Elaine’s eccentric boss J Peterman was always a highlight during his three season run on Seinfeld. He stole more than his share of scenes with his enthusiastic personality, odd way of speaking and confounding decision-making. Recently, actor John O’Hurley was asked what he thought his character would be up to these days and not surprisingly, he thinks in a pretty unexpected place doing a pretty unexpected thing.
Here’s the quote he gave during his appearance on People Now…
“I really think his penchant for poetry and travel would have gotten the better of him. He’d be off in Papua New Guinea learning the gentle art of bikini waxing.”
If you want to know how beloved a show really is, just look at how vividly people remember random side characters. We could go on and on about Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos or a handful of others, but I think the best example is Seinfeld, which I bet has more than a dozen characters even casual fans still have a pretty vivid memory of including George’s parents Frank and Estelle Costanza, Jerry’s arch-nemesis Newman and of course, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
My personal favorite character David Puddy was in 11 total episodes. Uncle Leo was in 15. The Soup Nazi was in 2, and J Peterman, who I’m currently writing an article about more than twenty years after his last appearance, only appeared in 22. Amazing. What a legendary show.
As for whether or not O’Hurley is right, it’s obviously impossible to know, but there’s something about the answer that rings true. J Peterman, if nothing else, was always a man interested in adventures, far off places and learning unexpected skills. All of this is very in character. Just like if you asked me what David Puddy is probably up to, I’d guess eating Arby’s.
O’Hurley found a solid second career post Seinfeld as a game show host. He did five seasons on Family Feud, as well as a run on To Tell The Truth. He also finished as the runner up on the inaugural season of Dancing With The Stars and has continued to make more than his share of acting appearances. He’s also always a fun, high energy interview whenever he makes appearances on talk shows.
Recently, it has come to my attention that a lot of younger people have not been exposed to Seinfeld. If you’re reading this article and have never given the show a chance before, please go out of your way to find it on streaming. It’s currently running on Hulu, but Netflix has signed a deal to feature all the episodes starting in 2021. The comedy holds up very well, and the supporting characters, J Peterman included, are just as fun and vibrant as ever.