His sitcom, which was on its way to becoming one of the most celebrated shows in television history, won an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Comedy Series” for the first and only time.
And, just a hair shy of 40, he met a woman who would capture his heart: a high school student he picked up one day in Central Park.
Shoshanna Lonstein was a senior at the prestigious Nightingale-Bamford School on the Upper West Side when, on a spring afternoon, she was approached by one of the most well-known comedians in the country.
The story of Jerry and Shoshanna is probably best told in a “The Game of Love,” published in March of 1994, which is positioned from the perspective of the world having taught itself to accept their romance.
“When Jerry Seinfeld fell for 17-year-old Shoshanna Lonstein, cynics snickered,” the subheadline reads.
“No more.”And yet, the article mostly focuses on Seinfeld’s quest to justify dating a woman 21 years younger than him. Schneider recounts an interview Seinfeld did with Howard Stern, in which Stern, as he would, jokes about Seinfeld being the sort of boogeyman in a windowless van that parents warn little children about.
Howard Stern homed in on the May-August aspect of the relationship when the radio host interviewed his old friend last spring.
“So,” Stern said, feigning moral indignation, “you sit in Central Park and have a candy bar on a string and pull it when the girls come?
”Amazingly, Seinfeld, master of his comedy domain, was flustered.“She’s not 17, definitely not,” he initially insisted.Depending on exactly what period Seinfeld is talking about, he might have been telling the truth: Lonstein turned 18 on May 29, 1993, shortly after the two met.Still, Seinfeld returned to Stern’s show soon thereafter for what Schneider calls “spin control,” though he was still obfuscating the details of their early relationship.Then, returning to the Stern show a month later for another attempt at spin control, he still seemed a bit defensive. “This is the only girl I ever went out with who was that young. We just went to a restaurant, and that was it.” It’s sort of hard to tell what Seinfeld meant here when he says he “wasn’t dating” Lonstein.Perhaps he was attempting to draw a line between their relationship when Lonstein was 17—not “dating”—and when she turned 18—“dating.” Regardless, their romance bloomed, and the two became tasty tabloid fodder.