Kenny Kramer

Kenny Kramer

Kenny Kramer (born May 1943) is an American stand-up comedian, and the real-life inspiration for the character of Cosmo Kramer from the television sitcom "Seinfeld".cite web|url=|title=Kenny Kramer - Libertarian|last=The Advocates for Self-Government|accessdate=2008-07-27]


Prior to serving as the model for Kramer, he enjoyed a long career as a stand-up comedian, and worked as the manager for a British reggae band.cite web|url=|title=Kenny Kramer Bio May 2004||accessdate=2008-07-27] Kramer sought to manage Bill Beason, a New York point karate fighter/champion, with the hopes that the karate tournament scene would develop along the same lines as wrestling had, since corporate sponsors such as Budweiser and Paul Mitchell were emerging. It didn't pan out.

Just as the character of Jerry Seinfeld lived across the hall from Cosmo Kramer in the television show, "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David lived across the hall from Kenny for six years. The two lived in Manhattan Plaza, a federally assisted apartment complex for performing artists in Hell's Kitchen, New York City.cite web|url=|title=Model for Character Talks About 'Kramer'|last=McSHANE|first=LARRY |publisher=Associated Press|accessdate=2008-07-27]


Contrary to popular speculation, as Kenny Kramer has confirmed in a behind-the-scenes interview for the "Seinfeld" DVD in the documentary: "Kramer vs Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo", Michael Richards did not meet with Kenny to study the character and actually wanted nothing to do with him at all, a situation ironically parodied in the show itself. The character of Kramer was originally going to be named Kessler, due to Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David's justified fear that using the name might spur the real Kramer to exploit his association with the character. However, they eventually came to the conclusion that the name was too good not to use. Kenny Kramer then proceeded to contact Castle Rock Entertainment with a list of several demands, many of which were financial, for the use of his name. All of these were met.

Kenny has been the host of "Kramer's Reality Tour" and "Kramer's Reality Road Show" for the past thirteen years. He tells behind-the-scene "Seinfeld" stories to his audience and gives a bus tour of sites made famous by "Seinfeld". A DVD version of his reality tour has been produced.cite web|url=|title=Kenny Kramer Wants to Remind You That He Isn't a Racist, Has Things to Sell|last=Fradkin|first=Lori |accessdate=2008-07-27]

The "Reality Tours" were later spoofed on "Seinfeld" in the episode "The Muffin Tops", when the Cosmo Kramer character receives money from catalog sales company owner J. Peterman for the use of his various stories in Peterman's biography; he develops a reality bus tour and touts himself as "The Real J. Peterman." The aforementioned refusal of Richards to meet with Kenny before playing a character with the same name in Seinfeld also is parodied in the 4th season episode "The Pilot", where Kramer tries to teach the on-screen Kramer how to play him, where the actor flat out refuses and claims he'll play it as him. Later on, George also picks up on lines being misread and the actor again makes his statement to play it his way.


In addition, Kramer has worked as a correspondent for "Hard Copy"; created and hosted "Kramer's New York" segments for the Fox New York City affiliate WNYW's "Good Day New York"; and appeared in the original New York company of "Tony n' Tina's Wedding", playing himself. He has made numerous appearances on the bonus features of the "Seinfeld" DVD series.

In 2001, Kramer ran to become the mayor of New York City, as a Libertarian candidate, and lost.cite web|url=|title=November 2001 Final Election Results|last=Libertarian Party of NY|accessdate=2008-07-27] While his first failed attempt at running for mayor was a joke, Kramer insisted that this time he was for real. His campaign slogan was: "Kramer for mayor...This time I'm not kidding!"


External links

* [ Official website]
*imdb name | id=2006217

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