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Is Jason Alexander finally getting the Costanza monkey off his back? At first glance, I didn’t recognize him in the above blurb for his appearance with the Boston Pops this Sunday at Tanglewood. (His many talents include a strong baritone, well-suited for musical theatre and presumably the Pops). Jason seems to have slimmed down. His sumptuous head of hair touched down several years back. Both are differentiators from the Costanza legacy.
In the Tanglewood blurb, the sole (obligatory) indication of his Seinfeld heritage is in parentheses— “Alexander is best-known for his appearances on television (as George Costanza in Seinfeld) . . .” That, of course, remains a selling point, especially since the media just celebrated Seinfeld’s 25th anniversary.
So Alexander must walk a fine line, leveraging just enough of his Seinfeld karma, but not identifying with the short, bald, nebbish that he played, and perhaps at times embodied, too well. Like his Seinfeld costar Michael Richard, who has also underachieved, Alexander should avoid self-doubts in light of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ remarkable post-Seinfeld CBS and HBO run. Like her costars, Julia is abundantly talented. She is also way luckier.
Better to control what you can control, which Alexander has apparently taken to heart. The alternative is self-loathing, deftly explored in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode below.