Jason Alexander, forever known as George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” pops up on TV every so often in guest roles. On Wednesday, July 6, you’ll see him play a character far nastier than hapless George on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash” at 9 p.m.
Alexander said he was seeking directing jobs but was asked by the producers of the show to play a guest role. He enters the first scene on roller skates with a hot blond. “It goes back to my days on Broadway in a show back when I was in my early 20s,” he said. “If they ever do ‘Roller Skating With the Stars,’ I’m the go-to guy.”
How about “Dancing With the Stars’? He said he’s turned them down on several occasions. “I have a pretty private life,” he said. “When you do any reality show, it becomes more invasive than I’m willing to go. I have a cousin who was on ‘Survivor’ twice, Jonathan Penner. It was very clear reality TV creates stories and characters the way they want. I have too delicate an ego for that.”
Alexander admits he wouldn’t be bad on the show. “I was a song-and-dance man,” he said. “That part is wonderful. It’s the rest of the stuff surrounding it that I’m not really terribly interested in.”
He enjoys guesting on scripted shows, no problem. “They go out of their way to be accommodating,” he said,” to engage you in the creation of the character. They treat you well on the set. It’s usually a very pleasant position to be in.”
Lately, Alexander said he’s gotten a lot of buzz for playing a live-action character in an upcoming “The Fairly OddParents” film opposite Cheryl Hines. He did about three scenes. “I have had people from all over the world ask me about this project,” he said, sounding bemused. “I was literally there for a day. The project better be the greatest thing since sliced bread or it’s all my fault!” [The film is scheduled to air July 9 on Nickelodeon to celebrate its 10th anniversary.)
Getting back to “Franklin & Bash,” Alexander said he loved the chemistry of the two leads, Mark-Paul Gosselar and Breckin Meyer, both on screen and off screen. He actually knew Breckin because they have children in the same school. “There was a lot of ad libbing and playfulness,” he said. “Some of the ad libbing actually made it in.”
Alexander’s character is a bit like Bernie Madoff, who ripped off hundreds of millions from investors in a Ponzi scheme. “My guess is if George Constanza tried to do this, he’d confuse it with a ponzu scheme, a sweet sauce in Japanese restaurants,” Alexander said.
“Franklin & Bash,” 9 p.m. on TNT
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog