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Morris brings ‘Seinfeld’s’ Chiles back to e-life

Fri., Dec. 10, 2010

Phil Morris portrays Jackie Chiles in a scene from the online video “Jackie Chiles Knows Barack Obama.”
Phil Morris portrays Jackie Chiles in a scene from the online video “Jackie Chiles Knows Barack Obama.”

More than a decade after “Seinfeld” ended, one of the TV series’ most beloved characters has been reborn online.

Jackie Chiles, the fast-talking attorney whose civil lawsuits were dependably foiled by Kramer, is starring in his own series on the comedy video website Funny or Die.

Chiles is played by Phil Morris, a 41-year-old Los Angeles actor who never wanted to fully relinquish the role. After “Seinfeld” ended in 1998, Morris tried to develop a spinoff but it never got off the ground.

“As an actor, you rarely get characters that are as full as a Jackie Chiles, where I can just put on the suit and the mustache and – boom! – he’s there,” Morris said.

Chiles, a parody of O.J. Simpson’s late defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, appeared in five episodes on “Seinfeld,” including the finale.

Kramer (Michael Richards) comes to him repeatedly to sue over things like hot coffee burning him (because he hid a cup in his pants at a movie theater) and the graying of his face from cigar smoke (“Your face is my case,” says Chiles).

In the five clips made for Funny Or Die (three have been posted so far), Jackie has moved his practice to Los Angeles. He announces his return: “Did you miss me? I knew that you did. But I’m back and I’m badder and madder than ever.”

As for what he’s been doing the last 12 years, Jackie only says “none of your business.” But he does add another factoid from his past, claiming that Barack Obama was his paralegal before he went into politics.

To bring Chiles back, Morris first had to get permission from “Seinfeld” production company Castle Rock Entertainment, and the go-ahead from the show’s creators, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.

“We always enjoyed Phil’s ability to bring that character to life,” Seinfeld said. “Glad that it’s living on.”


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