When the hit NBC Show Seinfeld ended on May 14, 1998, many fans were left hanging. After 9 seasons, viewers wanted some final closure for the characters and where their lives ended up. We can now let you know, Elaine got married, moved to Grand Blanc, Michigan, had four children, and is making a difference in her community as President of Friends of the Grand Blanc Grid. Yes, really.

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So who was Elaine really? Well, there have been a few claims as to who inspired the iconic character over the years. It's been said numerous times that Elaine was named after Jerry Seinfeld’s friend Elayne Boosler, a fellow comedian. Some say part of her character was also based on one of Jerry's ex-girlfriends as well, but actor/ writer Larry David knows the "real" Elaine.

David, of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, co-wrote the hit series with Jerry Seinfeld and both took inspiration for their iconic characters from people they knew. That's just such the case with the character Elaine Benes aka Monica Yates Shapiro. Monica, who lives in Grand Blanc, met David when she was living in the city working for the "New Yorker" and the two started dating.

"One of my office friends invited me to her brother's softball game in Central Park- told me there were lots of single guys on the team and pitcher used to write for "Saturday Night Live"...that was Larry- and we hit it off, and ended up walking all the way to his apartment in the west forties with him and we dated for a few months", Shapiro told us.

The pair have stayed good friends throughout the years and both found themselves living in Los Angeles when David created Seinfeld.

"That first season several episodes came from sketches he was never able to get aired when he worked at SNL. He told me they wanted a woman in the show and he thought of me and our friendship, He had written an episode about the time he met my father".

That episode, titled "The Jacket", had Jerry Seinfeld buying an expensive suede jacket and having dinner with the father of his ex-girlfriend Elaine. In the episode, Elaine's father Alton is a war veteran and writer. In real life, Shapiro's father is renowned author Richard Yates known for his novel "Revolutionary Road".

Larry David Helps Grand Blanc Grid

Friends of the Grand Blanc Grid, is a non-profit that works to improve infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, people with disabilities, and mass transit users on Grand Blanc's primary roads. Shapiro called on her friend Larry David for help raising the Grid's 2023 funding goal of $70,000. David came through in a big way with the experience of a lifetime.

Photo: Monica Shapiro
Photo: Monica Shapiro

Bidding is open now for a non-speaking, featured extra role on HBO's hit series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, that included a quick meet and greet with Larry David himself. You can get all the information and place your bid here. 

The Grand Blanc Grid is crucial for Grand Blanc according to Shapiro, and people are taking note that the roads need to be developed for not only cars, but pedestrians, runners, and cyclists as well. So far, the Serra Family Foundation has donated $10,000 and the Community Foundation has given $13,500. There's no doubt that thanks to the "real" Elaine, Larry David will help the dream become a reality.

Monica Yates Shapiro and her father famed author Richard Yates
Monica Yates Shapiro and her father famed author Richard Yates

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