Sunday, September 19, 2010
On my quest to Track Down Seinfeld’s Estelle Harris, who played Mrs. Castanza, I felt that I had to definitely track down the person who cast her – Larry David - creator of Seinfeld.
I tried calling Mr. David’s office numerous times. But nobody called me back. What is a TV fan and writer to do?
I know – why don’t I go directly to Larry David’s office and wait for him.
Did I hear a few of you say, ‘stalking’? I’m a professional. This isn’t stalking. It’s simply waiting.
So I waited, and waited and waited until Mr. David drove up in his Prius! Note: waited, not stalked!
I approached him with enthusiasm – “Good morning, Mr. David. My name is Marshall Jay Kaplan and I’m doing a story on Estelle Harris. I wanted to know if you would do an interview.”
Larry replied – “Have you been sitting here waiting for me?” I admit to the crime of waiting.
Larry seemed somewhat reluctant, but does give me his assistant’s contact information to set up the interview.
The big day arrives and I am going to interview Seinfeld creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star, Larry David! However, Mr. David is not thrilled.
I am told I get only 5 minutes. He enters the room casually, not saying hello to myself or any of the crew. He asks where to sit and sits down. I attempt to shake is hand and he looks at me and comments, “Really?”
The interview is tense to say the least. 5 minutes seems like 5 hours as Larry is short with his answers, somewhat curt. We have a bit of a stare-off at one point. I ask him if there is anything else he’d like to add, as I was out of questions. He answers, “No, I think we’re good.”
Is Larry David similar to his character on Curb? No – not similar – EXACT.
I had the chance of a lifetime to interview Mr. Larry David. Did I impress him? Well, suffice it to say I curbed his enthusiasm.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I love Seinfeld! Who doesn't? I also loved the actress who played George Castanza's mother on the show - Estelle Harris. From the moment she first appeared on the show in the famous "The Contest" episode, where she walks in on George masturbating, to making Paella to yelling at her husband to anything she did on the show, she always had me in hysterics.
So - I did what any normal TV fan would do - I decided to track her down! Track her down, not stalk her. Just to clarify.
First I had to meet Tom Cherones. Afterall, he Directed 'The Contest' episode. I asked Tom about this famous episode and about Estelle. More importantly I asked him when he last masturbated. 'Just this morning', was his response!
Tom suggested I meet cartoon voice actor, Charlie Adler who is very good friends with Estelle. This crazy guy tells me Estelle collects 'chatchkas' from auctions houses. He tells me to head up to San Bernardino to see if she's at the auction buying more 'stuff'.
I go to the auction, but it is not what I expected. Velour recliners, old people, used stuff, tackyville! There was only one thing that caught my attention - Estelle Harris - she was there! I tried to get her attention, but she told me to 'GO F%*!#K YOURSELF!!' What??!!
It was too late, she snuck out before I could meet her! Arrghh!!
Back to the old drawing board.
I was then able to track down Estelle's agent who told me my best bet was to go to Runyon Canyon Park - a Hollywood park where the celebs walk their dogs. Estelle's son Glen would be there - walking her two dogs and wearing a long scarf.
A long scarf? Two dogs? You gotta be kidding.
So off I went, dog treats in hand. Lucky for me - I found him! We chatted about his mom. Glen then called me that night and said his mom would be at the LA Zoo the next morning!
So I put on my best animal print shirt and headed off to LA Zoo - to the Gorilla cages to be exact.
And there she was! Estelle Harris! Mrs. Castanza!
We chatted and liked each other. She then invited me to her home to meet her husband. More than that, we became friends and went out for dinner. We have been in touch ever since.
And if anybody says we are not friends, I simply say, in the words of Estelle, GO F%*!#K YOURSELF!!