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Cosmo Kramer and Jim Ignatowski: Same Character, Different Eras

The Reverend Jim Ignatowski was a crazy recurring character who became a regular on the TV series Taxi (1978-1983). Cosmo Kramer was the goofy neighbor on the TV show Seinfeld (1989–1998). While we are used to sitcoms employing the same types of characters from show to show, there are clues that Kramer was more than a reasonable facsimile of Ignatowski. He was more like a reincarnation.   

Both characters would be lost without friends. They need constant prompting and assistance with activities of basic living. Both men are kept in check by the lead character. In Jim’s case, it’s Alex Reiger, for Kramer, it’s Jerry Seinfeld. The straight men, played by Judd Hirsh and Jerry Seinfeld respectively, provide the “regular guy” voice of reason for the cool wacky guy operating in the midst of an ensemble cast.

Last but not least, both Jim Ignatowski and Cosmo Kramer play off a female character who is a big sister type. She’s hardworking, responsible and feisty–and her name just happens to be Elaine. Elaine Nardo and Elaine Bennis live in different New York worlds, but both serve the same purpose for two “crazy awesome” guys who share striking similarities.

Oh, but there are plenty of other similarities between the two characters that might surprise you, at TVOM.


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