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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Jason Alexander Did First TV With George Clooney


Ten years before NBC’s hit “ER,” young unknown George Clooney did a CBS sitcom called “E/R” in 1984 with Elliott Gould, Conchatta Ferrell 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 mid 30s, 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. 

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.