The day we moved into our house in the summer of 2000, the neighbors in the duplex across the street were having a yard sale. I noticed a nice-lookin’ acoustic guitar and took a break from unloading the truck to check it out. More interesting than the guitar or any other wares that day was the homeowner/yard-sale-proprietor. It was Brian George, most famous for playing the Pakistani restaurant owner Babu Bhatt on Seinfeld. Born in Israel to an Iraqi father and Indian mother, George has made his career on playing ethnicities such as Arab, Indian, Israeli, Persian, and the aforementioned Pakistani.
This might not come as a shock to you, but I was HUGE Seinfeld fan back in the day - you know, when it was originally aired, when you couldn’t pause television. I never answered the phone during Seinfeld, and my friends knew not to try to reach me during those 30 minutes (and they were probably watching anyway). When I temped on the Disney lot after college, I came face-to-face with Michael Richards, who was looking for Dolly Parton’s production company (Sanddollar, if I recall correctly). Even though I knew it was right around the corner, I couldn’t get the words out and someone else had to escort him to the office. I didn’t last too long on the Disney lot.
I had the privilege of attending a taping of the show in Studio City - the episode where George eats a Snickers bar with a knife and fork (they distributed the pieces to the audience after that scene). And I once ran into Jerry himself at the Ralphs in the Beverly Connection, right after the Northridge quake. He was buying a pint of ice cream with his pal Mario Joyner.
Suffice it to say, I was enamored with anything even Seinfeld-related, so it was quite a thrill to learn that my new neighbor was Mr. George. Alas, the yard sale was actually a moving sale, and my Seinfeld-adjacent tenure lasted a total of one day.
But here’s the best part: The man who moved into the duplex next was a Persian fellow, slightly balding grey hair, with a moustache. He looked exactly like Brian George.