Those familiar with Seinfeld lore know Lou Cutell as the Assman. In a very famous episode of the titular ’90s sitcom called Fusilli Jerry, Cutell plays a proctologist with maybe the best six letters (ASSMAN) for a license plate ever.
Cutell, who had an incredible career in entertainment spanning six decades, passed away at 91 on Monday, according to friend Mark Furman, who announced Cutell’s passing in a Facebook post.
“After 91 years, and a great life, my friend Lou Cutell went home. A film, theater and character actor. Big Larry in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ass Man in Seinfeld, Abe in Grey’s Anatomy S12,E4. He took me to Lucille Ball’s house in 1986. Rest in peace Lou.
Cutell was born on Oct. 6, 1930, and got his first gig on Broadway with a musical called The Young Abe Lincoln.
He appeared in a number of classic shows, including The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat and Kojak, to just name a few.
More recently, he’s appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
In 2005’s Wedding Crashers, he played a character named Old Jewish Man, and in 2002’s Laurel Canyon, he played a role called Elderly Man. His last television appearance was in 2015, where he played Abe in Grey’s Anatomy.
Another big role Cutell took on was Amazing Larry in the 1985 movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, where he wore a rainbow-colored mohawk. Take a look below.
In a 2010 interview with The Clyde Fitch Report, Cutell provided some insight into his famous role as the ASSMAN and how it changed his career,
“… at the time I was just doing my job as an actor. I didn’t realize the impact the show had. I was doing another gig. We redid that scene about four times in front of a live audience because Larry David, the director, was not satisfied. Coming from the school of once you’ve heard the joke, you don’t laugh again (or not as hard), I was amazed that the audience laughed even more the more we did it. Go figure.”
In another sweet exchange, Cutell talked about what it was like getting recognized as the the famous character.
“I am recognized more for Seinfeld and the Assman than any of the hundreds of parts I have played. It is one of the top five favorite Seinfeld episodes. Once, on a shuttle bus from the terminal to an airplane, a pilot kept staring at me. He was very dour. At one point, he asked me if I was the Assman. After I said yes, he broke into the biggest smile I ever saw and asked if we could take a picture together and at the same time called his wife, telling her he’d just met the Assman. By the time we got to the airplane, I had to take pictures with everyone on the shuttle. I signed autographs and I loved every moment of it.”