Friday, June 12, 2009

Paul Shaffer Turned Down Role As George Costanza


I'm shocked. Has anyone ever heard this story before? According to the NY Daily News, in his new book, Paul Shaffer, who is the band director for David Letterman says he was offered the role of George Costanza before it was offered to Jason Alexander.

The way Paul remembers it is that Jerry Seinfeld called Paul and said, “There’s no audition ... You’ve got the part. Just call us back!”

Paul never called back because he was too busy doing other things. I'm trying to imagine Paul Shaffer as George. I mean they kind of look similar, but Paul has that kind of loungy kind of thing going. A little oily, where Jason has that irritating know it all kind of quality, but not oily. Has anyone ever heard this before? I don't think the show would have made it with Paul. It would have had a different kind of feel.

18 comments:

robert said...

He didn't even call back to say no thanks? I don't think Seinfeld was very well known at that point was he?

DNfromMN said...

I've nver thought of Paul Shaffer as an actor, though he would be a good physical copy of Larry David.

Mooshki said...

Freaky! The fact that George and his life were so pathetic was a huge part of the show. Paul could never have had that same "whatever" quality.

Harriet Hellfire said...

I always thought Paul Shaffer was a really creepy guy. Don't know why. He just is.

not on my dollar said...

I really believe that's how it went,...in his mind.

According to IMDB the only acting of relevance that Paul did prior to Seinfeld (1990) was 25 various episodes of SNL and even that was from 1975-1981.

I can't imagine that Jerry would just give him the job based on his SNL gig.

Then again we're talking about the pilot episode of Seinfeld, so maybe it's true.

nunaurbiz said...

Some calls just never are meant to be returned. Such as the time they called to offer me the "Mrs." role in this film called "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Don't know if anything ever came of the chick they got to replace me once I didn't call back.

Tee hee!

nunaurbiz said...

One thing, though: We don't know if the George Constanza role was rewritten to accommodate Jason's personality. It might have been a vastly different character so Paul might have fit what Jerry had in mind, right?

nancer said...

paul shaffer is a completely different guy. the only thing he and jason alexander have in common is they're both bald. paul's sort of a prig to me. he would have made a shitty george.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

But George is the best part of Seinfeld! They would have killed George if they had used David Letterman's band leader.

Kellie said...

Wasn't Paul Shaffer also in the movie Spinal Tap?

Pookie said...

wow, destiny is a funny thing.

Ryan said...

Paul Shaffer makes sense when you think of how much like Larry David he is. Sure, Jason Alexander took it a different direction, but the character is bassed on Larry, so the choice makes sense to me.

jax said...

i could totally see him as Larry David! but Jason Alexander did a slam dunk so glad he got it in the end.

heehee...he got it in the end.

Judi said...

Paul can't act, so no, I don't believe this.

Katja said...

please they all had the same acting coach "just yell, and act like a douche" then "never say sorry, and act like you don't stink and everyone else eats it".

Nosey Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nosey Parker said...

Paul Shaffer was Artie Fufkin in Spinal Tap. I can see why they asked him to play George, but Jason Alexander was a better choice.

In 2003 I went to see Bruce Springsteen. I pointed out Max Weinberg to my friend, and explained that he was on Conan O'Brien's show. She must have had poor eyesight, because she saw a balding guy in the band and kept insisting that he was Paul Shaffer!

KellyLynn said...

I can see Paul Shaffer being offered this on a whim, but Jason Alexander meshed with the rest of the cast much better than Paul ever could.

P.S. nunurbiz, your "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" comment cracked me up. Just sayin'.