Heaven just gained an insufferable millionaire, as Ian Abercrombie, best known as Seinfeld‘s Mr. Pitt, passed away this weekend at the age of 77. Although Abercrombie had a long career that also included appearances in Army of Darkness, Wild Wild West, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, it was the eight Seinfeld episodes he appeared in that made him recognizable.
The eccentric millionaire Justin Pitt proved to be the bane of Elaine’s existence, making a steady stream of high-maintenance and bizarre requests that placed him among the show’s most memorable characters.
Below are a few of our favorite Justin Pitt moments from Seinfeld. Mourn ya till we join ya, Mr. Abercrombie.
I’m not sure if you can call it a recurring gag if it only occurs in one episode, but Mr. Pitt eating the Snickers bar with a knife and fork embodies the Seinfeld sensibility as well as anything the show put forth. In and of itself, the gag isn’t terribly funny (try explaining it to someone who hasn’t watched the show if you don’t believe me), but in the context of the weird Seinfeld universe, the quirk provides fodder for criticism, befuddlement, and exasperation for all the judgmental pricks on the show.
Again, it’s hard to explain why this is funny, so can we all just agree that it is?
Because Mr. Pitt only graced us with his presence in eight episodes, we find several of his finest and funniest moments in the same episodes. In addition to the magic eye painting (see below), The Gymnast features Mr. Pitt’s accidental Hitler speech, courtesy of a little spilled ink from Elaine.
Seinfeld historically went a little heavy on the Nazi humor, especially for a show called “Seinfeld.” To its credit, it was never not funny. The oblivion of Justin Pitt takes this scene from tasteless to hilarious pretty quickly. And it serves as one of the best freeze-frame closing shots in the show’s history.