of Grace and he makes a toast. Well, you can guess what happens from there: The boss returns, finds he did nothing more than transfer the Penske file into an accordion-like a folder, George believes he’s up for a better job and quits, ultimately losing that job too and ending up back on the unemployment line.
Eric the Clown
If the first two moments showed off his stubbornness and pettiness, this will be a nice highlight of his cowardice and selfishness. Instead of celebrating the birthday of his girlfriend's son, George spends the entire party arguing with Eric the Clown about whether or not he knows who Bozo is. B-O-Z-O. He’s hung up on some clown from the fifties man! When a fire breaks out due to some greasy hamburgers, George shoves and tramples a large group of 7-9 year olds to be the first one out, pushing her grandmother over in the process. He then has the gall to try to tell the story of his escape to the firefighters. If that isn’t bad enough, recapping the story to Jerry later on at Monk’s coffee shop, he spins it to be a commentary of treating everyone as equals and not adhering to “women and children first”. Classic George Costanza at every turn.
There you have it. While the entire Seinfeld group is narcissistic and selfish to a fault, George takes the cake. He’s disturbed, he’s depressed, he’s inadequate. He’s got it all! If you read all of that and still think George is your favorite character, well, may I suggest some therapy. But also head over and check out our George Costanza line of shirts!