“Seinfeld” premiered on NBC on July 5, 1989. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic comedy, and to celebrate, International Business Times is taking a look back at 39 surprising celebrity guest appearances over the show’s nine seasons.
1. Kevin Dunn
Actor Kevin Dunn guest starred in Season 1 episode 4, “Male Unbonding,” as a character named Joel. He’s recently landed major roles in HBO’s “True Detective” as Major Ken Quesada and “Veep” as Ben Caffrey. Coincidentally, “Veep” stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
2. Lauren Bowles
Lauren Bowles appeared in nine episodes throughout the “Seinfeld” run from 1991-1998. Her character never had a name, and was credited as either “waitress,” “waitress #1,” or “Blonde Longhaired Woman.” She now stars as Holly Cleary on “True Blood.”
(Little known fact – Lauren Bowles is Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s half-sister.)
3. Dale Raoul
Dale Raoul may not be a household name, but you’ve definitely seen her on TV. In 1991 she appeared in the Season 3 premiere as a “Dental Patient.” She can be recognized today for her roles as Maxine Fortenberry on “True Blood” and Andrea Grinnell on “Under the Dome.”
4. Michael Chiklis
Michael Chiklis, who is well known for his portrayal of Detective Vic Mackey on “The Shield,” randomly appeared in Season 3 episode 10 of “Seinfeld” as a man named Steve. The actor can be seen in the upcoming fourth season of “American Horror Story” as a “strong man” in a freak show.
5. Mark Boone Junior
In episode 13 of Season 3, Mark Boone Junior can be seen in the background as an “OTB Patron.” Viewers will not recognize him as Bobby Munson on “Sons of Anarchy.”
6. Maggie Wheeler
Before she was Janice on “Friends,” Maggie Wheeler played a woman named Cynthia in Season 3 episode 16 of “Seinfeld.” Cynthia was friends with Elaine, and set up with George. Recently Wheeler has been featured on “Archer” as Trinette and “Californication as “Ophelia.”
7. Denise Richards
Actress and model Denise Richards – perhaps better known for being Charlie Sheen’s estranged ex-wife -- appeared in one episode of “Seinfeld” in Season 4 episode 16. Richards played a woman named Molly.
8. Megan Mullally
Before becoming a household name with “Will and Grace,” Megan Mullally appeared on one episode of “Seinfeld.” The actress played a woman named Betsy in Season 4 episode 19, “The Implant.”
9. Tony Amendola
Actor Tony Amendola has had a minor appearance in two “Seinfeld” episodes – one uncredited. While today he can be seen on “Once Upon a Time” and “Continuum,” he appeared in Season 4 of the comedy as a character named Rushdie.
10. Susan Walters
“Vampire Diaries” fans know Susan Walters as Mrs. Lockwood, Tyler’s mom. However before she showed up on teen dramas like “The Vampire Diaries,” “Teen Wolf” and “Star-Crossed,” she played a “mystery woman” in Season 4 episode 20 of “Seinfeld.”
11. Jeremy Piven
“Entourage” viewers will be surprised to learn that Jeremy Piven was once on “Seinfeld.” The actor, who is known for his role as Ari Gold on the former HBO comedy, appeared in Season 4 episode 23 of “Seinfeld” as Michael Barth. The character was an actor hired to play George in the pilot of “Jerry.”
12. Mariska Hargitay
No, “Law & Order” character Detective Benson did not help solve a crime on “Seinfeld.” But actress Mariska Hargitay did show up in Season 4 episode 23 as a woman named Melissa.
13. Lisa Edelstein
Lisa Edelstein, who is best known for her being Dr. Cuddy on “House M.D.,” appeared in two episodes of “Seinfeld’s” fifth season as Karen. The character dated George, but broke up after a series of ridiculous antics – including him accusing her of faking her orgasms.
14. David Brisbin
Kids who loved ‘90s Nickelodeon TV will recognize David Brisbin. The actor appeared on “Hey Dude” as Benjamin Ernst, the owner of the dude ranch. A couple of years later, Brisbin appeared in Season 5 episode 2 as an unnamed client in “The Puffy Shirt.” He later landed a role on “ER” as Dr. Alexander Babcock.”
15. Anna Gunn
“Seinfeld” has a connection to Heisenberg’s blue meth. “Breaking Bad” alum Anna Gunn appeared in one episode of “Seinfeld” in Season 5. The episode, called “The Glasses,” featured Gunn playing a woman named Amy who briefly dated Jerry. The pair broke up after Jerry falsely accused her of making out with his cousin, Jeffery.
16. Marlee Matlin
In Season 5 episode 6 of “Seinfeld,” deaf actress Marlee Matlin appeared as Laura. Chaos ensued when Kramer misinterpreted some of her sign language, resulting in George getting into a fight with his girlfriend. Matlin has since appeared on “The West Wing,” “The L Word” and “Switched at Birth.”
17. Jennifer Coolidge
Before introducing the world to the “bend and snap” in “Legally Blonde,” Jennifer Coolidge made a guest appearance in Season 5 episode 9 of “Seinfeld.” The actress played Jodi, a masseuse that Jerry dates.
