jerry seinfeld note


On this day (February 6th) in 1991, The Jacket aired in which Lawrence Tierney plays Elaine’s father, Alton Benes. Lawrence was known for his bad-guy roles in films during the 1940’s and 1950’s, such as Dillinger, The Hoodlum, and Born to Kill. Tierney’s appearance in the episode is one of his only comedic roles. Cast and crew members were very impressed with Tierney’s performance, and intended to make Alton Benes a recurring character. However, they were frightened of him; during filming it was discovered that Tierney had stolen a butcher knife from the knife block in Jerry’s apartment set. Various cast members recall Seinfeld approaching Tierney and stating, “Hey, Lawrence, what do you got there in your jacket?” Tierney, realizing he had been caught, tried to make a joke about how he thought taking the knife would be funny, by reenacting a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), holding the knife above his head and making threatening motions towards Seinfeld. Tom Cherones, Jason Alexander, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus saw this happen, and, as Alexander recalled, it “scared the living crap out of all of us.” Cherones stated that, afterwards, Larry David would jokingly threaten to have Tierney back on the show if he did his work badly.