Many iconic figures in the entertainment business have died this year, and it never gets easier to deal with. During a time of grief over the loss of an actor, it is always nice to reflect on their legendary careers in movies and television. This week, an iconic actor who was a huge success on a hit comedy show died, and he leaves behind a huge legacy.
The Huffington Post reports that Len Lasser, the actor behind beloved “Seinfeld” support character Uncle Leo, died Wednesday, Feb. 16. Lasser died of cancer-related pneumonia at the age of 88 in Burbank, Calif.. Lasser was in a variety of movie and television roles, including “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Munsters,” but will be remembered most for his 15-episode stint on “Seinfeld.” Although Lasser only appeared on the show for a short period of time, he was one of the characters that stood out; fans everywhere fell in love with Lasser.
There are a lot of great episodes that featured Lasser on “Seinfeld,” but three of them really stand out to me. One of these episodes that featured Lasser was “The Bookstore,” which is season 9 episode 17 of “Seinfeld.” This episode stands out to me and is one of my favorites because Jerry unintentionally gets Uncle Leo arrested for shoplifting and does not handle the situation very well. Uncle Leo tries to get out of being prosecuted for stealing the book by claiming it was his old age and that he forgot and thought he paid for it.
You also learn in this episode that Leo has a prior criminal record relating to “crimes of passion,” which is just a hilarious turn of events and something you would not expect. It was just a great episode because everyone is fretting over a book, and the quirky lines from Uncle Leo just have me laughing every single time. When I saw this episode I thought of my grandpa, because he was always quick on his feet and used to make sarcastic remarks similar to Uncle Leo in this episode.
“The Package” episode is also a classic example of Uncle Leo and one of my favorite episodes. This episode was season 8 episode 5 and it is truly a classic for anyone who loves Uncle Leo as much as I do. Leo was opening a package he signed for Jerry and it blew up in his face. The best part about this episode was that his eyebrows were completely gone and all over the place. This was a classic because Elaine then had to try to make Uncle Leo eyebrows with a marker and it looked horrible. I will remember this episode because seeing Uncle Leo without eyebrows was just hilarious; he looked really weird without them. I treasured this one the most because this sounds like something I would do — sign for a package and then have it literally blow up in my face.
“The Watch” which was season 4 episode 6, is also one of the Uncle Leo episodes that I treasure the most. Leo finds a watch in the garbage and decides to pick it up and call it his, but it is really Jerry’s watch. Jerry proceeds to try to buy the watch back from Uncle Leo, which leads into them having an argument in the bathroom. To me this was a real treasure because I can relate to Leo in this episode: He found the watch and wanted to keep it, which is how I would also feel. I also enjoyed it because Jerry is trying his best to buy the watch back but Uncle Leo does not budge and insists it is his since it was in the trash. It is just memorable to me because that situation could happen to anyone and it always turns into an argument over who should really keep the item.
The Huffington Post Staff, “Uncle Leo’s ‘Seinfeld’ Scenes: Jerry Remembers His Favorite”, Huffington Post
Internet Movie Database Staff, “Len Lessar”, Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database, “The Bookstore”
Internet Movie Database, “The Package”
Internet Movie Database, “The Watch”
Internet Movie Database, “Seinfeld”