In one of the most depressing outcomes of the "Six Degrees of Separation" game, Bloomberg revealed in a 2015 profile on Steve Bannon that the White House chief strategist under the Trump administration reportedly received millions in royalties off of Seinfeld.
Back in 1990, Bannon and some of his former Goldman Sachs co-workers started Bannon & Co., which specialized in working with companies in the entertainment industry like PolyGram and MGM. When one of their clients, Westinghouse Electric, was looking to sell off Castle Rock Entertainment, Bannon & Co. tried luring Ted Turner into becoming a buyer.
Once it came time to finalize a deal, though, Turner was trying to short-change Westinghouse Electric. Bannon still advised them to pull the trigger on what he called a "great deal." Bannon recalls Westinghouse responding, "‘If this is such a great deal, why don’t you defer some of your cash fee and keep an ownership stake in a package of TV rights?” Bannon & Co. took them up on their offer, passing on their adviser's fee and receiving a stake in five shows, including Seinfeld which was then in its third season. According to Forbes, if Bannon had just one percent share of the profits, he “would have made about $32.6 million since 1998.”
“It makes me sick,” Rob Reiner, one of Castle Rock's founders, said the financial ties between Seinfeld and Bannon. Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on the show—but you knew that already—couldn't even muster up a joke about the news.
And then there's Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. Needless to say, Larry was unaware of Bannon profiting off syndication of the show, telling the New Yorker, “I don’t think I ever heard of him until he surfaced with the Trump campaign and I had no idea that he was profiting from the work of industrious Jews!” For “a show about nothing,” Seinfeld has meant a whole lot to Bannon.