WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. — Beneath a string of holiday lights, they rest by the dozen in the unusually chilly air.
Some are arranged in pots; others rise from the ground. All of them represent a season of sharing … grievances, that is.
This Festivus pole “garden” is a star attraction at Hulu’s “Seinfeld: The Apartment” fan experience, which is open again after a summer run in New York. For its Los Angeles event, the streaming TV service — which recently acquired all the “Seinfeld” episodes — is capitalizing on the enduring “holiday” born from the show.
“After Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year,” explains George’s father, Frank Costanza, in the 1997 episode introducing the strange holiday.
There’s no Festivus tree; only an aluminum pole that “requires no decoration.”
“I find tinsel distracting,” says the elder Costanza, played by Jerry Stiller.
The pole was added in the TV script and is not a part of the original holiday. That’s right, the Dec. 23 celebration does have its roots in reality.
Festivus was created by the father of “Seinfeld” writer Dan O’Keefe, and although the airing of grievances was true, the official decoration wasn’t a pole but a clock in a bag nailed to a wall.
“I didn’t want to put (the holiday) on TV, because it was sort of a family disgrace,” O’Keefe said in 2013. He relented after his brother leaked it to the writing staff.
“I was not forced to wrestle my father,” O’Keefe said of the “feats of strength,” another made-for-TV element where father and son rumble until one of them is pinned. “If I had, I would’ve been raised by the state of New York.”
The Festivus pole lot is just one attraction fans can see through Sunday at the “Seinfeld” pop-up installation at 8445 Melrose Ave. Along with a replica of Jerry’s apartment (down to his favorite cereal boxes), star Jerry Seinfeld opened his personal archive for the event. On display is iconic memorabilia like the coffee shop booth where the main characters commiserated, the Superman figure on Jerry’s bookshelf and a script for the final episode signed by the stars.