Seinfeld: Kramer’s 10 Most Awkward Celebrity Encounters – Screen Rant

While Jerry Seinfeld’s directorial debut Unfrosted is rumored to have an autumn 2022 release on Netflix, fans of the Seinfeld co-creator’s hit sitcom remain as loyal as ever. There are many opinions why this remains true after so many years, but one of the most common answers is Cosmo Kramer. The character’s loveable and often bizarre antics have simply stood the test of time.

As a proud New Yorker, Kramer is well accustomed to rubbing shoulders with the odd celebrity now and then. But while he might have an extensive history of celebrity run-ins throughout Seinfeld, very few of those encounters are actually positive. Whether it’s a case of nerves, misguided ego or just plain cluelessness, Kramer has repeatedly proven his inability to associate with any degree of celebrity, and audiences have loved every moment of his fruitless attempts.

10 Candice Bergen

Candice Bergan talking to Kramer on Murphy Brown episode

In the late 1980s through to the late 1990s, Candice Bergen starred in the hit TV series Murphy Brown. After moving to Los Angeles in Seinfeld’s third season, Kramer lands a role on Murphy Brown and even manages to have a short scene with Bergen.

Though Kramer’s scene with Bergen isn’t really all that awkward, in the next episode he’s naively seen making a call to CBS expecting to speak with her. It’s this type of slightly unhinged optimism that colours Kramer’s experience with Bergen, making the experience and the character he plays on the show, Steven Snell, awkward.

9 Raquel Welch

Kramer holds Emmy award while talking to Raquel Welch in her dressing room

Known primarily for her sex symbol status throughout the 1960s, Raquel Welch’s career really took off with her role as Loana in the 1966 film One Million Years B.C. By the time she guest starred on Seinfeld in 1997, Kramer was already a well-established favourite.

After Kramer fires Welch from a Broadway musical for not moving her arms when she dances, she attacks him. It’s not the first time in Seinfeld that Kramer gets in a physical altercation with a celebrity, but his fear and Welch’s substantial anger make this quite possibly the worst celebrity encounter he experiences on the show.

8 Fred Savage

Kramer nervous to meet Fred Savage in a cafe

As the star of The Wonder Years, Savage was a well-known TV personality when he briefly guest-starred on Seinfeld in 1992. Though typically cool and collected, Kramer was anything but when he approached Savage in a Los Angeles café.

Nerves turned Kramer into a bumbling, extremely awkward fan, highlighting a very different side of him – one that wasn’t often repeated in the series. Even though fans know Kramer is harmless, it’s understandable why Savage flees. Kramer’s behaviour was downright abnormal.

7 Woody Allen

Close up on Kramer during These Pretzels Are making me thirsty scene

Given that Seinfeld was meant to be a show about New Yorkers, it’s not surprising that Woody Allen was referenced. At the time, Allen was still making most of his films in New York, providing the perfect opportunity for Kramer to get himself involved.

And of course, Kramer’s knack for self-sabotage when in the presence of celebrities continued here as well. The beloved character was fired from the production after accidently injuring Allen. Whether it was a case of bad luck or just who Kramer is, his track record with celebrities remains undeniably abysmal.

6 Arthur Miller

Kramer looking nervous at restaurant after lying about being part of Tony award winning production

Because the Pulitzer Prize winning author appeared on the show in name only meant Kramer was free to fabricate a friendship with him. The result was Kramer telling a group of theatre industry people that he’d once tried to get Miller to change the title of his then unknown play, Death of a Salesman, to Life of a Salesman.

Though Kramer’s story might not sound all that outlandish, what he’s clearly unaware of is that Miller wrote the play in 1948. Considering that Kramer was in his late thirties in the mid 1990s, being old enough to chat with Miller about changing the title would have been impossible. Lying is bad enough, but bad lying is truly cringeworthy.

5 Bette Midler

Kramer cradles Bette Midlers head and sings wind beneath my wings to her

Legendary singer and actress Bette Midler joined the Seinfeld cast in 1995 for the episode The Understudy. In the episode, Kramer is only too delighted to ingratiate himself upon a reluctant Midler while she’s hospitalised.

Watching Kramer reveal his head-over-heels love for Midler is funny, but it does get a little weird – fast. It’s awkward, to say the least. On the other hand, it does offer some pretty solid evidence of how much audiences loved Kramer, regardless of how utterly absurd he behaved.

4 Jon Voight

Close up on Jon Voight biting Kramer's arm in Seinfeld

In the brief moment in which Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight appeared on Seinfeld, he literally made the strangest impact on Kramer. While running alongside Voight’s departing cab in a mad effort to talk to him, Kramer instead receives a bite from the star on his arm.

Once again, who else but Kramer could this happen to? Incidences of celebrities attacking their fans are extremely rare, yet somehow Kramer made it believable that he could be bit by an Oscar-winner. As awful of a scenario as it is, however, it’s hard to deny its comedic value.

3 Mickey Mantle

Close up on Kramer ashamed for punching Mickey Mantle

This is another one of Kramer’s celebrity encounters that fans unfortunately didn’t get to see. In the fourth season episode “The Visa”, Kramer comes home early from the baseball fantasy camp that he was at because of an “incident” with Mantle.

Oddly enough, Mantel had been dead for over a year when the episode aired. Seinfeld’s creators are renowned Mantle fans, so perhaps in some strange way, Kramer’s punch-up with the baseball legend is meant as a tribute. Left to the imagination, the idea of Kramer tousling with the likes of Mantle is an embarrassing but endlessly funny situation.

2 Uma Thurman

Elaine, Jerry and Kramer standing outside with Kramer excited over getting Uma Thurman's number

Thurman’s connection to Seinfeld is through name only, unfortunately, with Kramer beside himself over having gotten the Pulp Fiction star’s phone number. While the audience never sees Thurman actually interact with Kramer, the premise is enough to keep them hooked.

Kramer has an uncanny knack for setting off disastrous chains of events regardless of how benign things initially seem. After finding that his hand lotion dissolved Uma’s phone number, he’s stuck knowing that she’ll think he ghosted her. It’s an awful position to be in, especially after the initial high of meeting Thurman and the victory of getting her number.

1 Regis & Kathy Lee

Kramer sitting at Regis and Kathie Lee show (all three pictured)

The late Regis Philbin and his co-host Kathie Lee Gifford worked together for over a decade on the morning talk show, Live With Regis & Kathie Lee. It was in Seinfeld’s fifth season that the publication of Kramer’s coffee table book brought his promotional tour to Live.

It’s hard to imagine a more terrible way to kick off a book tour than Kramer’s ill-fated Live With Regis & Kathie Lee experience. Spurned into a fit by bad coffee, his decision to just spit it out was a bad one, to say the least. Kramer’s inability to reign in his quirks for the sake of live TV prove that he’s just too unpredictable for any kind of celebrity status.

Next: 10 Kramer Quotes From Seinfeld That Are Funnier Today Than They Were In The 90s

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About The Author


Mike Jones
(1686 Articles Published)

Mike Jones is an author, screenwriter, world traveller and cinephile. His work has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, and he’s also a Berlinale Talents alumnus. Cinema has always moved him in a big way and aside from having seen The Talented Mr Ripley more times than any other living person, he maintains a pretty darn healthy physical media collection. His favourite filmmakers include: Jordan Peele, David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Leigh, Steven Spielberg, the Dardenne Brothers, Noah Baumbach, Michael Haneke, Barry Jenkins and Andrea Arnold. Often jet-lagged, Mike once turned down a certain A-list celebrity’s offer to join them for a night of partying after a strange encounter in an airport.

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