Seinfeld's Jason Alexander Sorry for Comments About 'Impossible' Co-Star

Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander is mastering his domain — in the art of the backpedal.

The actor on Thursday morning apologized for and attempted to clarify remarks he made on Howard Stern’s radio show Wednesday recollecting the classic NBC sitcom’s decision to kill off George Costanza’s fiancée Susan, played by actress Heidi Swedberg.

“She’s a terrific girl. I love her. I couldn’t figure out how to play off of her. Her instincts for doing a scene, where the comedy was, and mine, were always misfiring,” Alexander told Stern, adding that well into her arc, Swedberg finally shot an episode with extensive scenes opposite Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “They do the week…and they go, ‘You know what? It’s f—ing impossible. It’s impossible.’ And Julia actually said, ‘I know, it’s just, don’t you wanna just kill her?’ And [executive producer] Larry [David] went, ‘kebang!'”

Ultimately, Swedberg’s character died after being poisoned by licking the glue on the couple’s low-quality wedding invitations.

Alexander’s followup Tweet noted that he felt “officially awful” for his remarks. “I retold a story I had told years ago about my personal difficulties and insecurities in playing George against the Susan that Heidi Swedberg created. The impetus for telling this story was that Howard said, ‘Julia Louis Dreyfuss told me you all wanted to kill her.’ So I told the story to try and clarify that no one wanted to kill Heidi,” he wrote.

“And again I say, I and the cast really liked and like Heidi. She is a kind, lovely person who undoubtedly worked really hard to create Susan and that character was clearly what Larry and Jerry wanted her to be for George. I just felt I was on uncertain ground in how to play off that character and I was always concerned that it wasn’t working. And that’s what I would voice concern about. But because the scenes were playing the way they were, the relationship with George and Susan sustained a whole season. People clearly liked the interplay even though I believed I was ‘off.'”

Alexander added that he feared his remarks on Stern placed “a heavy burden” on Swedberg. “She was generous and gracious and I am so mad at myself for retelling this story in any way that would diminish her… To Heidi, I personally apologize. You are a sweetheart. I actually launched into this on Stern to defend you. But this is why I’m not a lawyer. Now everybody, calm down and just enjoy the reruns and think, ‘Why did he think this wasn’t working? This is great.'”

What do you think of Alexander’s apology? And did you enjoy the George-Susan dynamic back in the day? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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22 Comments
  1. People are really dense. He wasn’t saying anything negative about the actress, he was talking about how her acting style and his acting style didn’t connect, that is all.

    • big cheddar says:

      He said it wasn’t just him, and that Jerry & Julia had problems acting opposite her as well.

      It’s unfortunate he told this story because I thought their awkward dynamic was intentional. George was destined to be single forever.

    • Kate says:

      Agreed. I’m tired of everyone having to apologize all the time for stuff the media sensationalizes. Someone will always take exception to something, and with social media giving everyone a voice – that gives rise to criticism of each and every article/news piece on the web. Actors/Public figures should quit feeling like they must apologize for every word, cause every word is going to set “someone” off. Jason found it difficult to work off Heidi’s humor style. Why in the world does he need to apologize for that?

  2. Sims says:

    This guy though. He is giving me a serious vibe of being a nightmare to work with. I watched the DVD extras when I first got a box set about 5 years ago or so, maybe longer, but there was a moment where Alexander recalls an episode where Jerry and Elaine go to Florida and George isn’t in the episode at all. Alexander says in the dvd extras while reflecting on the episode something like ‘I walked into the writers room to talk to the Larrys and I told them if they ever did that again, if they ever left me out of an episode again, I would be done with the show forever.’ … The arrogance of this man! You’re in an ensemble comedy! Get it together! And now we find out he was complaining about the only interesting storyline he participated in? Come on.

    • Judith says:

      I always thought (from interviews) I’ve read, that he had an arrogance about him too. Perhaps he would be better off not doing “live” interviews, especially if he can’t communicate exactly what he wants to say.

