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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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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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