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Which television sitcom marked the acting debut of Jerry Seinfeld?

Which TV sitcom marked the acting debut of Jerry Seinfeld?


Before most actors find success in the specific projects that launch them directly into stardom, they tend to have acting debuts in shows or movies we didn’t even know they were in.

Nick Offerman was on Gilmore Girls (unexpected, we know), Amy Adams was on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Chris Pratt was on The OC.

While most of those acting cameos are just another notch in their acting belts, everyone has to start somewhere – including those big Hollywood names.

One of those people is comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld. While his namesake sitcom Seinfeld is what really made him blow up in show biz, it wasn’t his first stint in front of the camera.

If you’ve ever been curious to know what TV show had the honor, we’d recommend you keep reading so you can find out.

Who is Jerry Seinfeld?

Jerry Seinfeld

© Guliver / Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld was born in New York, specifically in Brooklyn.

The son of two Jewish immigrants, he spent most of his younger years working at a Kibbutz (a communal farm young Jewish people attend for a few weeks or months to bond) in Israel.

His first step into show business would come during his time attending college at The State University of New York.

While getting his degree in communications and theatre, he was part of several smaller stand-up comedy productions.

He loved making people laugh so much that he decided that would be his path in life.

Over the course of his career, he performed in countless open mic nights and held several smaller roles in TV shows and movies.

Today, Jerry is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer, and actor.

Which television sitcom marked the acting debut of Jerry Seinfeld


Which television sitcom marked the acting debut of Jerry Seinfeld?

So, which television sitcom marked the acting debut of Jerry Seinfeld? Jerry’s television sitcom acting debut was in a show called Benson. He had a three-episode arc playing the character Frankie. Frankie was a mail delivery boy who was constantly trying to show off his comedy routines, but that no one wanted to pay attention to.

While his appearance in Benson could have had the potential of being his big break, there are rumors that there were some creative differences between him and the writers of the show.

And so, after those three episodes, he was unceremoniously let go.

In fact, he didn’t even know he was out of a job until he showed up for an episode reading and found out Frankie was nowhere to be seen in the script.

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What was the TV show Benson about?

Debuting in September 1979, Benson was an American TV sitcom that ran for 7 seasons and spanned 158 episodes.

It followed the life of Benson DuBois, the Head of Household Affairs for a local governor and his interactions with the other people working and living there.

During his time as Governor Eugene X. Gatling’s staff, he was able to help his boss get out of some sticky political and public situations.

As the series progresses, we see Benson develop in his career from his initial job all the way to competing for governor against Eugene.

While the competition does throw a wrench in their relationship during the last few episodes of the final season, we do get a chance to see them come to terms and find a way to meet in the middle.

We’re never shown if Benson is able to secure the Governor position against his former boss or not, but the series does close with a somewhat satisfying ending. Personal issues are resolved, and life begins to move forward.

Fun Trivia

While Benson was indeed Jerry’s acting debut, that’s not what he’s mostly known for.

The honor of that title would go to his hit sitcom Seinfeld, which aired for nine years.

The show about nothing followed Jerry moving into a new apartment and the exploits he and his friends got into during the following years. 

Here is some Seinfeld trivia you might have not known about.

  • The show is loosely based on his life as a stand-up comedian, and each episode ends with a snippet of him on stage doing a bit that references what happened during that episode.
  • The show’s theme song changes every episode. It’s pretty subtle, so you have to pay close attention, but the changes are there.
  • The soup nazi character is actually based on a real-life person. Ali Yeganeh, who runs the soup chain “The Original Soup Man,” had pretty strict rules when it came to customers being able to take home a bowl. Today, his soup stand in Times Square is decked out with images of the actor who played him in the series. People even walk by and yell, “no soup for you!” on a regular basis to him.
  • George’s outfits were always one size too small – on purpose! The character of George is this perpetually annoyed and kind of frazzled guy, so it made sense that his clothes reflected that.

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