Jason Alexander On Still Being Called George & The Success Of Pretty Woman
Jason Alexander stopped by for a virtual interview on The Bobby Bones Show and shared several stories about playing poker, his time on Seinfeld, the success of Pretty Woman, and even shared some stories about the late Jerry Stiller.
Seinfeld is one of the most popular TV shows, but that wasn't always the case. Alexander shared that after the pilot of the show aired, a critic wrote about it and gave it another chance at NBC. When it hit NBC, the show had a really niche, dedicated audience of men between the ages of roughly 18 to 32. This demographic was especially important to Advertisers so due to that niche audience, advertisers wanted to advertise during their show. This kept the show on for a few seasons. Then it wasn't until the 3rd season that the show actually saw a huge spike in viewers when the network put them on after Cheers. When the change of time slot happened, that's when the show truly blew up and the change was "fast and furious." Now, Alexander confessed that the longevity and massive diversity of the audience continues to surprise him. It shocks him knowing that new generations pick up the show because he doesn't think with how and when it was filmed that it could still be relatable in some ways. And yes, Alexander still gets called by his character's name "George." He even shared that sometimes it happens on new project sets when they're running lines.
In talking about Seinfeld, Alexander discussed his experiences with the late Jerry Stiller. He says that he wishes everyone could have a real Jerry Stiller in their life because of his strong humility, how much he cared about others, and everything that came out of his mouth was so funny and unpredictable. He noted that Stiller didn't think about himself as "great" at anything, he was always just more interested in everyone else and learning about those around him and their roles together.
As far as one of Alexander's first ever big roles in the movie Pretty Woman, he said that everyone always asks him about it. He shared that the cast was actually really surprised by how successful the movie ended up being. When they filmed it, they didn't really know what the movie was going to be about because so much was changing on set constantly. He continued by sharing that everyone's performance was really created in the editing room when the scenes came together. He said that when the movie first came out, he would have women coming up to him slapping him and spitting on him because they truly hated his character for what his character attempted to do to Julia Roberts' character and he would have to defend himself saying he was just playing a character. Alexander said the image of him as this only horrible character finally dissipated over the years thanks to Seinfeld.
Alexander has loved seeing the success of many of the projects he's been in over the years and really enjoys when he hears about it from fans. He says that he always tries to "make it an experience for them [fans]" when they come up to him in public. He says it's not fair to fans to say no to hellos and pictures when they are just wanting to express thanks or gratitude because of something you've been part of. He shared that the only time he won't stop and talk is if he has a really timely agenda. Not only is Alexander a great guy when it comes to his fans, he's also big on helping charities and that's a big thanks to his wife. She's the one who is strict about him not wasting money playing big poker games and has encouraged him to only play the smaller tables. Whenever he does play for big money though, he's playing online poker games for charities. And he's actually a pretty solid poker player with playing 7 consecutive series in the World Series Of Poker.