"Jerry" Seinfeld, born on April 29, 1954, is an American Jewish stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. Seinfeld is best known for creating, co-writing, and starring in the iconic television series "Seinfeld," which aired from 1989 to 1998. The character he portrayed, Jerry Seinfeld, was based on himself.
Notably, "Seinfeld" received critical acclaim and a large following during its run, and it is considered one of the greatest television shows of all time. The show's unique humor, characterized by its focus on everyday situations and avoidance of topical issues, set it apart from many other comedies of its era.
In April 2004, Seinfeld was ranked as the 12th greatest stand-up comedian of all time as part of Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time" special.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish-Hungarian father, Kalman Seinfeld, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and a Syrian-Jewish mother, Betty (née Hosni), Seinfeld grew up in Massapequa, Long Island. At the age of 16, he briefly volunteered on a kibbutz in Israel.
Seinfeld attended New York State's Oswego State University for two years before transferring to Queens College, City University of New York, where he completed his bachelor's degree in communication and theater.
His journey into stand-up comedy began while at college, where he started performing at open mic nights. In 1976, after finishing his studies at Queens College, Seinfeld began appearing as a stand-up comedian at various comedy clubs and made a notable appearance on Rodney Dangerfield's HBO special.
In 1979, Seinfeld landed a recurring role in the TV series "Benson" as Frankie, a delivery boy no one wanted to see. However, shortly after starting the job, Seinfeld was called in for a script reading, only to realize he had been fired, a fact he discovered when he realized he wasn't in the episode. This experience prompted him to focus more on his stand-up career.
In 1981, Seinfeld made a guest appearance on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show" and received widespread acclaim from both Carson and the audience. Soon after, he appeared on David Letterman's show, "Late Night with David Letterman."
In 1985, Seinfeld participated in a charity event for the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
In 1988, he collaborated with his friend Larry David to create the pilot episode of "The Seinfeld Chronicles" for NBC, which later became the hit series "Seinfeld" to avoid confusion with another show. The first episode of "Seinfeld" aired on July 5, 1989, and the series concluded on May 14, 1998, with a total of 180 episodes spanning nine seasons.
Steadily, the show gained immense popularity, becoming one of the most-watched television series in the United States. The final episode of the series was watched by approximately 76 million viewers, making it the third most-watched episode of a TV series in the United States.
After "Seinfeld," Jerry Seinfeld embarked on a stand-up comedy tour titled "I'm Telling You for the Last Time" in 1998, which was followed by an album of the same name.
Following the end of the series, Seinfeld returned to his roots, performing stand-up comedy at various clubs. Footage from this period was used to create the documentary "Comedian."
Seinfeld has also written several books, many of which contain material from his earlier stand-up performances.
In 2001, American Express hired Seinfeld for a series of promotional commercials, including a one-minute spot that aired during the Super Bowl.
In 2007, he played the lead role in the 3D-animated film "Bee Movie," which was released in November of that year.
Seinfeld has made guest appearances in notable TV shows like "30 Rock," "Louie," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (with Larry David).
In July 2012, he launched a new web series called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," where he interviews fellow comedians while driving in vintage cars to get coffee. The show was well-received and continued for several seasons.
In December 2015, Seinfeld performed four shows in Israel. On December 30, 2017, he returned to Israel for two more performances.
While Jerry Seinfeld was born into a Jewish family and identifies as Jewish, he briefly explored Scientology in his early 30s.
In his personal life, Seinfeld was briefly married to American Jewish comedian Carol Leifer in 1984, but they later divorced. In his late 30s, he had a four-year relationship with an American-Jewish woman named Shoshanna Lonstein (then 17 years old when they started dating).
Since 1998, he has been in a relationship with American author Jessica Sklar, whom he married on December 25, 1999. They have three children together: daughter Sascha (born November 7, 2000), son Julian Kal (born March 1, 2003), and son Shepherd Kellen (born August 22, 2005).
In November 2014, Seinfeld briefly claimed to be on the autism spectrum but later retracted his statement, clarifying that he does not belong to the autism spectrum.
Since the 1980s, Seinfeld has been practicing meditation for over 40 years.
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