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Kenny Kramer - The Name's Familiar - by Laura Lee at Kenny Kramer
Kenny Kramer

Kenny Kramer is an example of a media-age phenomenon, pure fame unsullied by any noteworthy achievement. A New York bachelor, Kramer is a man long on ideas and short on attention. He prides himself on never having held a regular job. Instead, he has worked as a comedian, a magazine seller, and a drummer.

For a while, he made a good living selling his invention--electronic disco jewelry. Among those shaking their heads and saying "What a character!" was Kramer's neighbor Larry David. So when David and his friend Jerry Seinfeld were fleshing out a sitcom based on their lives, Kramer was written in.

The success of Seinfeld made "the real Kramer" an unlikely celebrity. Kramer is as surprised as anyone at the media attention. "It was weird reading a story about me in the Enquirer with 'quotes' I never said or would never say," he says. "Doing a 20-minute radio interview with Ollie North, that was a bit weird." Kramer also found it "weird" when, in a pop culture footnote waiting to happen, 0. J. Simpson trial celebrity Kato Kaelin rushed over to meet "the real Kramer" in the flesh.

"I'm getting used to unaccustomed events taking place on a regular basis," says Kramer. Today he makes his living giving guided tours of the real places in New York that inspired the scenes in "Seinfeld."

From the book The Name's Familiar by Laura Lee Buy The Book!

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