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Jerry Seinfeld Says Jerry Stiller ‘Was Perfect’ On Seinfeld, Needed No Direction

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Jerry Stiller was perfect and Jerry Seinfeld knows it. Seinfeld stopped by “What A Joke With Papa & Fortune” on SiriusXM’s Netflix is a Joke Radio and reminisced about the recently deceased Jerry Stiller, who unforgettably played the famously loud father to George Costanza, Frank Costanza, on Seinfeld. If you’ve ever wondered who we have to thank for Stiller’s turn as Frank Constanza, Seinfeld revealed that it was writer and comedian Larry Charles who had the brilliant idea to cast Stiller. “You know, there was a writer on the show, Larry Charles, was the guy who came up with the idea,” Stiller says during the interview. For his part, he wasn’t so hot on the idea at first because of certain physical attributes that Stiller had which Jason Alexander lacked. Namely, hair. “…I remember Stiller and Meara from the 60’s,” Jerry says, “but I hadn’t seen Jerry in a while and I just didn’t– and I thought, well, but he’s not bald.” He definitely has a point there.

Thank god Charles was not as short-sighted as Seinfeld, otherwise we may never have gotten Stiller as Frank. “Larry just kept mentioning him and finally we brought him in and he was so perfect.” How perfect was Stiller? So perfect that no one ever gave him any notes, apparently. “We never gave Jerry Stiller a note. I never adjusted his performance once. Whatever he did, that’s it. We’re putting that out there.” Seinfeld admits that he never knew how or why Stiller did what he did, but that he was smart enough to not get in the way of it “I don’t know why he did it like that. I don’t know why he screamed on that line. It doesn’t matter. It’s funny. So funny. I am such a dedicated believer in if it’s funny, don’t touch it. I don’t care why it’s funny. I don’t care what the line was supposed to be. He said it that way, we’re doing it that way.” Jerry was funny and Jerry knows funny, so Jerry let Jerry be Jerry.

Jerry Seinfeld Talks Working With Jerry Stiller on Seinfeld