Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born April 29, 1954) is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998) (which has also been referenced various times on MST3K). He also co-created, co-executive produced and co-wrote the show with comic actor Larry David.
Jerry is also a friend of Joel Hodgson and often referenced as being a favorite comedian of both Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy. The character of Kramer (played by Michael Richards) on the sitcom Seinfeld is also often referenced in various RiffTrax episodes. Jerry and Joel worked together initially on the 1987 HBO comedy special Jerry Seinfeld: Stand-Up Confidential as well.
Seinfeld developed an interest in stand-up comedy after brief stints in college productions. In 1976, after graduation from Queens College, he tried out at an open-microphone night at New York City's Catch a Rising Star, which led to an appearance in a Rodney Dangerfield HBO special. In 1979, he had a small recurring role on the sitcom Benson, playing Frankie, a mail delivery boy who had comedy routines that no one wanted to hear. However, Seinfeld was abruptly fired from the show due to creative differences. Seinfeld has said that he was not actually told he had been fired until he turned up for the read-through session for an episode, and found that there was no script for him. In May 1981, Seinfeld made a successful appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, impressing Carson and the audience and leading to frequent appearances on that show and others, including Late Night with David Letterman.
After his sitcom ended, Seinfeld returned to comedy rather than continuing his acting career. In 1998, he went on tour and recorded a comedy special, entitled I'm Telling You for the Last Time. The process of developing and performing new material at clubs around the world was chronicled in a 2002 documentary, Comedian, which also featured fellow comic Orny Adams and was directed by Christian Charles.
Seinfeld has written several books, mostly archives of past routines. Seinfeld also co-wrote and co-produced the 2007 animated film Bee Movie, in which he voiced the protagonist. In 2010, he premiered a reality series called The Marriage Ref (which guest-starred various comedians including Joel McHale) to mixed reviews. He directed comedian Colin Quinn in the Broadway show Long Story Short at the Helen Hayes Theater, which ran until January 2011. He is also the creator and host of the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (which includes episodes with Joel Hodgson and Patton Oswalt).
In his stand-up comedy career, Seinfeld is known for specializing in observational humor, often focusing on personal relationships and uncomfortable social obligations. In 2005, Comedy Central named him the 12th-greatest stand-up comedian of all time. Seinfeld has also been an occasional author starting with the book Seinlanguage, released in 1993 when his show was first rising in popularity. It is primarily an adaptation of the comedian's stand-up material.