ST. LOUIS – If you’re not too distracted by the tinsel on your Christmas tree and have tired of telling your relatives what you really think of them, can we tempt you with the Festivus episode of “Seinfeld”?
FOX 2 will air “The Strike”—the tenth episode of Season 9—tonight at midnight. The episode focuses on George Costanza and his family. Specifically, his dad’s made-up holiday.
Dan O’Keefe, who co-wrote “The Strike,” was inspired by his own father, Daniel O’Keefe, who invented a real Festivus in 1966. The elder O’Keefe conceived of the holiday as a means to celebrate the anniversary of his first date with his future wife, Deborah. When Daniel’s own mother died, Daniel proclaimed the event would continue on as a means to honor the dead and celebrate life – “a Festivus for the rest of us.”
Of course, there are some differences in the presentation of Festivus on “Seinfeld” compared to the original celebration. Most notably, the introduction of the aluminum pole. Instead of an unadorned pole, the O’Keefe family would put a clock in a bag and nail it to the wall.
You can learn more about the real-life origins of the event and the Seinfeld episode in Dan O’Keefe’s 2005 book, “The Real Festivus.”
Since the original airing of “The Strike,” Festivus has become a celebration for people eager to escape the overindulgences and consumerism of the holiday season.