When one of the best comedy series of all time, Seinfeld, came to an end after a decade in 1998, some media commentators came up with something called the ‘Seinfeld Curse.’ This referred to the careers of the main actors, who tried to launch sitcoms of their own but ‘failed.’
Michael Richards (Kramer) starred in the short-lived Michael Richards Show in 2000 and Jason Alexander (George Costanza) starred in the equally short-lived comedy series Bob Patterson in 2001. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss starred in Watching Ellie in 2002-2003, which managed two seasons before being cancelled.
Louis-Dreyfus has arguably had the most successful career since Seinfeld, starring in Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and then winning multiple Emmys for Veep. In the last decade, she has appeared in more movies, such as Nicole Holofcener’s rom-com Enough Said with James Gandolfini, comedy movie Downhill with Will Ferrell, and she has now joined the MCU. She is back in a new Nicole Holofcener movie in 2023 called You Hurt My Feelings.
Louis-Dreyfus says in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that the notion that there was ever a ‘Seinfeld Curse’ is ridiculous; “It was invented by the media. They thought it was clever. You don’t need me to prove it wrong, it was ridiculous! It made no sense. I was amazed that it had legs, because it was so moronic. I don’t know how else to say it! [Laughs]”
Larry David once said of the curse; “It’s so completely idiotic… It’s very hard to have a successful sitcom.” Seinfeld is far from the only successful comedy series where the stars’ careers maybe haven’t taken off as might be expected. You could easily say the same of Friends, The Inbetweeners, and many others.
Check out out guide to the best Friends episodes.