Seemingly every struggling standup comic dreams of landing their own television series, but few managed to do so with greater success than Jerry Seinfeld, whose career as a nightclub comedian led to him starring as himself on the show Seinfeld -- arguably the most successful situation comedy of the 1990s.
Jerome "Jerry" Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, NY, on April 29, 1954, to Kalman Seinfeld, a signmaker, and his wife, Betty; Jerry was the second of the couple's two children. The Seinfeld family moved to Long Island when Jerry was a child, and he spent most of his youth there. After graduating from high school, Seinfeld went on to college, first attending the State University of New York at Oswego, and then moving on to Queens College of the City University of New York, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in 1976. Seinfeld developed a keen interest in performing while in college (his degree from Queens was in communications and theater), and after graduation he began working New York comedy clubs, often without pay, while holding down a number of odd jobs. Seinfeld's first big break came when his bright but understated observational humor caught the eye of standup legend Rodney Dangerfield, who featured Seinfeld on a special for HBO. The exposure helped establish Seinfeld on the comedy club circuit, and won him a recurring role on the situation comedy Benson. However, Seinfeld and the show's producers clashed over the character's direction, and he was fired after only four episodes.