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The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Jason Alexander Anymore

Jason Alexander is unquestionably best known for one role — but what a role it was: high-strung lucky loser George Costanza on Seinfeld. 

Playing an iconic character early in one's career — Alexander was just 30 when Seinfeld started in 1989 — can be a double-edged sword. Sure, the job security, money, and being a part of TV history are nice, but it's also hard for an audience to accept actors in other roles after they're so closely associated with one familiar character. Believe it or not, Alexander has had a colorful, balanced, and sometimes glamorous career A.S. (that's "After Seinfeld"). Here's what he's been up to recently.

He was 'cursed' to fail

It was probably broken the moment that Julia Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy for The New Adventures of Old Christine, but for years, there was talk of a "Seinfeld Curse" affecting the former cast of that classic comedy. Everyone's first post-Seinfeld projects tanked: Dreyfus' Watching Ellie, Michael RichardsThe Michael Richards Show, and Jason Alexander's Bob Patterson and Listen Up. The former was a short-lived 2000 ABC sitcom in which Alexander played a motivational speaker who was, get this, a mess in his personal life. The latter starred Alexander as a fictionalized version of popular sports radio host Tony Kornheiser, who is a big shot at work but, get this, has a dysfunctional personal life. Both shows lasted less than a year.

He wants to be in charge

Few people know episodic TV better than Jason Alexander. He co-starred on nearly 200 episodes of Seinfeld, a three-camera sitcom that involved a lot more scenes and scene breaks than most any other traditionally-shot comedy of the era. That makes him uniquely qualified to direct television, and that's what he does now. Alexander has helmed episodes of everything from the improv-heavy Campus Ladies to the single-camera Everybody Hates Chris to tried-and-true sitcom fare like Mike & Molly —even dramas like Criminal Minds. He even directed country star Brad Paisley's comic video for his hit "Online."

You can hear him, but you can't see him

Concurrently with Seinfeld, Jason Alexander lent his voice to the title character on USA's cult dark animated comedy Duckman. Alexander has a powerful, memorable voice with a lot of range, and he racks up a lot of time in the recording booth. Fans of popular animated shows like Robot Chicken, The Simpsons, TripTank, Fish Hooks, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, and China, IL should definitely notice Alexander's vocal input.

His clip show was a blip of a show

A while back, there were a ton of "clip" shows on TV, in which a reality show scene, YouTube clip, or piece of found footage would play, and then a host would make fun of it. (And then that would repeat until the show's 30 minutes were up.) While Tosh.0 remains a popular series, other examples like The Soup, Web Soup, and Clipaholics are long gone. If you've never heard of Clipaholics, there's a good reason for that — the 2012 show ran on truTV for just eight episodes. Not even the enthusiastic narration and hosting abilities of Jason Alexander could save it.

He's just gotta dance! (And sing!)

Before Seinfeld, Jason Alexander was a theater guy. In the '80s, he starred in New York stage fare like Merrily We Roll Along, Forbidden Broadway, Personals, The Rink, Broadway Bound, and Jerome Robbins' Broadway, the latter of which earned him a Tony Award for best actor in a musical. After Seinfeld concluded in 1998, Alexander returned to the footlights, starring as Max Bialystock in the first national tour of Mel Brooks' smash hit The Producers. Beyond that, he does theater of all kinds, notably a starring role in Fish in the Dark, which just so happens to be the work of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.

He's out there on the road

Like other well-known comic actors that came before him — Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal, John Leguizamo — Jason Alexander hit the stage with an autobiographical one-person show, which he titled An Evening with Jason Alexander and His Hair. Along with a "hilarious re-telling of his journey to and on the Broadway stage," Alexander sings songs, tells jokes, and does a little crowd work. (The familiarly balding Alexander also wears a "completely bogus" hair piece for the performance.) He's toured the show off and on in casinos and theaters around the country since 2014.

He's out there on the road (on TV)

There are so many networks (and streaming services) cranking out high quality stuff these days that it's easy to overlook even a show starring a Seinfeld veteran. Since the fall of 2017, Jason Alexander has starred on Hit the Road on the Audience Network. He plays a dad so in search of higher meaning in his life that he forces his family into a rock band-style tour bus to drive around the country. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Mr. Holland's Opus) and Amy Pietz (Caroline in the City) co-star on the show, which is different than Alexander's other sitcoms in that it's a single-camera comedy — and also because he co-created it.

He's trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—really

No one has been able to bring lasting peace to the Middle East, but maybe the guy who played George on Seinfeld can? Jason Alexander, who was raised in a Jewish home, has worked extensively with a group that aimed to broker understanding in Israel. In 2004, he helped launch the "One Voice" campaign, which enabled regular Palestinians and Israelis who actually lived in disputed areas to vote on peace and settlement initiatives via online voting. IBM offered to analyze the results, which One Voice leaders hope could send a message to politicians about what "the people" truly want. "What this initiative wants to do," explained Alexander, "is to embolden moderates on both sides."

He's too rich to work too hard

If you won a multi-million-dollar lottery, would you quit your job? Yes, you probably would. Jason Alexander hit the showbiz jackpot with his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld. Not only was it a creatively fulfilling role on a hit sitcom for which he earned multiple Emmy Award nominations and lasting fame, but he was also handsomely paid — in the final season alone, he earned $600,000 an episode. Factoring in his cut from Seinfeld's endless reruns on syndication and on Hulu, Alexander is reportedly worth millions today. If we don't see him on screens much anymore, perhaps it's because he can afford to be selective with his time.