Write What You Know: Larry David based the George character off of himself, and many of the plotlines allegedly were based on real life experiences he had, and how he reacted to them.
(paraphrasing) Jason Alexander: This is ridiculous. This could never happen to someone, and even if it did, no one would react that way.
Larry David: What are you talking about? It happened to me, and that's exactly how I reacted!
- Kramer was based on David's neighbor Kenny Kramer.
- This was even parodied in the series: In "The Muffin Tops", Kramer starts his own bus tour, proclaiming himself to be the real J. Peterman (to differentiate himself from the anecdotes he supplied to J. Peterman's autobiography). This mirrors real life, as Kenny Kramer has run Kramer's Reality Tour and Kramer's Reality Road Show, the gimmick being that he's the real life Kramer.
- In addition, Bob Balaban's recurring role of Russell Dalrymple, the fictitious president of NBC who works with Jerry and George on a television pilot and later becomes Elaine's love interest, was modeled on then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield, who had allowed David and Seinfeld to produce the Seinfeld pilot. Balaban later went on to play Littlefield outright in the 1996 film The Late Shift, a dramatization of the struggles that occurred at NBC when Littlefield selected Jay Leno to replace Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, instead of David Letterman.
- The famous Soup Nazi was based on a real soup kitchen owner in New York. He did not take it well, and banned the entire cast and crew of the show from ever coming to his kitchen.