Jason Alexander discusses 'George Costanza' being based on Larry David- EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG
then went your gorge that was the description I had no idea that at that time that it was any kind of an alter-ego for
Davidwould never have dawned on me I went through easily the first five six seven episodes of that show with Woody Allen in the back of my mind just going that's your guide you know use those sensibilities and perceptions and you'll muscle through this one of these days I've got to go back and try and figure out what episode it was but it was within the first eight episodes where it's interesting you know every some people think Seinfeld rewrote the book on how to do a sitcom that's not actually true most of the elements in Seinfeld had been done before we may have been cobbling them together in a different way but you know Burns and Allen used to do the curtain speech in front of the curtain just like Jerry would do the standup that so that bookend was there and what was different about Seinfeld in its construction was at that time sitcom writing was very clean there was an a story and a B story and you teed up the a story in the Preeti's then you rolled your credits then you did a story about the a with one mention of the be seen to was the B story but by by the time he came to the next commercial break you had set up the tension moments of the a and B story you come back you finished the a store you go to commercial you come back you finish the B story and you roll the credits that's how every sitcom was done these guys...
weren't writing like that so they would start an a B and C story and B and C would never resolved or a and C would never resolved and only B would result or you'd be hard-pressed to find the a story that it was just a series of events with no particular driving story to it no particular conflict no particular anything so at the time as as we were all
beinggreeted with these scripts we were we Julia and well Joe certainly Julia and I would scratch our heads and go what's going on here you know this is really strange they would write me a conflict that was heated and never resolve it and I went I go
Larryyou got a resolve this it's not funny after that but you can't the character anyway it's not about characters well funny and and and that was like what this guy's from another planet what do you mean it's not about characters I'm only playing a character I have to come back next week I have to have continuity no you don't he didn't care if there he didn't care if I did one thing this week and the polar opposite the next week if it was funny and to me the train doctor I'm doing you can't do that somewhere in those first eight episodes they wrote a scenario where
Georgegot into a situation which I thought was completely unlikely and then reacted to it in a way that I thought was for writing purposes only because no human
beingwould do this and I went to
Larryafter the table read and I said
Larryplease help me first of...
all this wouldn't happen to anybody but if it did no one would react like this and he looked at me what what are you talking about this happened to me this is exactly what I did and that was when the bell went off in my head no oh geez he's
Georgethat's when I got introduced to the
Davidnotebooks where almost everything some element of every story we did on Seinfeld came out of something that happened to him and that's when Woody Allen went away and I started to laser focus on what makes
Larryand incorporate as much of it as I could into the building of that character so that's what it all collectin I act one of these days I'll go back and look at the titles of the shows and got one must have been that one a lot of the comedy of Seinfeld happens between the lines and for
Georgethe reason it does that is because my perception of
Larryat the time was that for him he is constantly weighing whether someone has just attacked him or diminished him so first he has to weigh that and then he has to weigh whether or not a response is worthwhile and in that weighing process he does something physically and if you've watched curb you see it all the time the physicality of it is he puts his tongue at the bottom of his bottom teeth and he and he makes this face and he goes that was my clue to
Georgeso what would happen is there was lots of zingers
beingwritten into the script but they were like Superman...
bullets they were either absorbed or they bounced off nobody ever went huh he just took a shot that sensibility of I see what you did you took a shot at me you supposed to be my friend and you just took a shot that became a big part of the energy of the ensemble the noting those things noting that we were all supposedly friends with a comedian who would be doing things like that having that reality the other thing about
Larrythat was so remarkable to me I'd never seen anybody balance these things was
Larrycarried I don't know if he still does but carried both an incredible sense of worthlessness that he was just horrible useless untalented unattractive human
beingalongside the most overinflated ego that everything he said and did was of the utmost importance and significance and value and that everything else was diminished in comparison but those two things were side by side in the same package so he could be declared and abrasive in one second and then turn around and go to much good I'm an idiot we actually did this on Seinfeld but it's because
Larryreally did it this is who he is and this is who
George's he quit Saturn at live as a writer in a volcanic eruption of obscenities telling the boss to go stick things everywhere you can stick things and you know perform unnatural acts and just this is horrible torrent of obscenity on a Friday got hundreds apartment went what have I done now I don't have a job I'm unemployed right and he's...
talking to Kenny Kramer the real Kramer and Kenny goes just go back to work on Monday and like we mean just go back like nothing happened let's go back well what happens when they say you know you quit and you cursed us all up you just go what you you believe that I was joking I was making the job and that's what