As Jason Alexander gives his acceptance speech at the New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, he discusses his childhood, and fishing on Lake Hopatcong.
Livingston native Jason Alexander — best known for “Seinfeld,” though he also has been a Tony-winning Broadway star — gave perhaps the funniest acceptance speech in the history of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Oct. 27 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.
Fishing on Lake Hopatcong. Oh yes! Right. Hopatcong being a Native American word that means Jews can’t fish. Never caught a damn thing. Is there fish in Lake Hopatcong? They would swim around going, “The Jew just dropped in a worm … short kid, fat, he can’t fish”
But it was also quite touching, as Alexander’s Livingston High School drama teacher, Robert Lampf, gave the preceding induction speech for Alexander, and Alexander took the opportunity to pay tribute to Lampf — and all those who help to nurture young talent.
“His belief in me, and his attention to me, are in large part the reason that I had the confidence, and the chutzpah, to go out and try and achieve all that I’ve been lucky enough to achieve,” said Alexander. “Without him, there is no me. I think everyone in this Hall of Fame has at least one Bob Lampf in their life, and as far as I’m concerned, their contributions to this amazing state are as valuable as ours, maybe more so.”
Alexander was last inductee to get his award in the four-hour induction ceremony; fellow inductees included Southside Johnny, The Smithereens, Martha Stewart, Tim McLoone, gymnast Laurie Hernandez and former New York Giants Harry Carson and Bart Oates.
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