ARCHIVE: It’s the Summer of Donny Clay


Jason Alexander IS Donny Clay, “America’s 4th Leading Motivational Speaker,” when he visits the Count Basie Theatre on Thursday night.

By TOM CHESEK (First published on Red Bank oRBit July 27, 2009)

“Hi, I’m Jason Alexander,” says the familiar figure at the end of the promotional video for Donny Clay, America’s 4th Leading Motivational Speaker.

“I have to tell you, Donny Clay has literally changed my life — that’s why I usually travel with him wherever he appears.”

Apart from some immediate physical differences — Donny Clay boasts a luxurious head of hair, for one — you could say that the Tony winning, Emmy nominated actor-writer-director Alexander shares a few things in common with Clay. Or that Clay bears more than a passing resemblance to Bob Patterson, the clueless self-help expert portrayed by Alexander in the 2001 TV series of the same name.

What truly sets Clay and Alexander apart is the household-name factor. The Jersey-bred actor, of course, is known to billions and visible in perpetuity as George Costanza on Seinfeld — a credit that would surely be enough to keep him in residual checks and promotional appearances if it weren’t for his restless creative spirit. Since that signature sitcom ended production, he’s starred in major stage productions (and a couple of short-lived series), voiced cartoons, directed country music videos, authored a children’s book, performed stage illusions, competed in professional poker events and served as artistic director for LA’s Reprise Theater.

Unless you’re one of the “titans of industry, Hollywood celebrities and leaders from around the world” who’ve become devoted followers of his message, however, you might not know the name Donny Clay — but you will. The author of the spurious bestsellers Do ItKeep Doing It, and Why the Hell Didn’t You Do It? (and founder of the Feats of Clay Institute) has crisscrossed the continent, taking his motivational message to corporate and organizational seminar audiences — and this Thursday, July 30, he’ll be coming to the Count Basie Theatre in a rare show for the general public.

A Donny Clay seminar is an interactive experience that goes Tony RobbinsDeepak Chopra and Dr. Phil one better, by employing “comedy, music, self-help and partial nudity” in the service of an inspirational message that’s designed to help you “overcome your greatest fears and the obstacles that keep you from total success.”

It’s also designed to make audiences laugh, with a multi-faceted attack that draws upon a lifetime in show business. Red Bank oRBit wasn’t able to flag down the busy Donny Clay for an exclusive interview, but we did get to talk with Jason Alexander — so Continue Reading to find out what would have happened to George and Kramer in the age of the life coach.

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