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Seinfeld's Festivus creator: My fake holiday has a dark origin story

  • Dan O’Keefe, the Seinfeld writer behind Festivus, says the holiday came from his troubled dad. “I mean this in the nicest way possible: My father was an undiagnosed bipolar, severe alcoholic who nonetheless was extremely high-functioning and held down a job as an editor at the Reader’s Digest and had an advanced degree and was extremely erudite,” O’Keefe explains to The Daily Beast’s Fever Dreams podcast. He adds: “At one point he said it was an anniversary for his first date with my mom, but he also said a lot of crazy sh*t... so who knows? It was a holiday that was unique to our family. That was ostensibly a strength. And it didn’t have a set date.. in real life it could just happen whenever the fuck he felt like it, or was extremely hung over and wanted to jump-start his synapses. In one year, there were two for some reason; one year, there were none. You never knew when it was coming.” And unlike Seinfeld's Festivus, “in real life, there was no pole," says O'Keefe. "There was a nail that he hammered into the wall in the early ’70s. And every year he put a clock into a bag and hung it on the wall."

    TOPICS: Seinfeld, Dan O’Keefe, Retro TV