The Netflix comedy special Jerry Before Seinfeld arrived in fall 2017, with a title reminding us that the television giant was a popular standup comic way before he ever starred in one of the biggest TV shows of all time. Seinfeld, the show infamously about nothing that aired on NBC from the late '80s till the late '90s, featured plenty of A list talent before they were big celebrities, all throughout its near decade long run. Today we're looking at 10 actors you forgot were on Seinfeld.
Larry David famously wrote George Costanza as his proxy on Seinfeld. When Jerry and George were casting their pilot within the show, Jeremy Piven played Michael, who read for the part of George. It seems like he had more hair on Entourage. Hmm.
Speaking of George and Jerry's pilot, somebody had to play Elaine, right? Mariska Hargitay, future star of Law & Order: SVU, played an actress who read for Elaine.
Of all the famous clowns, from Pennywise to Ronald McDonald, we have to give a special shout-out to Eric the Clown, a children's party entertainer played by Jon Favreau. Rolling Stone ranked Seinfeld at #5 on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and the actor/director showed up in the magazine's pick for #1, too. Favreau played himself in a memorable episode of HBO's The Sopranos.
In that Sopranos episode, Favreau was directing a movie starring Janeane Garofalo, who made a cameo. Janeane was Jeannie on Seinfeld. Her and Jerry had "tremendous kiss compatibility." She was in two episodes, starting with The Invitations.
Speaking of Rolling Stone's Greatest TV Shows of All Time, Breaking Bad made the list at #3. 14 years before he made his debut as Walter White in the acclaimed AMC drama, Bryan Cranston was on Seinfeld as infamous re-gifting dentist Tim Whatley.
Bryan Cranston's onscreen wife had a Seinfeld moment, too! Anna Gunn, future carwash operator and beleaguered conscience Skylar White, was in the episode The Glasses, as Jerry's girlfriend, Amy. You may recall this is the episode where George's glasses are stolen at the gym. This actually happened to a Seinfeld writer.
We are not finished with Breaking Bad cast members! The man who defined Saul Goodman aka Jimmy McGill, a character we'd get to know even better on the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, was also on Seinfeld. Bob Odenkirk was in the Season 8 episode The Abstinence, as a soon to be doctor who dumps Elaine.
Seinfeld could be quite the playground for standups and comedic actors. Patton Oswalt gives it back to George in the Season 6 episode The Couch as a video store clerk. Remember video stores? That was a thing. We miss those. For real.
Stifler's mom has always had it going on! Before the American Pie and Legally Blonde movies, Jennifer Coolidge played Jodi, Jerry's massage therapist gal pal who didn't care to work for free. Maybe Jerry was sore from learning to "bend and snap."
From Lois Lane on Lois and Clark to Lex Luthor's mom on the CW's Supergirl, Teri Hatcher has always been more than just a Desperate Housewife. She's even in a James Bond movie! She's got Seinfeld on her resumé, too, thanks to the Season 4 episode, The Implant. These ten are just the tip of the New York nothing iceberg, like so many ruffles on a poet shirt. Danny Strong, Amanda Peet, Chris Parnell, Lauren Graham, Megan Mullally, Kyle Gass, Marcia Cross, Kathy Griffin, so many cut their teeth (and in the case of Kristin Davis, brushed their teeth) during the show's near impeachable run. Yeah, we didn't like that series finale either, but the Seinfeld reunion within Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009 absolutely made up for it. There's even a near complete episode cut together from the show within a show, courtesy of actor Topher Grace. Now if only Topher would figure out a way to release his Star Wars prequel edit.