The term has been used to describe the supposed career failures of the Seinfeld cast including Jerry Seinfeld, Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander following the end of the cult-classic sitcom in 1998.
“I think any time a project ends, it’s gutting for me,” Louis-Dreyfus told Rolling Stone. “And that’s true of movies and TV shows. There is a focus and a camaraderie that’s very much present when you’re working hard on a project that you believe in, and when the circus leaves town, it’s a huge transition.
“There’s a real feeling of sadness for me. ‘Where did all my buddies go?’ ‘Where are my friends?’”
Asked about her thoughts on the “Seinfeld curse”, the Veep star claimed: “It was invented by the media. They thought it was clever.
“You don’t need me to prove it wrong, it was ridiculous! It made no sense. I was amazed that it had legs, because it was so moronic. I don’t know how else to say it!”
After Seinfeld, Richards’s self-titled sitcom The Michael Richards Show was cancelled by NBC after only eight episodes; both of Alexander’s sitcoms Bob Patterson and Listen Up! were only given one season; and Louis-Dreyfus’s comedy Watching Ellie was cut short after two seasons due to low ratings.
However, it was the eventual success of Louis-Dreyfus’s five-season sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine that led people to think she had broken the curse.
“I’m not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this, baby!” she proclaimed during her 2006 Emmy acceptance speech, which she won for her titular portrayal of Old Christine. She later went on to win six more Emmys for her lead role on HBO’s political satire Veep.
The curse has long been condemned by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, who called it “the most idiotic notion”.
“It’s so annoying to hear something like that. There was no curse. It’s crazy. So there were two TV shows attempted that didn’t work? Big deal. How many TV shows work?… A curse? It’s so absurd,” he said at the time.