Last week I shared some of my interview with Rochelle Rochelle model Chela Holton. Today some snippets from my chat with the man I consider the mayor of Seinfeldia, Kenny Kramer. He inspired his former neighbor, Larry David, to create the indelible character of Kramer for Seinfeld. He continues to lead a successful bus tour of Seinfeld sites in New York, Kramer’s Reality Tour, which I highly recommend. Here are a few choice snippets from my interview with him; for the whole story, pick up Seinfeldia on July 5, or pre-order it RIGHT NOW.
What did you think when you first heard Larry David wanted to base a character on you?I thought that Larry David is going to write a network television sitcom for primetime and nobody’s going to put it on the air. He was living across the hall while he did the pilot and when they shot the four test episodes [the second year it was on].
When did you actually finally get the idea that maybe this was going to change your life? Around the second and third season of the show. The second season was 13 episodes. The third season it really started getting a buzz. Kramer became this unbelievable character.
Do you have any favorite moments from actually going to the set? Bonding with Michael [Richards, who played Kramer] is special. He and I have a lot in common. We were both single parents raising a daughter; we had so much in common that it was really strange. We never really became friends who always were friendly. But when I go out [to Los Angeles], he and I will sometimes hang out a little bit. It was a kick for both of us.
What was it like being there for the finale? It was very exciting. I had VIP access. The moment I’ll never forget is they had the wrap party afterwards, and they did it at House of Blues. Jerry, Larry, myself, Larry’s wife, Jerry’s friends, maybe 20 of us had a special wristband that could get us into the VIP room. I was in there and I will never forget Kato Kaelin was there. And this was not long after all that shit went down in the trial. Kato came running up to me, he recognized me, he was very excited to meet me. Then Larry comes in and I said, “Larry, say hello to Kato Kaelin.” The look on Larry’s face, it was priceless, like he was just despicable human being.
What do you feel like is the best part of being the real Kramer? The fact that I can make a living without too much work.