Kenny Kramer

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Kenny Kramer
Kramer, Kenny (2007).jpg
Kenny Kramer in 2007
Born New York, U.S.

Kenny Kramer (born May 1943) is an American stand-up comedian.

He is the inspiration for the character of Cosmo Kramer from the television sitcom Seinfeld.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kramer had a spotty career as a stand-up comedian, and worked as the manager for a British reggae band.[2] Kramer sought to manage Bill Beason, a New York point karate champion, with the hopes that the karate tournament scene would develop along the same lines as wrestling had, since corporate sponsors such as Budweiser and Paul Mitchell were emerging. During the disco years, Kramer created an electronic jewelry item that sold so well that he was able to live comfortably without working.[3]

Seinfeld co-creator Larry David lived across the hall from Kenny for 6 years, just as the character of Jerry Seinfeld did from Cosmo Kramer in the show. The two lived in Manhattan Plaza, a federally assisted apartment complex for performing artists in Hell's Kitchen, New York City.[4] David said that Kramer was a little bit eccentric and would be a good character to have on the show. Many of the traits of Kenny Kramer, such as the obsession with golf, fruit, hot tubs, taking things out of the fridge, and coming up with strange ideas and inventions, were featured in the show.

Seinfeld[edit]

Michael Richards did not want to meet with Kenny to study the character and wanted to create the character himself. This situation was later parodied in the Seinfeld fourth season episode "The Pilot". The character was originally going to be named "Kessler" (parodied when he and Jerry are shown meeting for the first time in "The Betrayal"), due to Larry David's fear that using the name might spur the real Kramer to exploit his association with the character. However, Jerry Seinfeld thought that the name was too good not to use. Kenny Kramer then proceeded to contact Castle Rock Entertainment with a list of several demands, many of which were financial, for the use of his name. One demand not met was that Kenny would get to play Kramer, which is also parodied in "The Pilot".[5]

Kenny has been the host of Kramer's Reality Tour and Kramer's Reality Road Show for the past 13 years. He tells behind-the-scene Seinfeld stories to his audience and gives a bus tour of sites made famous by Seinfeld. A DVD version of his reality tour has been produced.[6] The "Reality Tours" were later parodied on Seinfeld in the episode "The Muffin Tops", when the Kramer character receives money from catalog sales company owner J. Peterman for the use of his various stories in Peterman's biography. He develops a reality bus tour and touts himself as "The Real J. Peterman." The relationship between Cosmo Kramer and Kenny Kramer is explored in the featurette "Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo", on the 3rd season Seinfeld DVD.

Later career[edit]

After achieving fame as the real Kramer from Seinfeld, Kramer has worked as a correspondent for Hard Copy, created and hosted "Kramer's New York" segments for the Fox New York City affiliate WNYW's Good Day New York, and appeared in the original New York company of Tony n' Tina's Wedding, playing himself. He has made many appearances on the bonus features of the Seinfeld DVD series.

In 1997, Kramer attempted to gain the Democratic Party nomination for New York mayor; he claimed that his candidacy was "quite serious," saying that he wanted to represent "a lot of disfranchised (sic) Democrats out there."[7] He did not get the nomination. In 2001, Kramer was asked by a television reporter about running again, and he replied that "if Jesse Ventura can be governor, why can't I be mayor?" The next day, the Libertarian Party contacted him to run on its ticket, and he accepted. He cited his agreement with the Libertarian Party on, among other issues, the decriminalization of marijuana.[8] During his run, he claimed that the previous run was "a publicity stunt"; his campaign slogan was "Kramer for mayor... this time I'm not kidding!"[2] He finished seventh in the election, with 1,408 votes.[9]

On June 6, 2013, Kenneth Kramer became an ordained[10][11] non-denominational minister with the Universal Life Church World Headquarters[12] and was registered with the City Clerk in New York City.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Advocates for Self-Government. "Kenny Kramer - Libertarian". Archived from the original on 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b www.kennykramer.com. "Kenny Kramer Bio May 2004". Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Breaking, World, US & Local News - nydailynews.com - NY Daily News". Articles.nydailynews.com. 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-10-12. 
  4. ^ McSHANE, LARRY. "Model for Character Talks About 'Kramer'". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  5. ^ "Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  6. ^ Fradkin, Lori. "Kenny Kramer Wants to Remind You That He Isn't a Racist, Has Things to Sell". Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  7. ^ NO JOKE! REAL-LIFE KRAMER'S RUNNING, New York Daily News, David L. Lewis, April 23, 1997
  8. ^ Kramer for mayor!, Gersh Kuntzman, Salon.com, June 4, 2001
  9. ^ Libertarian Party of NY. "November 2001 Final Election Results". Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  10. ^ ""EXCLUSIVE: ‘Seinfeld’ fan? You can now be married by Rev. Kramer". Nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  11. ^ "Kramer of Seinfeld Gets Ordained with the Universal Life Church". Sbwire.com. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  12. ^ "Official Universal Life Church World Headquarters Website". Ulcnetwork.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  13. ^ http://www.kennykramer.com/certificate.html

External links[edit]