Ranking Kramer’s Unseen Friends on ‘Seinfeld’ By How Likely It Is That They Really Exist
A curious Jerry Seinfeld once questioned Kramer, noting, “You sure have a lot of friends. How come I never see any of these people?” To which Kramer quickly countered, “They wanna know why they never see you!”
We meet some of Kramer’s friends on Seinfeld, including his holistic healer Tor Eckman, bootlegging pal Brody and death-wishing frenemy Franklin Delano Romanowski. But to Jerry’s point, there were several of Kramer’s pals who we would hear about yet never see on screen. Which compels us to rank these unseen characters based on how much we believe they exist...
Who He Is: When Elaine and Kramer have a misunderstanding about trading her bike in exchange for Kramer fixing her neck pain, she says that she was using a figure of speech, not being literal, like when people say, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” Kramer retorts, “Well, my friend Jay Riemenschneider eats horse all the time. He gets it from his butcher.”
How Real Is He: Kramer doesn’t stick to ordinary diets and would be the kind of person to want to try exotic meats, where he could have met Jay Riemenschneider. But to us, Jay Reimenschneider feels like someone Kramer made up to win a point during an argument. That said, the name may be based on someone in Larry David’s life because it reappears on Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry runs into a politician named “Jay Reimenscheider” while he’s talking to his Season 11 love interest Irma Kostroski.
Who He Is: Kramer walks into Jerry’s apartment with a roll of police caution tape, and when Jerry asks where he got it, Kramer says, “I got it from my cop-buddy, Doug.”
How Real Is He: If Doug is real, Kramer probably met him during the period of his life when he was interested in becoming a cop. We find out in the Season Six episode “The Scofflaw” that Kramer decided not to pursue a career in law enforcement for fear of being shot. In another episode, Kramer mentions “he would give it all up to be a fireman” and even drives the back of a fire truck. Kramer was probably bopping around police and fire stations when he met Doug. On the other hand, we think Doug’s existence is suspicious. Kramer only mentions him this one time, and if Kramer truly had a cop friend, he could have helped him during all the times Kramer got arrested, including in the Season Seven episode “The Wig Master” when the police mistakenly thought Kramer was a pimp.
Who He Is: Kramer slid into Jerry’s apartment with a video camera, saying it was from his friend Spector. “He’s giving everything away. He’s becoming a minimalist.” George asks, “Is that the guy who likes fat women?”
How Real Is He: We don’t know much else about Spector, but since we see Kramer holding the video camera, we assume he got it from Spector. Why did Spector have the camera in the first place? Perhaps he was trying to make it in the entertainment industry and filmed audition tapes on it. Whatever the reason, he seems real enough since George was already familiar with him.
Who He Is: Len Nicodemo is Kramer’s friend who was in the hospital for gout. Kramer says, “I’m very good with sick people. They love me. When my friend Len Nicodemo had the gout, I moved into his hospital room for three days. The doctors were amazed at his recovery.”
How Real Is He: We can definitely picture Kramer staying in a hospital room with a friend — it gets him out of the house, and he gets three free meals a day. “It’s like Sizzler opened up a hospital!”
Who He Is: When Kramer lived on Third Avenue and 18th Street, his roommate was John Grossbard, who was always behind on rent. One month, he asked Kramer to loan him $240. After Kramer obliged, Grossbard took the money and disappeared, never paying Kramer back. In Season Four’s “The Airport,” Kramer thinks he sees him and confronts him, but Grossbard doesn’t seem to recognize him.
How Real He Is: Kramer’s recollection of his loan to Grossbard is so vivid — and his emotions so raw — that it’s hard to believe Kramer would be making him up. Not to mention, in “The Airport,” Kramer is determined to track him down to be repaid. He even buys a plane ticket and boards Grossbard’s flight just to confront him. Kramer would only go to such lengths to track down someone who was real. The bigger question is, was it actually Grossbard or a look-alike that Kramer saw at the airport?
Who He Is: Lomez is one of Kramer’s Jewish friends, as we discover in “The Fatigues” when Jerry is talking with Kramer and Elaine at the coffee shop and asks, “Lomez is Jewish?” Kramer replies, “Oh yeah, yeah. Orthodox, Jerry. Old School.” Kramer also points out Lomez’s place of worship on the Peterman Reality Bus Tour. Similarly, Kramer transforms his living room with a giant hot tub he got from Lomez, and in a later episode, he is talking to Lomez on the waterproof phone he installed in an attempt to spend more time in the shower. Additionally, when Kramer’s intern Darin joins George and Jerry at the coffee shop and takes notes on their conversation, he does so because “Mr. Kramer and Mr. Lomez are in a meeting, and he didn’t want to miss anything.”
