The four main actors on Seinfeld must know by now that they’ll always be associated, for better or worse, with their characters from that long-running NBC sitcom. But at least the public has some vague conception that these people are performers. Things are a little different for the many character actors who popped up in quirky supporting roles on the show. In people’s minds, these actors literally are their characters from the show. The assorted Banias, Mickeys, Puddys, and Soup Nazis of the show get to tell their story in a funny little DVD featurette called “Hey, Aren’t You…” Jerry Seinfeld is sympathetic to their plight: “I have to, in the back of my mind, just wonder what possible pain we’ve visited upon Wayne Knight.” Knight himself, forever the scheming, covetous Newman, talks about the time he attended his aunt’s funeral in Las Vegas, only to be besieged by Seinfeld fans. That “Hello, Newman!” catchphrase got a little old that weekend.
For the most part, the actors seem grateful for the adulation of Seinfeld fans. Or maybe they’re just inured to it by now. Keith Hernandez even says that his memorable Seinfeld appearance has made him famous to a generation unfamiliar with his days in baseball. A few common themes do emerge from the interviews. Several actors mention that they’ve been spotted in far-flung areas of the world. That may be due to the ubiquity of syndicated reruns, which have reached a wider global audience than the original network run of the show.
There are a few Seinfeld semi-regulars who don’t get hassled by fans. Heidi Swedberg, who played George’s doomed fiancée, Susan, says that people know her voice more than her face. And the guy who played the back of George Steinbrenner’s head? He never gets recognized.