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How Jerry Seinfeld’s Voice Influenced His Show’s Theme Music

The theme music for Seinfeld is among the best-known in television history, but it’s also sort of … weird. With slap bass and the pops and breaths of a human voice, it’s a far cry from the melodies audiences are used to hearing as credits roll.

The music is the work of Jonathan Wolff—a composer who’s also written themes for Married... with Children, Saved by the Bell, Who’s the Boss?, The King of Queens, and Will & Grace, among others. In the above E! News interview from the '90s, Wolff explains how he wrote the earworm.

It all started with a call from Seinfeld himself, who said the show’s opening had a specific set of needs. It required a bit of music that could play in conjunction with the comedian’s stand-up sets, which would run at the beginning (and end) of each episode. With that, Seinfeld’s voice became the “lead instrument” in the composition, according to Wolff.

“I watched a lot of his comedy. I kind of took a meter from his delivery and made that the tempo of the Seinfeld theme and I built the rest of the instruments around him,” he says.

Wolff actually redid the theme for each episode to match the pacing of the individual monologues, which is why it winds in and out so seamlessly every time. For more on Wolff, check out this interview he did last year with Sideshow Podcast, and this one with Vice. It’s a good time to celebrate the show—Seinfeld became a regular running series this week in 1990.

[h/t Kottke]

Image credit: screenshot // seinfeldovenmitt.com

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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