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Gridley Herald

Seinfeld Cast Member to Perform in Yuba City on Sunday

Jun 13, 2024 03:58PM ● By Shamaya Sutton

A snapshot of Steve Hytner playing Kenny Bania in an episode of Seinfeld. Hytner is slated to perform two shows at Sutter Buttes Brewing in Yuba City on Father’s Day. Courtesy photo

YUBA CITY, CA (MPG) - Seinfeld fans are sure to be excited for the next Sunday Night Speakeasy at the Sutter Buttes Brewing in Yuba City. This special monthly event has been growing in popularity since its launch last fall. Comic headliners have included Paul Conyers, Jeff Applebaum, Ellis Rodriguez, Myles Weber, Mike Bentancourt and even Kabir “Kabezzy” Singh who was a top 15 finisher on season 16 of America’s Got Talent. But one of the biggest names slated to come through town as of late is Steve Hytner, the man who turned Kenny Bania into comedic gold.

“When I went into those Seinfeld auditions, all they had for Bania’s character was ‘the most annoying person in the world,’ but nobody really perceives themselves as annoying right? So, I decided to go in the complete opposite direction and make him nice,” said Hytner.

While only appearing in a total of six Seinfeld episodes, Hytner's work left a lasting impression on audiences and casting directors alike. Although this certainly heightened his visibility in the industry, Hytner found that fame was not without its pros and cons.

“The show was so successful, and the character became so known that when I was doing dramatic auditions you could feel the room be like ‘can we really cast Bania in this part?’” said Hytner. “As soon as my face hit the screen people would start laughing, but that's necessarily a good thing for a drama. But I'm not the type that's going to complain about being recognized.”

Growing up just 20 minutes outside Manhattan, Hytner started training and performing fresh out of high school. He reportedly caught the acting bug while watching another classmate perform and decided he could “do it better.”

“I was very into sports when I was a kid and it was very much a competitive sports mentality that got me into this,” explained Hytner. “My best friend, who was a year older than me, did a play and everybody thought that he was hilarious. In my mind I was like ‘I'm funnier than he is, I’m going to do a play and show everybody I'm funnier,’ and I did. And really as I pursued my career, I really did pursue it in that light of wanting to prove I could monetize what I was doing, that's the success level I always put on myself.”

And succeeded he did, after flourishing in the 1980’s New York comedy scene, Hytner was off to Los Angeles where he would work consistently as an actor for 20 years. Some of his most notable film projects include The Prophecy, EuroTrip, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, although Hytner admits to favoring television.

“It's not always the success of a project, sometimes you just like playing a particular character,” said Hytner in reference to an NBC sitcom series called Working. “The acting biz has decided they want me to do more of the comedic roles so whenever I can land a dramatic role, I get a kick out of playing it. But to me the comedic stuff is so much harder. With editing you can make anybody into a decent dramatic actor, but you can't edit your way into funny. It’s either there on the film or it's not.”

Currently, Hytner and his wife reside in the Reno-Tahoe area, but this prominent performer once called Grass Valley home. It was there that Hytner re-fired his stand-up career while staying close to family. His upcoming performance at Sutter Buttes Brewing will mark his first appearance in Yuba City and he looks forward to meeting the locals, especially “Chicago” Steve Barkley, another established comedian who serves as the brewery's resident talent booker.

“Who doesn’t want to see Bania?” said Barkley excitedly. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about him and people always say he’s great with the crowd and very engaged with his fans.”

Barkley will open for Hytner on Sunday, June 16, during the two scheduled performances. The first show will start at 5 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at or by calling 530-790-7999. Sutter Buttes Brewing is located at 421 Center St. in Yuba City.