Orgin of the character name 'Rebecca De Mornay' on Seinfeld
May 17, 2004 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Ok, this may sound strange, but something has always bothered me. On Seinfeld, there was a recurring character named "Rebecca De Mornay". She was a large black woman and made sure to clearly state her full name, as if it was a joke we were supposed to get. Does anyone know what that was all about? Why Rebecca De Mornay? Did she offend Jerry in some way? I'm sorry if no one cares about this question.

She was in a few episodes, doing different things - Once she was a homeless shelter employee (that refused just the bottom of the muffins) and once she worked at a used bookstore or something, and refused to take the book that George took into the bathroom.
posted by loquax to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The joke is that she's a famous white actress. Sorta like if you were an asian kid named Samuel L. Jackson, you'd state your full name for comedic effect as often as possible?
posted by mathowie at 5:11 PM on May 17, 2004

Response by poster: No no, I know that, but is that it? It just seemed way too odd for that to be the joke in itself. I feel sure that there's another explanation, some sort of in joke or something. If not, then I guess it's just a bad joke and I'm reading too much into my sitcom watching.

I would have asked on TWOP, but they don't do sitcoms, and I didn't know where else to turn...any suggestions for good tv sites?
posted by loquax at 5:16 PM on May 17, 2004

Response by poster: (Geroge is trying to give the book to the homeless. He comes across Rebecca DeMornay - the same woman who confronted Elaine about her muffin stumps in
episode "The Muffin Tops")

REBECCA: (Gesturing tward the book) So, you want to donate this to charity?

GEORGE: Well, I assume there's some sort of write-off.

REBECCA: What's the value of the book?

GEORGE: Uh, about two hundred dollars, Miss DeMooney.

REBECCA: (Correcting. Stern) It's DeMornay. Rebecca DeMornay.


See? That can't be it can it? Just a random shout out? I'll stop now.
posted by loquax at 5:19 PM on May 17, 2004

I'm thinking Seinfeld or Larry David knew someone that had the same name as a famous person. And they pushed it by making the character a big black woman with the name of a small white woman.
posted by amberglow at 5:22 PM on May 17, 2004

Man, you guys just don't "get" Seinfeld.
posted by dgaicun at 5:48 PM on May 17, 2004

This is like asking, "Why did that one guy always have to stand so close to people he was talking to?"
posted by Galvatron at 6:01 PM on May 17, 2004

I would have asked on TWOP, but they don't do sitcoms

TWOP sitcoms page
posted by parrots at 6:09 PM on May 17, 2004

Response by poster: Oh, thanks for the link parrots. I didn't see that before.

And yeah, maybe you're right, and that was just the joke. But I'll never be convinced of that. It was just too odd and too out of place.

Thanks anyway!
posted by loquax at 6:19 PM on May 17, 2004

It was just too odd and too out of place.

Fits right in with Art Vandelay.
posted by timeistight at 6:41 PM on May 17, 2004

Fits right in with Art Vandelay.

And George buying the LeBaron Convertible that once belonged to "John Voight" [sic].
posted by pmurray63 at 8:43 PM on May 17, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, I hear you, but those were somehow obvious, and were referenced over and over again. This was just twice, in different episodes, nothing else said about it, just the name. Weird. Funny? I guess. I just could swear there was more to it. Nothing on TWOP though, or on, so I guess that must be it.

Also Art Vandelay is the funniest name ever for some reason.
posted by loquax at 8:48 PM on May 17, 2004

And George's oily childhood friend Lloyd Braun, who happens to share the name of ABC's head of programming (until Disney canned him last month).
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:56 PM on May 17, 2004

*paging Dr. Van Nostrand*
posted by mr.marx at 9:11 PM on May 17, 2004

For what it's worth, loquax, I completely agree with you.
posted by Sinner at 12:01 AM on May 18, 2004

Is it just me? I find that Just reading the name Seinfeld makes me smile.

I think the joke with Rebecca DeMornay lies in the name itself - on the one hand the name is totally over the top, on the other hand its just a very cool name. Nearly all of the Seinfeld character names have this kind of doubleness that makes them funny in a basic way.
posted by FidelDonson at 2:11 AM on May 18, 2004

It looks like this is a page that refers to all celebrities mentioned on Seinfeld; one would have to be pretty familiar with most of the episodes to recognize if there were similar playfulness with the names of other well-known people being used for incidental characters, but it's a pretty big list, so I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of thing was being used as a shout-out of sorts (or sly commentary). On the other hand, if there were no or few other characters named this way, then it probably was meant to convey something quite specific, though possibly not transparent to the likes of us.
posted by taz at 2:30 AM on May 18, 2004

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