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Here’s Every ‘Seinfeld’ Character Name That Larry David Brought Back for ‘Curb’

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Here’s Every ‘Seinfeld’ Character Name That Larry David Brought Back for ‘Curb’

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When it comes to characters in Seinfeld and Larry David’s personal sequel series Curb Your Enthusiasm, there’s bound to be some overlap — beyond, you know, the actual people from Seinfeld.

Look, it’s understandable. Given the sheer volume of television that David has written, produced, directed and/or starred in, eventually, he’s going to run out of names to give some guy who only appears in one episode of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm where he plays a stranger with whom either Jerry or Larry gets into an argument over something trivial. Hundreds of characters have come and gone in the LDEU (Larry David Extended Universe), and with only so many combinations of first name/last name possible in the English language, David doubled up on a couple. Again, it happens.

According to the respective Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm wikis, there have been four (well, five, sort of) instances of character names in Seinfeld being assigned to another person in Curb. Here they are, starting with…

Bob Cobb

With deference to the Seinfeld Bob Cobb, he prefers to be called The Maestro. In the fittingly titled Seinfeld episode “The Maestro,” the conceited conductor demands to be addressed by his official title, despite the fact that the orchestra for which he Maestros is only the Policeman's Benevolent Association Orchestra. 

In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bob Cobb isn’t actually shown onscreen, but his grandson, Cliff Cobb, shows enough ego for the both of them regarding the egg-bacon-avocado plate that is apparently sacrosanct when it comes to substitutions. You don’t see Larry out there bossing seniors around just because his grandfather is Harold Bingo.

Jay Riemenschneider

Many Seinfeld fans wonder whether any of Cosmo Kramer’s off-screen friends even exist, and there’s a good reason to be skeptical — what the hell kind of butcher does Jay Riemenschneider have who has fresh horse on the regular? Sure, some Scandinavian cultures have traditional dishes that call for horse meat, but Riemenschneider doesn’t sound particularly Norse to me. This Jay guy just seems like a weirdo.

Knowing that about this fellow Riemenschneider, would you vote for him should he ever run for office? Somebody did, apparently — Larry runs into a local politician named Jay Riemenschneider in the Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Eleven episode, “Irma Kostroski.”

(Alec) Berg

The real-life Alec Berg is a prolific, Harvard-educated comedy writer who worked on both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm — as well as Silicon Valley, The Cat in the Hat and The Dictator. But on Seinfeld, Alec Berg is a generous but easily offended attorney who cuts Jerry off from his free New Jersey Devils tickets after the ingrate refuses to thank Berg for the favor the day after the game.

In one of the greatest Curb scenes in history, Paul F. Thompkins plays Larry’s attorney, Berg, who, like his real-life namesake, is Swedish, not Jewish, as Larry assumed. Larry’s just going to trust some confusingly named Swede with his divorce?

Alton

On Seinfeld, Alton Benes is an intense, inscrutable war veteran and writer who also happens to be Elaine’s overbearing, intimidating father. Supposedly, the character of Alton was originally intended to be a regular part of the series, but actor Lawrence Tierney continued to be too gruff, intimidating and possibly violent when the cameras stopped rolling.

Curb's Alton is a bit less, uh, “alpha” as his Seinfeld counterpart — Leon’s friend is a Seinfeld fan with a beautiful wife, over whom he is unspeakably jealous. And for good reason: Alton’s wife is an adulterer, as Leon well knows.

Ted Danson

Like Bob Cobb, Ted Danson doesn’t technically appear in both series, but his presence in George’s mind as he and Jerry plan their TV careers is basically a character unto its own. Behind the scenes, David didn’t want Seinfeld to be seen as Cheers’ “little brother,” which may have inspired his fictional counterpart George’s jealousy of the rich, handsome Danson.

On Curb, that jealousy gets cranked up to 11 — Danson is very much on-screen as he steals Larry’s wife after years of haunting their marriage with his insufferable affability. 

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