Monday, November 09, 2009

Dark and Disturbed!

Jerry Seinfeld did TV commercials for American Express. Akin Gump Executive Partner, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., served on the Board of Directors of American Express.

March 3, 1998
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008

Jerry Seinfeld
147 El Camino Drive #205
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Dear Jerry:

Tell you what I won't be doing on Thursday nights anymore. Getting a haircut. After a side-trimming who-knows-how-many-years-run, my barbers--Frank and Dino (obviously, not their real names)--decided to wrap it up and throw in the hot towel.

They're both young men, but they decided to retire. Frank says it was that he just felt it was time. It's something that he has known for a while. They say Dino was stung by criticism that he couldn't make the sideburns match up anymore: a little too short on one side, a little too long on the other.

No more haircuts. I've decided to let it grow.

Television. It's really a service industry. It's not about writing, acting. It's about giving people what they want. And they'll always want more.

It happened to Shakespeare. He introduces a concept: Renaissance plays about Renaissance men. Danish prince teams up with two ethnics and a nut-case former girlfriend who drowns herself in a lake. (Horatio: "I thought you and Hamlet split up." Ophelia: "We did, but we still hang out together.")

Danish prince, soup Nazi--it's all the same genre. Shakespeare had trouble selling the pilot, but later it becomes a sensation. People clamored for more. It was like Rocky I. Tudor action/adventure.

Shakespeare opted for early retirement: "The hell with these low-life Elizabethans, I'm going back to Stratford. What do these people want from me? It's roots, man. There's something about the energy of that place, and the fact that people live on top of each other." Tudor architecture.

Believe me, retirement's not all it's cracked up to be. A few years ago I tried to get my old job back. They tell me: "We'd love to have you. Of course . . ., the management committee is under indictment, and will be serving time."

Renaissance man. You know what that is? Most people think it means "a person with multiple interests that cover a wide area." To Malcolm and his partners it meant: fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and racketeering throughout the Northeast corridor and beyond. Tudor diversification.

One last word. I don't plan ever to do another series of letters. This was my one and only series. Who am I? I'll tell you who I am. I'm half-Jewish and half-Scottish. My favorite poet is Bobby Burns, and my favorite deity is George Burns. I only eat kosher haggis, but never during Lent. I don't track down UFO's; I leave that to the professionals.

You done good, Jerry. Good bye, Jerry. By the way, who really wrote those scripts?


Gary Freedman


Gary Freedman said...

"I'm half-Jewish and half-Scottish. My favorite poet is Bobby Burns, and my favorite deity is George Burns."

Oddly enough, this statement preceded Senator Arlen Specter's announcement that he was basing his vote in the President Clinton impeachment on Scottish law.

Gary Freedman said...

"I don't track down UFO's; I leave that to the professionals."

A veiled reference to the FBI--specifically the Fox TV series, The X-Files, about two FBI agents who track down extra-terrestrial aliens.

Gary Freedman said...

David Duchovny, the actor who portrayed Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files, is a Princeton graduate who was working on his Ph.D. in English literature when he got the acting bug. He had planned to be an English professor. I've always wondered whether Malcolm and his friends ever contacted Duchovny about me?

Gary Freedman said...

The Seinfeld "Barber" episode ends with the following scene. George is in Mr. Pensky's office.

Pensky: Gee George, I'm sorry I gave you the wrong impression. What I was going to say was, now you are aware that our Board of Directors has been indicted, myself included, and we're prohibited from doing business until the investigation is completed. So obviously, we would have no use for you.

George: Obviously.


Pensky: Yes.

Secretary: (over the speaker) Excuse me, but Mr. Costanza's car is being towed.

George waves his hand and the final note of "Barber of Seville" plays.