WOUB-HD to Broadcast ‘Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize’ Nov. 19< < Back to
Earlier this year, 11-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus received the esteemed Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The beloved actress has famously portrayed Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, the ’90s absurdist situation comedy that ran for a decade on NBC.
“Elaine Marie Benes was the character Julia Luia Dreyfus played (on Seinfeld), she’s sort of Jerry’s ex-girlfriend, and based supposedly on a few of Jerry Seinfeld’s actual ex-girlfriends,” said Dennis Delaney, the head of Ohio University’s School of Fine Art’s Division of Theatre’s Director Training Program in an interview with WOUB that you can hear in its entirety above. “What’s so interesting about what Julia did with this role is that she was so edgy, neurotic, short-tempered — intelligent and assertive; but also very superficial, like many of the characters on Seinfeld — and they took a lot of pride in being superficial.”
Delaney explained that the two “rules” of Seinfeld were as follows: “No hugging, and no learning any lessons.”
“Seinfeld was really different — proverbially it was ‘the show about nothing.’ They could do a show about muffin tops and muffin stems, or the soup Nazi or the strangest little life things — or Jerry dating a young woman with ‘man hands,’ so he couldn’t date her because she had ‘man hands,’ and that would be the whole episode,” said Delaney. “Seinfeld broke all the rules that had been established about sitcoms, and it ended up being an iconic sitcom.”
Commenting on the Twain Prize, Louis-Dreyfus said, “Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying.”
Louis-Dreyfus earned worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of Elaine Benes in the hit NBC series Seinfeld, and as Christine Campbell in the CBS hit comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine. She currently stars in, and executive produces, the HBO series Veep. Between all shows combined, she has received 11 Emmy awards (six consecutively for Veep) with 24 nominations, a Golden Globe award, nine Screen Actors Guild awards which makes her the most decorated actor in the history of the SAG awards, three Television Critics Association awards, five American Comedy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. She has broken the record for the most Emmy’s won by a single performer, as well as the most consecutive wins for a single role (Veep.)
WOUB-HD will broadcast “Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize” on Monday, November 19 at 9 p.m.