‘Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley Is Part Owner of the J. Peterman Catalog

by Jeremy Spirogis
John O

Go via the entire memorable characters on Seinfeld via the hit NBC comedy’s 9 seasons and inevitably, the identify “J. Peterman” can be come up.

Played with aptitude and magnificence by John O’Hurley, the actual life J. Peterman and O’Hurley via the years turned good mates – and ultimately business companions.

John O'Hurley (left) with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a scene from 'Seinfeld'
John O’Hurley (left) with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a scene from ‘Seinfeld’ | Joey Delvalle/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images by way of Getty Images

How the actual J. Peterman discovered he was a personality on ‘Seinfeld’

According to Jennifer Armstrong’s Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, the actual J. Peterman had no concept “he” was on Seinfeld. He discovered his persona was a personality on the comedy from his workers.

After arriving to his Kentucky workplace from a late flight, Peterman “stumbled into the workplace from which he operated his clothes catalog firm. All anybody would say to him was, ‘You had been on Seinfeld.’ It felt just like the strangest of desires. He saved replying, ‘I was on an airplane. I wasn’t on Seinfeld.‘”

A scene from 'Seinfeld'A scene from 'Seinfeld'
A scene from ‘Seinfeld’ | Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images by way of Getty Images

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One of his workers had recorded (on videocassette, naturally) an episode that includes the Peterman character. In completely no method did the tv character resemble his real-life counterpart – not in look or in character.

“‘It’s a superb factor he’s nothing like me, as a result of then he wouldn’t be on Seinfeld,’” Armstrong quoted Peterman as saying.

John O’Hurley had little interest in enjoying J. Peterman at first

When he was approached in 1995 about enjoying J. Peterman on Seinfeld, John O’Hurley wished no a part of it. He had been fronting his personal scenario comedy, A Whole New Ballgame, on ABC, which had been canceled after one season.

“I’d just had my own show canceled,” RetailDive reported O’Hurley as saying in a 2018 interview. Although he’d squelched the concept telling his supervisor, “I don’t want to guest star in someone else’s No. 1 show or not,” his supervisor talked him into giving it a go. 

O’Hurley’s tackle the fictional Peterman is sort of as humorous as his over-the-top renditions of the person.

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“They handed me the J. Peterman catalog, and I had never seen anything like it,” O’Hurley stated. “It was pastel drawings with something that looked like a Hemingway story. They said, ‘We want him to sound the way the catalog is written.’”

Describing Seinfeld‘s Peterman as a mixture of “1940s radio drama and a bad Charles Kuralt,” O’Hurley stated he portrayed the character to the hilt as “a complete lunatic. Truly, he was a Mr. Magoo, crazy lunatic and poet-warrior character,” he stated. “He was an extension of the way the catalog was written.”

How John O’Hurley turned half proprietor of the J. Peterman catalog

In a 2016 dialog with Rolling Stone, O’Hurley defined that he and J. Peterman had gotten to know each other over time and change into mates. To his shock, the actual J. Peterman was nothing just like the Seinfeld character in any respect.

“John Peterman walks the talk,” O’Hurley stated. “He’s the guy who, instead of taking a flight to South America, would hop on a freighter and rent a room for a night. He’d much rather play poker with the guys running the freighter for four or five hours at night and have a glass of rum with them than sit around on a cruise liner or an airplane.”

John O'Hurley and the real J. PetermanJohn O'Hurley and the real J. Peterman
John O’Hurley and the actual J. Peterman

After Seinfeld ended, the J. Peterman catalog was bought by its proprietor after going via monetary losses. Almost two years later, Peterman as soon as once more gained possession of the business however this time requested O’Hurley if he would think about becoming a member of the business. O’Hurley agreed.

“It’s been a wonderful learning curve for me to learn another business outside of entertainment,” stated O’Hurley, who’s been half proprietor and on its board of administrators since 1999. “And there’s something so interesting and so theatrical about it. There’s something about the J. Peterman idea of things, the idea of searching for life as you wish it could be. It makes it fun.”

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