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Seinfeld’s Mr. Peterman lends his dulcet tones to a video Mother’s Day card

On Seinfeld, playing a heavily fictionalized version of real-life catalog kingpin J. Peterman, actor John O’Hurley was especially adept at behaving like a pompous, long-winded ass, a man so in love with the sound of his own, admittedly rich voice that he would launch into flowery soliloquies without any prompting whatsoever, much to the annoyance of employee Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). O’Hurley’s version of Peterman was a man whose day-to-day speech sounded just like a sales pitch from one of his catalogs. As ridiculous and pointless as they usually were, Peterman’s speeches certainly caressed the ear. No one could read sappy text with such sincerity. So when Rolling Stone sought to create its own video Mother’s Day card, they could not have possibly chosen a better spokesman than O’Hurley himself, reprising the role of J. Peterman for a series of rhyming couplets.

The video, though generally sweet-natured, does poke a little fun at the pitfalls of modern mother-child relationships. “I know that you love me, and the world should see it all,” intones O’Hurley, “which is why I tolerate your rambling posts on my Facebook wall.” The poem also thanks mothers everywhere for giving up red wine during pregnancy, a noble sacrifice that deserves mention. Only once is the tranquility of the video shattered, and that is when Mr. Peterman loses it over some spotty cell phone reception. Then it’s right back to being the honey-voiced charmer he always was (or tried to be) on Seinfeld.


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