The iconic comedic actor Jerry Stiller died Monday at the age of 92.
The father of actor and filmmaker Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller–who, with his wife Anne Meara, found success in the ’60s as a comedy duo–found his greatest success as the perpetually aggrieved father to George Costanza on Seinfeld. Despite only appearing in 26 of the sitcom’s 172 episodes, his comedic presence was so great and his character so belovedly rageful that his riotously aggrieved presence felt foundational to Seinfeld’s ethos.
Selected here are 7 of his most memorable appearances.
“Serenity now!”–the iconic catchphrase Stiller shouts to relieve stress. Nobody does rage like Stiller.
After hearing from Yankee owner George Steinbrenner that (mistakenly) his son his dead, an aggrieved Frank Costanza lashes out at Steinbrenner about his management style.
A classic episode with disparate storylines that brilliantly and hilariously converge at the end of the episode with Frank telling his proctologist, “A million to one shot, doc. Million to one.”
The Bro or The Manssiere
Kramer and Frank were a wonderful duo on Seinfeld. Both characters had delusions of grandeur, none so self-destructively dumb as their idea–following the revelation that Frank has large breasts that cause him back pain–to sell bras for men.
In this episode, George’s parents meet Susan’s parents for the first time. We see Stiller at his most aggrieved in this episode–only Frank would rescind a dinner party gift of rye bread and get into a fight with Susan’s father over chicken breeding.
The minor plot-line in this episode involving Frank’s emotionally traumatic fictional holiday “Festivus”–featuring “The Airing of Grievances” and “The Feats of Strength”–became one of the show’s most iconic storylines.
Season 5, Episodes 18 & 19
A brilliant two-episode narrative arc featuring both Jerry and George’s parents, with spot-on depiction of parental squabbles.