18. Courtney Cox
Before viewers fell in love with Courtney Cox on “Friends,” the actress appeared in a single episode of “Seinfeld’s” fifth season. Cox played one of Jerry’s girlfriends, Meryl, who broke up with him after she discovered that he let another woman use his dry cleaning discount.
19. Jon Favreau
Actor Jon Favreau appeared in Season 5 episode 19 of “Seinfeld” as Eric the Clown. He was hired by George to entertain children at a birthday party for his girlfriend’s son. Favreau is a producer who worked on the “Iron Man” movies and NBC drama “Revolution.” He has also appeared in movies like “I Love You, Man,” “Identity Thief” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
20. Patton Oswalt
Funny man Patton Oswalt can be seen in the background as an unnamed clerk in Season 6 episode 5 of “Seinfeld.” The role was one of Oswalt’s first gigs. Oswalt can now be heard as the narrator on “The Goldbergs,” and appeared in a couple episodes of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
21. Bryan Cranston
In another life Walter White was a dentist. Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” had a recurring role on “Seinfeld” as Jerry’s dentist, Dr. Tim Whatley. His first appearance can be seen in Season 6 episode 8, “The Mom and Pop Store.”
22. Jon Lovitz
“Saturday Night Live” alum appeared in Season 6 “Seinfeld” episode, “The Scofflaw,” as Gary Fogel. The character pretended to have cancer and used his toupee to pick up women. He’s the voice of multiple characters on “The Simpsons.”
23. Debra Jo Rupp
Best known as Kitty Forman on “That 70s Show,” Debra Jo Rupp appeared a couple of times as Jerry’s manager, Katie.
24. Brenda Strong
Brenda Strong appeared in a handful of “Seinfeld” episodes as Sue Ellen Mischke, Elaine’s high school nemesis. Strong is known for her roles as Mary Alice Young in “Desperate Housewives” and Ann Ewing in “Dallas.”
25. Kathy Griffin
Comedian Kathy Griffin appeared in two episodes of “Seinfeld” as Sally Weaver, Susan Ross’s college roommate.
26. Brad Garrett
Funny guy Brad Garrett, who is best known for his role as Robert on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” was featured in one episode of “Seinfeld.” In Season 7 episode 20, Garrett played a guy named Tony, who was an auto mechanic.
27. Debra Messing
Like her “Will & Grace” co-star Megan Mullally, Debra Messing also appeared on “Seinfeld.” The actress played Beth Lukner in Season 7, who briefly dated Jerry.
28. Kristin Bauer van Straten
Kristin Bauer van Straten played Gillian, a love interest for Jerry in Season 8 of “Seinfeld.” Elaine set up the pair, but Jerry blew it when all he could focus on were her “man-hands.” Today Kristin Bauer van Straten is well known for her role as sassy vampire Pam on “True Blood.”
29. Bob Odenkirk
Yet another “Breaking Bad” alum appeared on “Seinfeld.” Bob Odenkirk, who is getting his own “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul,” played a character named Ben on “Seinfeld.” Ben was a doctor who dated Elaine, and appeared in Season 8 episode 9, “The Abstinence.”
30. Sarah Silverman
Comedian Sarah Silverman played Kramer’s girlfriend, Emily, in Season 8 of “Seinfeld.” She appeared in a single episode.
31. Christine Taylor
David Brisbine wasn’t the only “Hey Dude” alum to show up on “Seinfeld.” Actress Christine Taylor played a woman named Ellen who Jerry briefly dated. Taylor is married to Ben Stiller and has appeared on “Arrested Development” as Sally Sitwell.
32. Kristin Davis
Before starring on “Sex and the City,” Kristin Davis appeared in a single episode of “Seinfeld” as Jenna. Her appearance was in Season 8 episode 16, “The Pothole.”
33. Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham played Jerry’s girlfriend Valerie in Season 8 episode 20 of “Seinfeld.” She went on to star on “Gilmore Girls” and “Parenthood.”
34. Melinda Clarke
Melinda Clarke played a woman named Alex in Season 8 episode 21 of “Seinfeld.” She’s known for her roles on “The O.C.,” “CSI” and “Nikita.” The actress was recently cast in “Dallas.”
35. Molly Shannon
Funny woman Molly Shannon was featured in one episode of “Seinfeld” as Elaine’s co-worker, Sam. She’s best known for being on “Saturday Night Live” and appearing in “Wet Hot American Summer.”
36. Amanda Peet
Actress Amanda Peet appeared in Season 8 episode 22 of “Seinfeld” as Linette, one of Jerry’s girlfriends. She’s appeared in numerous TV shows and movies since then, her most recent being “The Good Wife” and “Togetherness.”
37. Lori Loughlin
Move over, Uncle Jesse. Lori Louhglin appeared in Season 9 of “Seinfeld” as Jerry’s girlfriend, Patty. Loughlin is best known for her role as Aunt Becky on “Full House,” and also starred on the “90210” reboot.
38. Marcia Cross
Marcia Cross played a dermatologist named Sara who dated Jerry in Season 9 of “Seinfeld.” She’s best known for her role as Bree Hodge on “Desperate Housewives.”
39. Brian Posehn
Comedian Brian Posehn appeared in Season 9 episode 16 of “Seinfeld” as Artie. He’s guest starred on numerous TV shows since then and was featured as a major character on “The Sarah Silverman Program.”