How Real Is He: Darin’s internship with Kramer involved assistant-like tasks, and he likely set up the appointment between Kramer and Lomez, which gives a lot of credibility to his existence. In Season Nine’s “The Betrayal,” we also see Kramer banging on a port-a-potty door shouting, “Come on, Lomez! We’re going to be late for the movie!” Unless he was banging on an empty port-a-potty, Lomez had to be inside.
Who He Is: In Season Two’s “The Jacket,” Kramer mentions that his magician friend is going on vacation, and he’s watching his doves for him. When Kramer asks Jerry to sit in his double-parked car for two minutes while he picks up the doves, Jerry can’t do it, telling George, “Believe me, I know his two minutes. By his conception of time, his life will last over 2,000 years.”
How Real He Is: Although we don’t see the magician or his doves, Elaine corroborates Kramer’s story that he picked up real doves. So the magician must exist. Jerry and George were smart enough to decline Kramer’s offer, because Kramer’s “two-minute” task turned into Elaine sitting in a freezing car for 20 minutes while the magician gave Kramer special instructions and each bird’s dietary needs. When Kramer finally does come down with a cage full of birds, two of them fly out. Later in the series, Kramer retells this story to Mr. Pocatillo, and mentions that a couple of the other doves turned brown.
Pete (Ticket Friend)
Who He Is: After Elaine offends her driver by pretending to be deaf to get out of speaking with him during the ride, she feels terrible and wants to make amends. When Jerry suggests getting him tickets to something, she asks Kramer about his friend that works at a ticket agency. Kramer answers, “Yeah, Pete. He’ll get you great tickets to something, like a rock concert.”
How Real Is He: Pete feels like the real deal for a couple of reasons: 1) Jerry’s familiar with him; and 2) Elaine is indeed able to secure tickets for the driver, presumably through Pete. The driver tells Jerry, George and Kramer that he “went to a rock concert last night. My seats were right up against the speaker. It’s a heavy metal group. Metalli-something.”
Who He Is: Bob Sacamano is among Kramer’s closest friends and the one that he talks about most often. Kramer tells the gang about Bob’s medical situations, including Bob having a hernia operation, spending time in a mental institution and that he once had rabies, which worries Elaine as she’s just been bitten by a dog. Kramer also talks about Bob’s many jobs — e.g., working at a condom factory and inventing the idea of attaching a toy paddle to a ball with a rubber band. “Before that, people would just hit the ball, and it would fly away.”
How Real Is He: Kramer often references Bob Sacamano when trying to give credibility to his own stories. Now, did Bob really encounter medical malpractice after his hernia operation, and did he really receive electroshock therapy during his stay at a mental institution? Maybe not, but we do believe Bob Sacamano is a real person. For no other reason than, despite the crazy stories about him, Jerry himself confirms Bob’s existence on two separate occasions. He first mentions being at a party at Bob’s, telling Elaine, “It was a lovely affair,” and a few episodes later, in the iconic “The Chicken Roaster,” Jerry says that he spoke to Bob on the phone at 3 a.m. when he was living in Kramer’s apartment, and they discussed Bob’s business of selling fake Russian hats.
Who He Is: Kramer’s friend Brody worries Jerry when he pulls out his video camera while they’re seeing Death Blow in the movie theater. Jerry pulls Kramer aside, upset, and Kramer says that bootlegging is “a perfectly legitimate business.” Jerry responds, “It’s not legitimate!” To which Kramer retorts, “It’s a business.” When Jerry asks Kramer where he met Brody, he says, “He’s a friend of a friend. You know Corky Ramirez up on 94th Street? One day, he and I are playing Pachinko…”
How Real Is He: Corky Ramirez is actually seen in Season Eight’s “The Van Buren Boys.” Kramer throws a party with some friends at a bar to celebrate his deal with J. Peterman to sell his life stories for Peterman’s book. If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of Corky sitting at a table when one of Kramer’s friends points to him and says, “Kramer, Ramirez has never heard your pants story.”
Which got us thinking: Maybe the rest of the party-goers were all the other unseen friends on this list.