When Malcolm Alarmo King went to Theo Lacy jail in Orange County, he was shocked by the menu: salami sandwiches. A fit former model, King demanded a healthier meal. At the suggestion of his attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, he claimed double portions of kosher (non-salami) meals as part of his belief in Festivus — made famous by a “Seinfeld” episode. To surprise of many, Judge Derek G. Johnson agreed and ordered the special meals to celebrate Festivus.
King’s own lawyer admitted that he simply wanted better meals and King reportedly told the jail that he was demanding special meals as part of his belief in “healthism.” When Judge Johnson said that he needed a religion, Thiagarajah suggested Festivus.
Festivus is actually the creation of writer Dan O’Keefe to celebrate his first date with his wife in 1966 — a holiday later incorporated into the show by his son who was a screenwriter for “Seinfeld.”
Of course, Festivus poles have begun to appear as part of public holiday displays.
King, however, will not get a chance to demand a “Festivus pole.” He pleaded guilty to the sale or transport of a controlled substance and, in October, transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to his illegal status as an immigrant from Liberia. ICE does not recognize Festivus and he will have difficulty finding many Festivians in Liberia once he is deported.
Here is the Genesis of the religion:
Frank Costanza: “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.”
Cosmo Kramer: “What happened to the doll?”
Frank Costanza: “It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!”
Kramer: “That must have been some kind of doll.”
Frank Costanza: “She was.”
Source: OC Register