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Jeff Schaffer is an American film and television director, writer, and producer. During his work with the Seinfeld series Schaffer created the Festivus pole.

Jeff Schaffer
Born (1970-01-01) January 1, 1970 (age 49)
OccupationProducer, writer, director
Years active1994—present


Early life and educationEdit

Schaffer was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his brother Greg (also a film and TV writer and producer)[1] were raised in the WarrenHowland, Ohio area,[2][3] about 50 mi (80 km) east of Cleveland.

After graduating from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, Schaffer attended Harvard University, where he was on the staff of the humor publication The Harvard Lampoon.[2]



After college, Schaffer and his Harvard Lampoon writing pals Alec Berg and David Mandel wrote several episodes of the sitcom Seinfeld.[2] He also served as executive producer during its ninth season. He has also held various other positions on the show such as program consultant, supervising producer and story editor.

Schaffer directed several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and also served as executive producer for several episodes. Notably, Schaffer directed "Seinfeld", the finale episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm's seventh season, which featured a reunion of the original cast of the Seinfeld series (for which the star and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David, was co-creator, head writer and executive producer).

The League is a "semi-improvised series."[2] The sitcom which was created by Schaffer and his wife Jackie Schaffer. It is written and directed by Jeff Schaffer.


Schaffer wrote and directed EuroTrip, a 2004 teen comedy, and participated in the screenplay for the 2003 adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat.[4] Other scripts he has helped write include two comedy features starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Brüno (2009) and The Dictator (2012).[4] On the latter film, Alec Berg and David Mandel — former Seinfeld writers as well as friends and collaborators with Schaffer since college — also collaborated, and veteran Seinfeld writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm director Larry Charles directed.[5] All four would later write the TV movie Clear History, starring Larry David.[6]

Festivus poleEdit

Dan O'Keefe, who worked with Schaffer on Seinfeld, credits Schaffer with introducing the concept of the Festivus pole as the only decoration for Festivus, the December 23rd holiday. Festivus was popularized in the 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike". The aluminum pole was not part of the original O'Keefe family celebration, which centered on putting a clock in a bag and nailing it to a wall.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Schaffer married the former Jackie Marcus, also his professional partner, particularly on The League;[8] their life experiences have often been translated into the plot of the series.[2] They have a daughter, Arwen (named for the character in The Lord of the Rings), born in 2012.[2][8]


  1. ^ "Montecito slate adds two projects". The Hollywood Reporter. republished by June 3, 2005. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dawidziak, Mark (October 6, 2012). "Warren, Ohio, native Jeff Schaffer is having a ball with 'The League'". The Plain Dealer at Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Gray, Andy (February 14, 2008). "Local writers ready to get back to work — Guild members split on Hollywood labor agreement". Tribune Chronicle. Warren, Ohio. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Jeff Schaffer on IMDb
  5. ^ The Dictator on IMDb
  6. ^ Chicago -Admin (July 14, 2013). "Chicago to appear in HBO Films: 'CLEAR HISTORY' -Debuts in August!". Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "The Origins of Festivus |". December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Wilson, Stacey (October 16, 2013). Wilson, Stacey (ed.). "10 Power Showrunners: A Day in the Life, From Carlton Cuse to Jenji Kohan". The Hollywood Reporter.

External linksEdit