The Reason Patrick ‘Puddy’ Warburton Steered Clear of Jerry Seinfeld

‘I just wanted to stay out of his way’
The Reason Patrick ‘Puddy’ Warburton Steered Clear of Jerry Seinfeld

Was there ever a better romantic match for Elaine Benes than deadpan David Puddy, her on-again, off-again, on-again (often in the same episode) paramour? Puddy’s hilarious indifference to Elaine’s Seinfeld shenanigans made him an audience favorite, but it didn’t necessarily endear actor Patrick Warburton to everyone on set. In fact, Warburton went out of his way to avoid Jerry Seinfeld himself.

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Warburton’s “keep your distance” mantra didn’t apply to the entire cast. “I'm still friends with Jason Alexander to this day,” he told Looper. But Seinfeld was another matter. It wasn’t that Warburton believed Seinfeld was a lousy guy — the Puddy actor was simply trying to protect a burgeoning career. “I just didn’t want to stick my foot in mouth or say something stupid,” Warburton confessed. “I wanted to hit my marks, I wanted to get the laughs and I wanted him to say, ‘I like that Puddy character, let’s bring him back.’ I just wanted to stay out of his way.”

The strategy must have worked, as Warburton made 11 appearances on Seinfeld, putting him on a select list of non-regulars who showed up in the double digits. Maybe Puddy would have been back regardless, but why take chances? 

Warburton shouldn’t feel bad about not becoming best pals with Seinfeld. Even co-stars like Alexander never got there. “We were never social friends, we were work friends,” he told The Daily Mail. “After nine years, when the show ended, we kind of went, Oh, bye, see ya!’”

Like Warburton, Alexander doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings about not establishing a lifelong friendship with Seinfeld. After all, “we had very different lives.” 

How different? Like being friends with Patrick Warburton, for one.

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