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“Jerry! Hello!”: Some of Len Lesser’s Best Lines as Uncle Leo

Veteran character actor Len Lesser, probably best known for playing Jerry’s greetings-obsessed Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, died yesterday at the age of 88 after suffering complications from pneumonia. “He’s the kind of guy who is a total nuisance at times and the kind of guy you avoid,” Lesser once explained in a 1998 interview with the LA Times. “He’s a very expansive character, and that has an attraction to it.” The scene stealing Leo (we’re never told his last name) was also a close talker, an extremely proud father, and a part-time shoplifter. Celebrate the man that Jerry once avoided saying “hello” to on the street (the horror!), by clicking through for some of our favorite Uncle Leo moments.

“Jerry, you wanna hear something? Your cousin, Jeffrey, is switching parks. They’re transferring him to Riverside — so he’ll completely revamp that operation, you understand? He’ll do in Riverside what he did in Central Park. It’s more money. So, that’s your cousin.” – from “The Pony Remark,” Season 2

“You need some new material. I’ve heard you do that dog routine three times already… Listen, you should get your cousin Jeffrey to write some material for you… You should read the letters he’s written. He’s funnier than the whole bunch of you!” – from “The Pen,” Season 3

“You know where I just came from? Danny Barma… He used to be in the pajama business. I used to be able to get pajamas for free. I used to come over and get pajamas all the time!… The funny thing is: I can’t wear ‘em. I get too hot. I sleep in my underwear and a t-shirt. If it gets too hot, I just get the t-shirt off! Anyway, Danny says to me: ‘You need any pajamas?'” – from “The Ticket,” Season 4

Helen: “Leo, where did you get that watch?”

Leo: “You know where I got this? I found it in the garbage can. It kept terrible time. I brought it over to Jimmy Sherman right here on 85th and Columbus. Gave it to me back the next day. Works great. What kind of idiot throws a way a perfectly good watch?”

Helen: “Doesn’t that watch look like the one we gave Jerry?” – from “The Wallet,” Season 4

Leo: “Jerry, I’d give you the watch. It’s not the money, I happen to like it.”

Jerry: “Look, I happen to know how much that watch cost. It’s a sixty dollar watch, you paid forty to get it fixed. That’s a hundred dollars. I’m offering you two hundred!”

Leo: “I’ve never seen a band like this.”

Jerry: “Aww, right. Three hundred, plus fifty for the repair. Three fifty, that’s it!”

Leo: “You have it on you?” – from “The Watch,” Season 4

“Jeffrey went out tonight… I’m supposed to tape this nature show for him, he loves nature. Botany, zoology. You know his botany teacher from college stays in close touch with him? They became friends!.. That’s pretty rare! I mean, actual friends! Like equals! They have dinner together, they have discussings…” – from “The Glasses,” Season 5

“Are you ashamed of your uncle? Do I embarrass you?… Haven’t I always been a good uncle?… Who told you when you went to school that you print well?… When he was younger, he had a beautiful penmanship. I used to encourage him to print… I remember your ‘V.’ It was like a perfect triangle. Whoa, there’s my bus!” – from “The Wife,” Season 5

“Listen, I don’t want to alarm you, but your nana is missing… I came to pick her up for a doctor’s appointment, she wasn’t here. I called the doctor, nobody knows where she is. She hasn’t left the apartment in twenty-five years!” – “The Pledge Drive,” Season 6

“Look at this, I told them medium rare, it’s medium…. I bet that cook is an anti-Semite. They don’t just overcook a hamburger, Jerry.” – “The Shower Head,” Season 7

“Are my eyebrows going to grow back ?” – “The Package,” Season 8

Jerry: “Leo, I saw you in Brentano’s yesterday.”

Leo: “Why didn’t ya say hello?”

Jerry: ”Because you were too busy stealing a book.”

Leo: “You still say hello.”

Jerry: “Leo, I saw you steal.”

Leo: “Oh, they don’t care. We all do it.”

Jerry: “Who, criminals?”

Leo: “Senior citizens. No big deal.”

Jerry: “You could get arrested.”

Leo: “Arrested? Come on! I’m an old man. I’m confused! I thought I paid for it. What’s my name? Will you take me home?”

Jerry: “Leo…”

Leo: “Alright, alright. Mr. Goody Two-Shoes. You made your point.” – from “The Bookstore,” Season 9

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