Comedian of Law’s Top Ten Wacky Case, #10 Costanza v. Seinfeld
In the world of crazy, wacky lawsuits, Comedian of Law has narrowed it down to the top ten!
Starting off the countdown is Costanza v. Seinfeld.
Apparently, the show about nothing meant something to somebody! Michael Costanza, an apparent college acquaintance of Jerry Seinfeld, sued the comedian for $100,000,000. I believe that’s almost as much money as Jerry made for his final episode so we are talking about significant money!
Michael Costanza alleged that Jerry misappropriated his likeness by basing the character of George Costanza off of him.
Now George Costanza wasn’t exactly the Marlboro Man. So think about that! What was Michael really saying? Under oath, under penalty of perjury, Michael was saying: “Look at that loser George … look at him! He’s short, fat, bald and ugly. He can’t keep a job. He has no luck with women. Well, guess what … that’s me! I’m short, fat, bald and ugly. I can’t keep a job and I have no luck with women!”
I’m not sure he should use that on his eHarmony profile.
What about the merits of the lawsuit? Did Jerry Seinfeld illegally misappropriate Michael Costanza’s likeness? The court said, “No lawsuit for you!” The court rejected the real Costanza’s claims because New York’s right to privacy laws do not extend to “works of fiction and satire.”
And in true comedic form, the court concluded that while a sitcom can be about nothing, a lawsuit has to be about something! The court ordered sanctions against both the plaintiff and his attorney for $2,500. Now that is something.
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