      • Kate says:

        OMG – now actors should stop public speaking because to “some” they come off as arrogant? When will the censoring of everyone’s personality/actions/verbiage stop? Just generally speaking, this whole article and others like it is intolerance in action.

    • Geo says:

      I don’t know about arrogance but Jason Alexander was the worst comedy concert I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few). It was sooooo lazy: he was doing jokes about Gilligan’s Island that would have been old in the 1980s and then he launches into a totally unironic “these kids today with their piercings and tattoos” thing that sounded less like a professional celebrity and more like if your lamest uncle who’d watched an episode or two of Seinfeld decided to do a really bad comedy routine at Thanksgiving dinner in 1995. We were so looking forward to seeing him, but by the end we had to bite our tongues to keep from booing. It makes you think all the more of Larry David, since when Alexander is doing his own material, rather than David’s, he kind of stinks. Jerry Seinfeld does a great comedy show. Jason Alexander, not so much.

    • Badpenny says:

      You have to understand that you do not get the same per-episode salary for an episode you are not in. So someone might make X dollars to be in the episode but only Y dollars as a holding fee to keep them from doing something else that week.
      When, say, Molly Quinn is in Castle she makes far more doing an episode appearance then just keeping herself available to maybe do an episode if they need her this week.
      So, yeah, as an actor you want to be in the episodes – and if you are one of the primary cast and not included it is almost a slap in the face to be excluded.

  3. B.T. says:

    I always thought Alexander was the weak link in that cast.

    • Timmah says:

      No way. There’s never been a more iconic sitcom character than George, and a lot of that had to be Alexander’s doing.

  4. Susannah says:

    I always thought there was such a strange awkwardness between Susan and the rest of the cast but to me that was just Heidi doing a great job, since it was really funny. Who knew it was actual awkwardness and not just great acting! I feel bad for Heidi though, it can’t be a great feeling to have one of the greatest comedic casts tell you they didn’t like your acting style and wanted your character dead rather than acting with you.

    • Timmah says:

      Yes, I thought it was planned that way too. It played into the whole sequence afterwards about George not really feeling bad that she was dead. Perhaps it was the mastermind of whoever casted her.

  5. newtemplar says:

    Another victim of Howard Stern. :) The guy is just good. If the story is true, the results seemed to be much funnier than actually marrying the characters. Of course, Larry and Jerry would have pulled that off as well, no doubt.

    • Martoukian says:

      I don’t think they ever planned for George to get married, though actually having Susan die because of his cheapness was definitely a surprise (and pretty courageous). I have a hard time imagining any female character who would want to marry George who WOULDN’T have “chemistry issues” with him.

  6. Mr. M. says:

    Jason is a caustic little fellow. He makes comments like this quite frequently and when he gets called on it – he acts (badly) contrite.

  7. tabularasalocke says:

    I didn’t see anything wrong with his comments, honestly. I always thought the two really didn’t make any sense and that’s why Larry and Jerry wanted to put them together, but had no idea how to get out of the marriage story. Them just accepting her death and moving on is one of the most hilarious Seinfeld moments. But I mean, it was pretty clear there was something off in their scenes. I thought the engagement story was good for George (who can forget his whole monologue about his two universes crashing together?) but the actual scenes with Susan were just weird. But also Jason Alexander is a diva. He was written out of one episode of Seinfeld and made a whole thing about it. I think most of the actors were all about themselves and divas, but hey, they made a great show out of it.

  8. Whatevah says:

    From the beginning he said he loved Heidi and that she was a lovely person. It’s the media making more of it than it should be. I feel bad for Jason, because I knew that after reading the story this morning, he was going to feel the need to apologize for what he said. I thought his explanation (apology) was really nice. This is a non-story

  9. Terry says:

    Wow he really threw Julia Louis-Dreyfus under the bus, didn’t he? I would be none too impressed with him right now if I were her.

  10. Temperance says:

    Considering how brutally terrible and unfunny the show was, I’d say that they all ‘misfired’ with everyone else…

  11. dman6015 says:

    When I read his Stern show comments, I immediately thought he was the problem.