"Seinfeld" was the most successful sitcom of the nineties because of the four main Seinfeld characters. While many guest stars and recurring characters popped up throughout the series, the four main Seinfeld characters, either eating at the diner or convening at Jerry's apartment, made the show what is was, changing it from simply a quirky "show about nothing" to a funny takedown of misanthropy, neuroses, and the little strangenesses at the corners of life. Here are the main Seinfeld characters.

  1. Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry Seinfeld in the show was, predictably, played by Jerry Seinfeld, a stand-up comedian and co-creator of the show with pal Larry David. The Jerry of the show's Seinfeld characters is "single, thin and neat," which occasionally, hilariously, leads women to think he's gay, not that there's anything wrong with that. He's also a comedian, and early episodes of the show are bookended by his stand-up routines. Though a comedian, he tends to play straight man to the wackier antics of the other Seinfeld characters.

  2. George Costanza. The bald, chubby loser George is played by Jason Alexander, and is the stand-in character for co-creator Larry David. George is often unemployed, has no success with women, and can only get what he wants when acting exactly the opposite of how he thinks he should. He's Jerry's best friend, perhaps because they're the only two people who wouldn't make each other miserable with their gripes about day-to-day life.

  3. Elaine Benes. Played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elaine is Jerry's ex-girlfriend, though they've remained friends and she's part of the core group. She can't dance, screws up her chances with men, and, when excited, tells people to "Get out!" with an enthusiastic shove. Of the Seinfeld characters, she can be the most likable, because she occasionally is the most in touch with reality, though not always.

  4. Kramer. Played by Michael Richards, Kramer is the wacky neighbor and the favorite of many fans among the Seinfeld characters. As George says about Kramer upon learning he's going to a fantasy camp: "His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for a week. Sleep, do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating. That's a fantasy camp!"