Julia Louis-Dreyfus Slams "Seinfeld Curse" Rumor: "It Was So Moronic"
The term started to be thrown around after the massive hit sitcom ended in 1998.
When the hugely popular sitcom Seinfeld ended in 1998 after nine seasons, most of its stars went on to new TV projects, which were not as successful. The follow-up series projects of Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus ended up being swiftly canceled, which led to the media declaring that there was a "Seinfeld curse." Essentially, they meant that with the sitcom now in reruns, the cast's careers were over, too.
Now, 25 years in the future, it seems that the press spoke a little too soon. And nowhere is that more evident than in the career of Louis-Dreyfus. The actor starred in two more celebrated TV comedy series—The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep—and is now tied with Cloris Leachman for the most Primetime Emmy wins for any actor ever.
The 62-year-old TV icon looked back at the reports of a "Seinfeld curse" in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, calling the idea of it "moronic." Read on to see what she and her Seinfeld co-stars have had to say about what was made of their post-show careers.
Louis-Dreyfus said the media "invented" the idea of the curse.
When Rolling Stone asked Louis-Dreyfus about the so-called curse, she agreed that it was created by the press.
"It was invented by the media," she said. "They thought it was clever. You don't need me to prove it wrong, it was ridiculous! It made no sense. I was amazed that it had legs, because it was so moronic. I don't know how else to say it! [Laughs]"
She shot the rumor down in an Emmy acceptance speech.
Though her first attempt at leading a sitcom after Seinfeld ended, Watching Ellie, was canceled after 16 episodes in 2003, Louis-Dreyfus came back in a big way with The New Adventures of Old Christine. In 2006, it won her the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. This was her second Emmy win after taking home the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Seinfeld in 1996.
During her speech, she referenced the fact that many believed the stars of Seinfeld would never find the same amount of success again. "I'm not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby!" the actor said on stage.
Louis-Dreyfus went on to win the same award six more times for playing Selina Meyer on the political comedy, Veep.
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Jerry Seinfeld also laughed it off.
After his sitcom series ended, Jerry Seinfeld focused on his stand-up comedy again, touring and putting out specials. In 2012, his talk show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee premiered, and it ran until 2019.
"Let me tell you this about the Seinfeld curse. I like anything named after me," he joked. "There never was a Seinfeld curse, because Larry David did so well, and I've done well. The New Adventures of Old Christine, Julia won an Emmy."
David, who co-created Seinfeld, went on to create and star in the long-running series Curb Your Enthusiasm.
"Whaddya mean? Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] has a hit show. She's won an Emmy. It was the most absurd, silliest, stupidest thing to say that there was a curse," David told Esquire of the curse in 2009. "It's so annoying to hear something like that. There was no curse. It's crazy. So there were two TV shows attempted that didn't work? Big deal. How many TV shows work?"
Alexander does think the show cost him some opportunities.
Alexander, who went on to act in more movies and television shows, as well as on stage, told Entertainment Weekly in 2017 that he does feel cursed by the show, but not in the way most who used the term mean it.
"If there is a Seinfeld curse, and I don't really believe that there is one, but the curse so to speak is that the show is still out there in such a profound way," he said. "George is such an iconic image that I think some producers with other opportunities go, 'You know what, we don't want the George comparison. We don't want the audience to even think about that.' So it kept away some shows that I may have liked to do."
Richards career was dinged for another reason entirely.
As for Richards, the last of the four main cast members, it was a racist tirade caught on video that impacted his career more than any supposed curse. During a 2006 stand-up gig, he yelled at a heckler and called him the n-word multiple times. Though Richards apologized and has taken on the occasional acting job over the years, he never found the same level of post-Seinfeld fame as his co-stars.