About the Festivus and “Seinfeld” Frank Costanza had many issues with you people, but that did not prevent him from sharing Festivus with the masses.
George’s father on “Seinfeld” was so irritated with the financial angle of Christmas that he did the only thing a man could. He improvised his own holiday at the Queens, New York by replacing the evergreen tree with a well-built pole of aluminum. And there was born “Festivus for the rest of us” in the words of the character of Jerry Stiller.
About “Seinfeld”, The Fake Holiday
As for the real roots of the fake holiday, “Seinfeld” writer Dan O’Keefe has got you covered. He told Uproxx in 2015, “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. I had actually forgotten about it because I had blotted it out of my mind.”
O’Keefe said he never had in mind to add the family tradition in “Seinfeld”. However, his brother Mark mentioned it to fellow writers Jeff Schaffer and Alec Berg who were also acknowledged on the episode “The Strike” that introduced the holiday to the people.
Writer’s Remarks and How it was included
O’Keefe said to Uproxx, “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. 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 further added, “I swear I thought it was going to be cut out in the edits.”
Fortunately, the fake holiday of Frank Costanza was shown in the episode and the rest is history.