Seinfeld started up on July 5, 1989, and despite some rocky beginnings, the hit sitcom became one of the most beloved TV shows of all-time. But did you know that the Seinfeld character George Costanza is based on Larry David or is an alter-ego of Larry David? Even Jason Alexander didn’t know that his own character George Costanza was actually Larry David.
In a 2013 interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Alexander revealed that he prepared to be George Costanza by thinking of the character as a Woody Allen-type. But then Alexander made the realization that his character was actually Larry David, but it didn’t happen until episode “five, six or seven.”
It happened when Alexander questioned David about unresolved issues and stories in Seinfeld. “Larry, you gotta resolve this,” Alexander told David. Larry, who was the head writer and executive producer of Seinfeld, responded to Alexander’s issue, by telling him that George “didn’t need continuity.”
Jason questioned Costanza’s illogical and response to a bizarre situation. “No human being would do this,” Jason said. Alexander went to Larry after a table read and said, “Larry, please help me, first of all, this wouldn’t happen to anybody, but if it did no one would react like this.” David responded, “What are you talking about? This happened to me, this is exactly what I did.”
“And that was when the bell went off in my head,” Alexander said in a revelation. “Oh jeez, He’s George. He’s George. He’s writing George.”
“Some element of every story we did on Seinfeld came out of something that happened to him,” Jason revealed. “And that’s when Woody Allen went away and I started to laser focus on what makes Larry, Larry and incorporate as much of it as I could into the building of that character. That’s when it all clicked.”
Many diehard Seinfeld fans already assumed that George Costanza was based on Larry David and it was so popular that David wrote himself into Curb Your Enthusiasm as a fill-in for George Costanza in the fake Seinfeld reboot.
It isn’t as if Larry David didn’t appear on Seinfeld. Larry made over 40 cameo appearances on Seinfeld, most notably when he was “the man in a cape” and as the voice of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. You can see all of David’s Seinfeld cameos here and in the compilation video below.
Larry David was also one of the last people to talk on Seinfeld. In the series finale appropriately titled “The Finale,” Larry is the voice of a prison inmate in jail for grand theft auto who heckles Jerry as he’s doing his comedy stand-up routine by saying, “You suck, I’ll gonna cut you!”