Were you a "Seinfeld" aficionado? Was Kramer your favorite member of the bunch? If you think you can hang with the gang, take this quiz.
Every sitcom has the lovable doofus that provides comic relief. In "Friends," it was Joey; in "The Flintstones," it was Barney; and in Seinfeld, it was Kramer. Although all members of the Seinfeld cast were funny, watchers knew that a scene with Kramer was certain to provide a level of comedy that exceeded all other scenes. But who, exactly, was Kramer?
Cosmo Kramer was dubbed by Elaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, to be a "hipster doofus," which is, if you think about it, quite an interesting combination. A hipster is someone who has a unique sense of fashion and mannerisms, and a doofus is.... well... a doofus. Kramer's hair, his way of dressing, and the occasional Cuban cigar, as well as his one of a kind way of getting himself into a world of trouble, made him the comedic relief he was.
Played by Michael Richards, and based on "Seinfeld" creator, Larry David's former neighbor, the character of Kramer is generally agreed to be one of the most entertaining television characters of all time.
So, are you ready to test your Kramer knowledge? Let's get started.
The frenzied character of Kramer earned Michael Richards instant cult status.
Michael Richards is 6'3" or 1.905 meters, towering over the rest of his cast mates including Jason Alexander (George) clocking in at 5'5", Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry) clocking in at 5'11", and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine) at 5'3".
While Jerry is the only character to appear in all episodes, Kramer is a close third after George, having missed only two ("The Pen" and "The Chinese Restaurant").
Kramer’s character is based on the real-life Kenny Kramer, a neighbor of co-creator Larry David. At the time of the shooting of “The Seinfeld Chronicles”, Kenny Kramer had not yet authorized the use of his name, and so Kramer’s character is known as “Kessler”.
Kramer liked to call his invention "the Bro", although Frank preferred "the Manssiere".
In episode 9 of season 4, Kramer is approached by a clown (not knowing it's "Crazy" Joe Davola) who wants to buy the leftover ticket to the opera Pagliacci. Kramer then claims that the clown looks "familiar", to which Davola asks him if he ever went to the circus and if he liked it; Kramer answers that he had gone when he was little and that he was scared of the clowns. Davola then asks Kramer if he's still scared of clowns (while giving a menacing smile), to which Kramer uneasily answers, "Yeah."
Kramer's signature on the show is entering a room sliding in, much like Art Carney's character in The Honeymooners. This reportedly first became a recurring gag when Richards was late for a cue; trying to save the scene, he burst into the room, much to the delight of the audience.
Jerry states, about Kramer and Newman, "Oh, it's Risk. It's a game of world domination being played by two guys who can barely run their own lives." Later in the episode, Kramer is confident in his victory and taunts Newman for having possession of the "weak" nation of Ukraine.
In “The Betrayal,” episode 8 of season 9, Kramer's friend FDR (Franklin Delano Romanowski) repeatedly wishes that Kramer drop dead, and Kramer goes to great lengths to avoid that fate.
Babs Kramer is Kramer's mother. She is only mentioned in episodes such as "The Nose Job", "The Jacket", and "The Keys" until "The Switch", where she is seen for the first time. There she works as a matron in a restaurant bathroom, and reveals Kramer's first name is Cosmo, to George's surprise. Babs was portrayed by Sheree North.
A devout viewer of Seinfeld probably will have noticed that even though Kramer is usually unemployed, he is able to afford a Manhattan apartment, which are usually very expensive. One episode has George asking Kramer how he makes a living. Kramer responds, "I get by." It's a mystery how he can make a living.
In "The Fire" episode 19 of season 5, Elaine's obnoxious co-worker Toby and Kramer collaborate together on a coffee table book about coffee tables. (Remember, this is Kramer we're talking about here.)
Like the other three main characters, Kramer has pseudonyms he uses in various schemes; H. E. Pennypacker, Dr. Martin van Nostrand, and Peter van Nostrand are Kramer's most popular.
He soon finds out he fits right in and starts working there for no pay. This episode is when he memorably states, "You know what they say, 'You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.'"
Kramer participates in lawsuits against various people and companies and considers himself "very litigious". His lawyer Jackie Chiles's catchphrase is "I am outraged!" and he is a parody of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran, played brilliantly by Phil Morris.
The backwards episode, "The Betrayal", explains that Kramer's original name, "Kessler", is just a misspelling on his intercom buzzer.
Lola (played by Donna Evans Merlo) is the lady who was severely injured in “The Handicap Spot”, as a result of her wheelchair crashing into a wall because a handicapped space was taken by George’s father’s car. She had her wheelchair replaced by Kramer, who fell in love with her; however, she dumped him, telling him that he was not good-looking enough for her, that he was a “Hipster Doofus”, and (of course) to drop dead.
Kramer decides he enjoys showers so much that he is going to spend most of his time in his shower, even going as far as to buy a waterproof phone, prepare a dinner there and install a garbage disposal in his bathtub drain.
Kramer bought what he thinks is a hen (whom he named "Little Jerry Seinfeld") for its eggs, but later finds out that it is a rooster. He puts Little Jerry in a cock fight, which he winds up winning. In another cock fight later in the episode, Little Jerry is faced with a huge and skilled opponent. Kramer dives after Little Jerry, trying to protect him, but winds up getting violently pecked (off-screen) by the opposing bird.
