The man behind some of the most memorable and ludicrous moments in television history sadly passed on Monday aged 92. Jerry Stiller, best known for playing Arthur on King of Queens, Maury in Zoolander and of course, fathering Ben Stiller died of natural causes. His career spanned generations, but perhaps his most recognisable and hilarious role was that of Frank Costanza, George’s psychotic father on the hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld.
In memory of the great man himself, we’ve put together a list of the 8 best Frank Costanza moments on Seinfeld.
1. Festivus for the Rest of Us
The most bizarre and oddly inspiring Frank Costanza moment is, of course, the story of Festivus. The airing of grievances and the oversized pole; it’s a true icon of absurdist television and somehow a scene all of us with batshi*t crazy parents can relate to.
2. Serenity Now
Not exactly one moment, but a montage of many, Serenity Now might be our favourite Seinfeld quote of all time. In a Season 9 episode, Frank is instructed to use the mantra ‘Serenity Now’ when he feels his rage escalating. Instead of calming him, the phrase usually results in some glorious unhinged carnage.
3. Competition with the Seinfelds
This is one that hits close to home for pretty much everyone. There is always one of your classmate’s parents that your mother and father seem to unequivocally despise, for no good reason other than competition. For Frank Costanza, this was the Seinfelds. The rivalry between him and Morty was always one of the best parts of the show, typified by the great Del Boca Vista episode.
4. Frank’s Food Poisoning PTSD
Taking a leaf out the Apocalypse Now playbook, Frank retells the story of his wartime tragedy. As a cook in the war, Frank inadvertently gives half his platoon food poisoning, causing him to stay out of the kitchen for good. The incredible, dramatic monologue is perhaps one of the best Frank Costanza moments on Seinfeld.
5. You Want a Piece of Me? You Got It.
Forever on edge, Jerry Stiller’s Frank Costanza is never one to back down from a fight, even if there isn’t one on offer.
6. Who’s Having Sex with the Hen?
Perverse and confused, Frank Costanza’s take on how chickens mate is utterly hilarious and sadly familiar. Everyone has had a confusing conversation with a grandparent that goes exactly like this.
7. His Swim Trunks
Another one that reeks of teenage embarrassment, Frank Costanza’s willingness to give up his swim trunks for his sweet Georgey would be wholesome if it wasn’t delivered with such intensity.
8. Frank Translates Korean
Frank’s unburdening of his Korean affair is as unhinged as he is. The awkwardness of the translation followed by Elaine’s disgust makes this one of the best Frank Costanza moments on Seinfeld.