You know who cannot act: Jerry Seinfeld.
He never could, but he made a lucrative living as a funny man turned sit-com character in Seinfeld for 9 seasons.
Setting aside the indisputable fact that he, alongside Larry David, was the creative genius behind the lengthy television show, he was never really an actor. A voice-over actor, perhaps. But never a serious, legitimate stage or screen presence.
But he did come up trumps on the T. V. screen. And make it good. Seinfeld still stands as one of the most hilarious TV programs to ever come out of Hollywood.
Try to imagine if he could act. Just imagine he was as rehearsed as his cockamamie wacky neighbour Kramer (Michael Richards), his selfish ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), or his neurotic and gutless high school buddy George Costanza (Jason Alexander).
Or his plump postman arch-enemy, Newman (Wayne Knight).
Actually , come to think of it, it’s doubtless better that he never graduated from acting college since the premise of the show ultimately hinged on Jerry Seinfeld the funny man writing the gags and his pals and foes bringing them to life around him.
So I guess therein lies some method to the acting craziness.
But unlike Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Seinfeld did not exactly meet an untimely end.
Regardless of falling one year shy of ten years on American and international T.V. screens, Jerry Seinfeld’s career and livelihood only gained speed after the show that bore his name finished with the 4 selfish New Yorkers standing trial and being duly found guilty as innocent bystanders.
And ending up in jail.
Ironically, from there, the careers of the aforementioned legitimate actors never truly took off after the series box sets hit the shelves in time for Xmas and Jewish High Holidays.
The New Adventures of Old Christine never truly hit the comedic mark.
And that racial outburst in an L.A. comedy club wasn’t exactly the sort of punch line we needed to remember the charming Kramer by.
Perhaps the sole saving grace was Wayne Knight’s role in Basic Instinct’s infamous interrogation scene – although you almost certainly did not even realize he was there.
But then there was Jerry. He caused some buzz with Bee Movie, produced a Reality Television show primarily based on marriage and relationship advice, and eventually returned to the improv comedy stage to great applause – and with new material!
I suspect the hidden secret to his success is a thespian technique known as Method Acting, in which the actor fundamentally never beaks out of character. Which was simple for Seinfeld, because he always was playing himself – a comic, always at the beck and call of his audience and with an abiding Get Out Of Fail Card – and never a genuine actor playing a ‘role’.
So all he actually had to do was turn up, tell some bits and be himself for 22 minutes an episode and before he knew it, he had worldwide celebrity, countless industry endorsements and royalty payments the Queen of Britain would be jealous of.
And all this because he couldn’t act.