Jun 3, 2015

David Labiosa: the Biggest Bulge on Seinfeld

Seinfeld was not well known for its beefcake. There was a parade of spongeworthy guest stars, such as Anthony Starke in "The Jimmy" (1995), but they were rarely displayed shirtless or in swimsuits. But in "The Busboy" (June 26, 1991), fans saw "all that and more."

The most gigantic beneath-the-belt bulge in history.

George accidentally gets a busboy named Antonio fired, and goes to his apartment to apologize. Antonio is angry, taciturn -- and a Greek god. Viewers wanted to know, who is this Michelangelo's David come to life? This Apollo masquerading as a mortal? And why did the producers squeeze him into jeans so tight that his superheroic endowment was so completely and obviously visible?

 Not that there's anything wrong with that.



Were they trying to make him look more threatening?  If so, it didn't work.

He was 29-year old David Labiosa, who had been appearing on tv and in movies for a decade. His credits included The White Shadow, Hill Street Blues, T. J. Hooker, and the movies Private Sessions, A Sinful Life, and Uncaged.

He had never had such a revealing role before. Or such a gender-transgressive role. Hispanic actors generally are cast as super-macho gang members, thugs, and streetwise detectives, but Labiosa's Antonio resists gender expectations by having a pet cat named Pequita, and by effusively hugging George at the end of the episode.

Maybe that was the point: the stereotyped super-macho Hispanic guy turns out to be sensitive and sweet, i.e., gay.


David has been acting steadily after Seinfeld, also, with recurring roles in Walker, Texas Ranger and 24. and leads in a number of films. His war hero Juan Medina in An American Story (1992) won him an Emmy nomination. He's also active in many social causes, including gang intervention.

Hopefully he won't be remembered solely for the gigantic bulge on Seinfeld.