Actor Jerry Stiller Was Unsure if His ‘Seinfeld’ Character, Frank Costanza, Was Jewish
Jewish actor Jerry Stiller said he was unclear about the heritage of the famous character he played on this hit sitcom “Seinfeld,” according to the New York Post‘s Page Six.
Stiller, who played George Costanza’s father, Frank, on “Seinfeld,” said the show did not make it clear if the Costanzas were of Jewish or Italian descent. Stiller appeared in a video at a gala on Monday night in New York City, hosted by Israel’s Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, and said, “It was never really clear if the Costanzas were Jewish or Italian or what they were. Jason [Alexander, who played George], Estelle [Harris, who played Estelle Costanza] and I were given the name Costanza, which sounds Italian, but there were episodes where I cooked Jewish food and ate knishes and kasha varnishkes in bed.”
Stiller added, “When people asked me about this, I would simply say it was because we were a Jewish family in the witness protection program.”
A model of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment from the show is part of the Tel Aviv museum’s new exhibit on Jewish humor, according to Page Six.