Lawrence Tierney appeared in a season 2 episode called “The Jacket” playing Elaine’s father. It’s a classic episode that made the Seinfeld “top 100” highlight clips episode.
Tierney was cast as Alton Benes on the episode. A hard nosed war vet that’s difficult to please. It was a great comedic performance for Tierney, but not his only one. Just like in Reservoir Dogs, the producers used Tierney’s hard as nails demeanor as a source of comic relief.
His performance on the show was not without controversy. Apparently, Larry tried to steal a knife from the set, and when confronted by Jerry Seinfeld, pretended to go Psycho on him.
Performed before a live audience. The actors rehearsed all week before taping. Larry’s experience on the stage really shows as he holds court in his chair, reading the paper, and intimidating the other characters with his gravel voiced delivery.
The Seinfeld cast would more recently pay a loving tribute (sarcasm added) to Tierney on the DVD extras of the show. But it’s all in good fun. Hell, this was nothing new for Tierney. The actor was known to bust up Hollywood parties (attended by legends like Errol Flynn and Diana Barrymore) since way back in 1946.