It's no wonder Jewish New York comedian Sandy Baron was a hero to the likes of Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld--besides sharing a comparable upbringing, he also happens to be very, very funny. His unique sense of humor found an outlet in stand-up comedy, and he regularly did routines at various Catskill Mountains resorts during the 1950s. Exploring his talent as a performer in the following decade, Baron soon made his debut on Broadway, juggling big-city stardom with underground celebrity at local clubs. He then rocketed onto the national stage playing a stand-up comedian (a real stretch) living in a Manhattan apartment building on the NBC sitcom "Hey, Landlord." Sound familiar? The series is thought to have served as a major inspiration for the innovative 1990s sitcom "Seinfeld," on which Baron would later portray disagreeable geriatric Jack Klompus. His comedic sensibilities made him a favorite on talk shows, and he appeared on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" over a dozen times in the early '70s, during which he also enjoyed a brief stint as a New York radio DJ. In 1984, Baron appeared as himself in the first scene of the Woody Allen lounge comedy "Broadway Danny Rose" and provided the film's narration as well. He appeared on "Seinfeld" multiple times throughout the '90s as foil to Jerry's condo-dwelling father. Jack Klompus remains among the most fondly remembered recurring characters in the series.
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