And They're Spectacular! 10 Actors on Their Memorable 'Seinfeld' RolesBryan Cranston, Teri Hatcher and 'Newman' himself weigh in on their unforgettable turns on the groundbreaking sitcom
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Keith Hernandez ('Keith Hernandez')
"My former baseball agent Scott Boras called me and said 'Look, I just got a phone call from the Seinfeld show…they want to know if you're interested in a role.' I had just retired, I didn't want to be an actor, so I asked him what it would entail. He said 'You'll have a few lines, and they'll fly you first class to L.A.' I said 'OK, well, how much are they gonna pay?' Scott told me and I said 'OK, I'll do it.'"
"They FedExed me the script, and I saw I had lots of lines. I thought 'Holy shit, I'm can't do this!' So I kind of got a head start on it, because I was mortified. I memorized everybody's lines in every scene I was in. I knew when they were going to speak, when it was my turn, all that. I was really nervous before we shot in front of the live audience, and Jerry turns to me and went 'What the hell are you nervous for? You play in front of 50,000 people.' And I said 'Well, I don’t have to memorize lines when I'm playing in front of them.'"
"I guess they liked it, because they used it during sweeps. But after I was done, [executive producer] George Shapiro told me they had written in an extra subplot just in case I was unsatisfactory. It was George going for unemployment benefits, the whole 'Vandelay Industries' thing. So, with those scenes, it turned into an hour-long show. If I was bad, it was only going to be a half-hour."