Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top 10 Minor Characters on "Seinfeld"

Maximum seven episodes. No parents, Peterman, Pitt, or Puddy.

10. Marisa Tomei (herself). The ultimate early-mid '90s babe on the ultimate early-mid '90s show. Learned that "manure" really isn't such a bad word. Beats Uma Thurman and Jon Voight (the actor, not the periodontist) in the real-life Hollywood category.

9. Keith Hernandez (himself). Reminds you how deep Seinfeld's roots sink back into the '80s -- Most college students today weren't born when Keith last had a good year in the majors. But he was dynamite in the show's first-ever hour-long episode. "Go ahead, kiss her. I'm a baseball player, damnit!"

8. Bob Sacamano (off-screen). In the heard but never seen category, Kramer's legendary friend edges out Lomez, who was an interesting chap but didn't operate a condom factory, sell knock-off Russian hats, or ever catch Rabies.

7. Tony the Mimbo (Dan Cortese). George: "He's the first cool guy I've ever been friends with in my life! You know, it's a different world when you're with a cool guy."

6. Poppy (Rene Santoni). Flamboyant restauranteur opposes abortion, hand-washing, and urinals over a number of episodes. "Poppy... got a little bit sloppy."

5. Sidra Holland (Teri Hatcher). "If that's Rushdie, they're real." "If they're real, that's Rushdie!"

4. Sue Ellen Mischke (Brenda Strong). Heiress to the O Henry candy bar fortune, the inspiration for Peterman's "Gatsby Swing Top," and Elaine's "Lex Luthor."

3. Bob (?). Fiery, lisping antique collector and militant AIDS-walker. Described by Kramer as a "street tough" after he and his partner Cedric made off with Elaine's armoir. "Was you talking to him? Because you was obviously talking to one of us. So what is it? Who?! Who was you talking to!?"

2. Crazy Joe Davola (Peter Crombie). Opera-loving stalker and martial arts expert. "Beats up" three thugs in Central Park, in what must be one of the weakest TV "action" sequences not involving Chuck Norris. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

1. Mickey Abbott (Danny Woodburn). The littlest minor character of them all -- a part-time Christmas elf, part-time TV stand-in, and full-time anti-communist. Participant in one of the greatest Seinfeld conversations of all time:

Kramer and Mickey: Rock, paper, scissors, match!
Mickey: Alright, rock beats paper.
Kramer: I thought paper covered rock?
Mickey: Nah, rock flies right through paper.
Kramer: What beats rock?
Mickey: Nothing beats rock.
Kramer: Alright, come on.
Kramer and Mickey: Rock, paper, scissors, match!
Kramer: Rock.
Mickey: Rock.
Kramer and Mickey: Rock, paper, scissors, match!
Kramer: Rock.
Mickey: Rock.


John said...

No Tim Whatley? No Bania? No Jackie Chiles?

Matt K said...

Whatley's a pretty good one -- anti-dentite, re-gifting, etc -- but he lacks a defining moment. This may be an unpopular view, but I think Jackie Chiles is too narrow a parody of Johnnie Cochran to age well long outside the '90s. I omitted Bania because I figured he was in too many episodes, but now that I see he was only in 7, he'd certainly belong in the top three.

John said...

I think the criticism of Jackie Chiles is probably fair, although I still find him amusing. But Whatley is surely more memorable than some that are on the list.

Are the other bosses not specifically excluded in too many episodes to qualify? Mr. Kruger was always amusing. As was Larry David's Steinbrenner.