Elaine Benes

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes

Elaine Marie Benes, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was a fictional character on the US television sitcom Seinfeld (1989-1998). She used to date Jerry Seinfeld, and their characters remained close friends. Her other main friends were George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer.

Elaine was the only character missing from the Pilot episode. She would make her first appearance in the second episode, "The Stakeout."

Unlike the families of Jerry and George, Elaine's relatives never had large parts on the show. Her father, gruff author Alton Benes (played by Lawrence Tierney), was featured in the episode "The Jacket," and a cousin was featured in "The Wink." "The Jacket" revealed that she had a sister in St. Louis and an uncle who worked in the Texas School Book Depository with Lee Harvey Oswald.

Unlike the other characters, she was not a native of New York, having grown up in Towson, Maryland. In "The Letter," she revealed herself a die-hard Baltimore Orioles fan to the point of wearing an Orioles cap while seated in the owners box at a New York Yankees game. She is the best-educated of the group of friends, and considers herself the most intelligent, having completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University, which she claims was her safety school.

Elaine is mostly a victim of fate throughout the series. Storylines involving her would typically have her caught up in the machinations of the other characters, or coming into conflict either with her inadequate boyfriends or the arbitrary requirements of her eccentric employers.

Throughout the show, Elaine worked mostly as a writer or editor. She was also a personal assistant to the wealthy Mr. Pitt. She worked at Pendant Publishing, where she served as a copy writer before meeting J. Peterman and becoming an editor at the J. Peterman Catalog. She took charge of the catalog when Peterman took a short "retirement" (nervous breakdown) in Burma, moving back to her former position after he returned -and after losing the company money. She was fired by J. Peterman for voicing her extreme hatred for the movie The English Patient. Only by agreeing to travel to, and live in a remote cave in the Tunisian desert for a specified time, did she save her job.

Elaine had a string of boyfriends, most appearing for only an episode or two. One of the few that had a recurring appearance was David Puddy, her slow-witted steady boyfriend, played by Patrick Warburton.

In a running sight gag, Elaine had a different hairdo in almost every episode, but though she drew attention to it--shaking, touching and modelling it from every angle—none of the men ever took notice. Louis-Dreyfus would later model for Nice 'n Easy hair coloring.

In one episode, Elaine found herself short of her supply of favored contraceptive sponges and pondered whether certain men were "spongeworthy".

Like Cosmo Kramer, Elaine was very physical. Her signature move was to express incredulity by shoving people while yelling "Get out!" She was also a notoriously poor dancer, as evidenced in the episode entitled "The Little Kicks" in which she dances at a J. Peterman company party. George Costanza described her dancing as "a full-bodied dry heave set to music".

Famous Elaine Benes quotes

  • "Get out!"
  • "You're through, Soup Nazi! No more soup for you! NEXT!!!"
  • "No! I didn't have wooden teeth! You had wooden teeth!"

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