Frank Costanza had a lot of problems with you people, but that didn’t make him unwilling to share Festivus with the masses.
George’s dad on “Seinfeld” was so fed up with the commercialization of Christmas, he did the only thing a man could — the Queens, New York, native made up his own holiday, replacing the evergreen tree with a sturdy aluminum pole. And a “Festivus for the rest of us” was born, in the words of Jerry Stiller character.
But don’t let us ruin the classic NBC sitcom’s backstory telling for you — watch the video above.
As for the actual origins of the faux holiday, “Seinfeld” scribe Dan O’Keefe has got you covered.
“It is a fake holiday my dad made up in the ’60s to celebrate the anniversary of his first date with my mother, and it was something that we celebrated as a family in a very peculiar way through the ’70s, and then I never spoke of it again,” he told Uproxx in 2015. “I had actually forgotten about it because I had blotted it out of my mind.”
O’Keefe said he never planned to include the family tradition in “Seinfeld” — but that his brother Mark mentioned it to fellow “Seinfeld” writers Jeff Schaffer and Alec Berg, who were also credited on the episode “The Strike” that introduced the holiday to the masses.
“As I recall, they had me meet at Swingers, this diner in Hollywood, and then one of them sat on the other side of me so I couldn’t leave,” O’Keefe told Uproxx. “They asked about Festivus and I said I didn’t really want to talk about it. They said, ‘Well, Mark told us about it,’ and I said, ‘That f—er.’ They said, ‘We think it might be funny in the show,’ and I said, ‘I think it’s a mistake and sort of a family shame.’”
He added, “I swear I thought it was going to be cut out in the edits.”
Thankfully, Frank Costanza’s faux-holiday did make the episode — and the rest is history.