Top Five One-off Seinfeld Characters

Note: These new entries can be impersonal and stiffly written. I apologise for this.

5: Marlene (Episode: “The Ex-Girlfriend”): Marlene is a Southern beauty who, after George breaks up with her, uses her powers of persuasion to seduce Jerry. He plans to break up with her but is bested when she dumps him after seeing him perform comedy. “I can’t be with someone if I don’t respect what they do,” she tells him, to which Jerry indignantly replies, “You’re a cashier!”

4: Jimmy (Episode: The Jimmy): A character who only refers to himself in the third person, Jimmy’s offensive trait rubs off on George before slipping on some water and severely injuring his leg (“Jimmy’s got a compound fracture!”). This episode is also notable for finally crossing the line of having a character believe that Kramer is mentally handicapped.

3: Alton Benes (Episode: The Jacket): Elaine’s intimidating novelist father steals the show in an episode where the focus is firmly on Jerry’s candy-striped jacket. Lawrence Tierney, who played Alton Benes, was reportedly a terrifying man off-screen as well, at one point mimicking the famous Psycho shower scene with Seinfeld as his victim. Needless to say, he was never asked back.

2: Sharon the NYU reporter (Episode: The Outing): A female reporter who interviews Jerry and mistakes his symbiotic relationship with George for a sexual one. It’s not so much that she is a memorable character herself; it’s that her actions prompted one of Seinfeld’s most memorable quotes: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

1: Frank Costanza’s Lawyer (Episode: The Chinese Woman): Co-creator and comedic genius Larry David didn’t often appear on camera in Seinfeld, but his most memorable role was as George’s dad’s cape-wearing lawyer. The power of the cape is such that he manages to talk a woman down from jumping off a bridge.

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