Seinfeld reruns never get old. They are rich with lessons in character development, show preparation, and story structure for radio personalities. And good old George Costanza. Seinfeld’s best friend is one of the most memorable characters in television history.
Here’s what you can learn from George:
George Costanza And The Payoff
Remember the episode when George learned the secret to his success was to “end on a high note”? In meetings, relationships, and in nearly all situations, George figured out that his biggest problem was a tendency to keep talking after he made an impact.
Here’s when George learned to get out after a payoff:
No matter how good a segment is, when the story loses momentum, listeners move on. Every break must have a clear direction. And when you hit the payoff, it’s time to get out.
There are times the best moment may be the second exit but it’s better to get out too soon than too late. Great segments are ruined when personalities don’t know when to get out.
Self-Deprecating And Vulnerable
When George Costanza recognized that everything he tried turned out poorly, he decides, “I’m going to do the opposite of everything I’d normally do.”
His strategy was to be anti-George.
For example, in the diner he and Jerry go to all the time, he spies an attractive woman he would probably have told lies to in order to win her over. He would have said he was an architect.
But he does the opposite.
He tells her his name is George, a balding, middle-aged man who lives with his parents. It worked.
Many radio personalities overthink their performance. They are obsessed to make every detail perfect. The more they focus on perfect execution, the worse it gets. The fun comes out of the show. There’s a time and place for self-analysis and critique but it’s not during the performance of the show.
Instead, own your quirks and insecurities. Showing traits that are “just like me” is uniquely relatable and charming.
Be The Personality You Want To Be
The episode of George trying to impress his girlfriend by pretending to be a marine biologist is hilarious. But the George Costanza radio lesson: George wants to be a better, more interesting man. And he owns his lie!
When building a Character Profile, we identify the most likable traits of each personality’s off-air life. Then build a brand based on those characteristics. It is the best possible version of the talent. Then, we coach them to perform a role based on the character profile.
It kind of makes you miss the old Seinfeld episodes, doesn’t it? These are three classic George Costanza moments that can be applied to radio performers. To review:
- Find the exit, and be alert to take it. End on a high note.
- Being authentic to your character and being vulnerable is highly relatable.
- Perform to the best possible you.
Take the exit. It’s much better to end on a high note!