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Jason Alexander Did First TV With George Clooney

George Clooney on NBC's "ER" in 1995
George Clooney on NBC's "ER" in 1995
George Clooney on NBC's "ER" in 1995
Credit NBC
George Clooney on NBC's "ER" in 1995

Ten years before NBC’s hit “ER,” youngunknownGeorge Clooney did a CBS sitcom called “E/R” in 1984 with Elliott Gould,ConchattaFerrell and another young, unknown actor named Jason Alexander.

The future George Costanza played hospital administrator Harold Stickley. Clooney was Ace, an inexperienced EMT. Clooney was 23; Alexander was 25.

Did the cast think Clooney was bound for greatness? That’s the question I asked Alexander during my interview in advance of his performances with the Cincinnati Pops March 4-6 at Music Hall. The entire interview airs 7 p.m. Sunday on WVXU-FM’s “Around Cincinnati.”

“We all knew George was talented…. Did we know that he would be become what he became? I don’t think so, because one of the glorious things that happened with George was that, as he hit his mid30s, his face  -- which was wonderful as a young actor -- took on a kind of profundity as an adult, that opened up all kinds of possibilities for him as a dramatic actor.

Credit Cincinnati Pops
Jason Alexander

"He was kind of a goofy kid. But he could kind of evoke a ‘not goofy’ presentation as an adult. And he’s one of those guys that that kind of success couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

CBS’ “E/R,” which aired six months in 1984-85 “was my first job in Hollywood. It was really my first serious foray into television. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun,” Alexander said.

Four years later, Alexander won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical for “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” in 1989, before NBC premiered “The Seinfeld Chronicles.”  In my Wednesday blog, Alexander talked about preparing a TV comeback in a new series he plans to pitch to TV networks, cable operators and streaming services.

Hear my entire interview with Jason Alexander 7 p.m. Sunday on WVXU-FM’s “Around Cincinnati.”  He talks about his Pops show, Broadway experience, directing, teaching, his love for magic and how people greet “George Costanza” in airports. 

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