Kramer has been storing his blood at a blood bank whose rates increase and, retaliating, he decides to store the blood himself. Jerry sustains a knife wound which causes him to require a blood transfusion; ultimately, he receives three pints of Kramer's blood. Jerry becomes upset, saying that he can feel Kramer's blood borrowing stuff from his blood. He becomes even more distraught when Kramer deems him a blood brother (and later takes even greater advantage of him by reminding him of their new tie). Kramer borrows Jerry's air-conditioned car to return his blood to the bank. The car overheats because the radiator is dry, but not for long, as he fills it with blood.
Kramer installs the screen door outside his apartment and turns his hallway into a small-town front porch, complete with barbecue grill, lawn chairs, potted plants, and American flag. Kramer sits on his porch with "fireworks" (a sparkler).
Kramer pretends that the show is still on the air and acts as the new host, even using the show's theme when "guests" come onto the set, conducting interviews with everyone who enters his apartment. Kramer even stops interviews and cuts to a "commercial break" where he sips on a Diet Coke and eats from a bag of chips, before exclaiming "We're back!"
Kramer invents the perfume in the episode "The Pez Dispenser", and then he discovers one of Jerry's girlfriends wearing it and she calls it "The Ocean". Kramer meets with Calvin Klein, played by Nicholas Hormann, to complain about "The Ocean", and is instead asked to pose for a risqué underwear advertisement, where his genitals are accidentally exposed.
Kramer is also seen yelling down at people on the street, doing a Jerry stand-up impersonation, redecorating the apartment, and hosting parties. Kramer manages to revert the place to normal by the time Jerry comes home, except for a drink that is not on a coaster.
Jerry and George try to persuade Kramer to forget the idea, but Kramer is determined to go on with it. Kramer's pizza parlor idea reappears in later episodes such as "The Puffy Shirt" and "The Couch."
In the final scene, Kramer and the police show up at the woman, Connie's, door. Connie opens One of the officers informs Connie that she is under arrest but she denies doing anything wrong, She asks if she can call her lawyer and when the lawyer answers his phone, Connie tells him to meet her at the police station. The lawyer, who happens to be Kramer's lawyer Jackie Chiles, asks her whom she was accused of attempting to murder. Learning that the person in question is Kramer, he tells Connie, “I don’t want nothing to do with it.” He hangs up, ending the episode.
This is also the episode with the "Top of the Muffin to You!" business. When Kramer asks Jerry and his girlfriend to take the tour, Elaine enters and asks Kramer to get rid of the muffin stumps on his tour.
For each lineup Kramer participates in, he earns $50. In this same episode, Jerry takes a lie detector test, but quickly cracks under the pressure of questions about the TV show Melrose Place, which provoke him to vent his strongly-held opinions on those controversies, thereby exposing his familiarity with the series.
Mickey Abbott is the “little person” friend of Kramer. They met while acting as stand-ins for a soap opera. They also were co-workers at a department store where Kramer was Santa while Mickey was an Elf. Mickey hates it when people call him a midget.
Why would Kramer do this? Well, first, remember this is Kramer we're talking about. Second, he wanted to be able to see inside his apartment to see if someone is waiting to "jack" him "with a sock full of pennies", something that happens to another character at the end of the episode.
Kramer, wearing a white butcher's coat, poses as a dermatologist and checks Kruger (George's boss) for moles ("the freckle's ugly cousin," as Kramer puts it).
When Jerry gets a date with Karen, Miss Rhode Island, Kramer acts as a last-second chaperone. Kramer is a big fan of the Miss America Pageant as he watched it every year since he was six years old. Kramer ruins the date for Jerry by asking Karen question after question in the same manner that Miss America contestants are asked; by the end of the date Kramer is hired to be her new personal coach.
Kramer pesters Jerry with a Junior Mint which Jerry tries to paw away; instead, it flies over the viewing mezzanine, and falls into Roy during the surgery.
In "The Van Buren Boys," Peterman meets Cosmo Kramer and buys his life stories from him for $750. Elaine is tasked with collecting the crazy stories from Kramer which often make no sense. When Elaine embellishes the stories to make them more interesting Peterman decides to sell his stories back to Kramer.
Kramer's famous "I'm out! Yeah, I'm out of the contest!" moment, was his 100th entrance into Jerry's apartment.
It's Kramer we're talking about here. Of course he was in a sauna when he said that.
At the end of the episode, after Jerry unintentionally sabotages the restaurant with George's drenched hat, the restaurant shuts down and the neon light finally goes off, but Kramer loses access to his beloved Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken.
All four of the main characters use the line at least once during the episode, further popularizing this expression.
At the end of the episode, Kramer is busted by the real Moviefone man when he says, "Hello and welcome to your worst nightmare. I know you’re in there. Cosmo Kramer, Apartment 5B, you’re in big trouble NOW. You’ve been stealing my business. If you would like to do this the easy way, open the door NOW, or please select the number of seconds you’d like to wait before I break this door down. Please select NOW.”
The complete quote from George is a classic Seinfeld line: "Kramer goes to a Fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp! People should plunk down $2,000 to live like him for a week. Do nothing, fall ass backwards in the money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating; now that's a fantasy camp."