It’s not a film about nothing, but it may be as close to nothing as a subject gets.
Jerry Seinfeld is returning to the small screen with a comedy about the origins of the cardboard-textured breakfast pastries known as Pop Tarts.
The legendary comic told Deadline the idea for the film, titled “Unfrosted,” developed during quarantine fatigue when everyone was “stuck at home watching endless sad faces on TV.”
“I thought this would be a good time to make something based on pure silliness,” he told the trade publication. “So we took my Pop-Tart stand-up bit from my last Netflix special and exploded it into a giant, crazy comedy movie.”
The bit is classic Seinfeld — weirdly specific while drawing on a near-universal childhood experience.
In it, he describes his first encounter with the frosted treat:
I was about eight when they invented the Pop Tart and the back of my head blew right off. Do you remember? I was in the supermarket with my mother and I was like, ‘Hold up, hold up. Hold everything — what the hell is that? Fruit-filled frosted rectangles in a box and the food is in shape of the box! What is this?
You open the box and they’re not even in there. They’re in packets, remember the packets? Lined with some kind of metallic alloy from NASA to protect them from gamma rays and Russian satellites. They might shoot at your brown sugar cinnamon so you have to protect them. When you open the packet, how many are in the packet? Two. Why two? One’s not enough; three is too many — that’s why. It was perfect. Perfect vision of the future from Kellogg’s.
In an extensive 2012 interview with the New York Times, the richest comedian in the world dissected the joke as an illustration of his process and style, saying, “To waste this much time on something this stupid, that felt good to me.”
Deadline detailed how Netflix beat out other bidders to lock down the movie, which Seinfeld will write, direct, and star in:
An auction quietly has been playing out for several days, and Seinfeld’s relationship with Netflix’s Ted Sarandos was helpful in swinging the deal to the streamer. Seinfeld signed a lucrative deal with Netflix in 2017 that brought his interview series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to Netflix, as well the stand-up specials Jerry Before Seinfeld and 23 Hours to Kill. In addition, Netflix last year made a global deal to stream episodes of Seinfeld for five years, beginning later this year.
Seinfeld has complained in the past about how difficult it is for comedians to avoid the woke landmines that bring on cancellation these days. “[Colleges] are so PC,” he said in 2015.”They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”
Perhaps the man who built a career on “soup nazis” and “man hands” figured if there’s one joke from his past that can’t possibly get him cancelled, it’s Pop Tarts.
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