Based on a True Story
Kramer's Reality Tour Offers a Hilarious Afternoon of Seinfeld-themed Sightseeing
Seinfeld has been a staple of classic American television for decades. This iconic comedy, set in Manhattan and created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, is considered one of the most influential sitcoms every produced. But what many visitors may not know is that many of the stories and characters are based on actual people and events.
"I'd been doing stand-up for a number of years, and I was actually retired when Seinfeld came on," explains Kenny Kramer, the real-life inspiration for the popular character Cosmo Kramer. "All of a sudden, there was this Kramer character based on me that was becoming the biggest thing on TV, and I thought, if I don't cash in on this, then I'm an idiot."
Kramer's Reality Tour, a bus tour led by Kramer himself, takes visitors to several locations featured in the show, including Tom's Restaurant and Soup Man. Kramer, who lived across the hall from Larry David, shares hilarious stories about Seinfeld and the antics upon which it was based. "So many things happened in real life that Larry documented," he explains. "I have the actual video of Larry's bald head, for example. There are a number of stories that people are thrilled to hear really happened."
While Kramer has been giving tours for over two decades, Kramer's Reality Tour has steadily increased in popularity over the past few years and is popular among both tourists and locals. "It used to be that New Yorkers only got dragged on the tour by a visiting cousin or something," Kramer says. "But a while back, there was a newspaper article that suggested I was ending the tour. Suddenly, all of these New Yorkers started showing up so they could take a tour before it ended. Now, the tour really is a smash hit. I became a genuine C-list celebrity."
Of course, Kramer's tour does not appear to be in danger of ending anytime soon, as tours frequently sell out weeks in advance, which speaks to the universal appeal of both the tour and Seinfeld itself. "The demographic is interesting," Kramer says. "About 25% of people who take the tour are international. Seinfeld is a hit in over ninety countries. In England, for example, the show used to be on at one in the morning or something, but now it's a smash hit over there--they've only discovered the show in the last ten years or so, and now I get a lot of Brits on the tour."
Visitors do not necessarily have to be big Seinfeld fans to enjoy the tour. "If you like Seinfeld, then you'll go crazy for the tour, but there's enough generic funny that anyone can have a great time," Kramer says. "I've also been giving a 'Welcome to New York' tour for the past couple of years where I tell people tips about New York city, how to use public transit, how to not get ripped off, thing like that."
For visitors looking for a uniquely quirky and surprisingly informative tour, Kramer's Reality Tour is a must-do while in New York City. "The thing I enjoy most about this is the people," Kramer says. "They're just fun, friendly people out to have a good time, and I want to give them a good time. We all get along great."
-- By Ettractions Digital Content Editor EMILY JARMOLOWICZ
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