There are two things in life that we have always loved: The National Dog Show that happens after the Thanksgiving Day Parade every year (we always watch it with our Dad), and of course, Seinfeld. It’s rare to interview someone that combines these two loves, but if there ever was one it would be John O’Hurley (aka J. Peterman).
O’Hurley has hosted The National Dog Show for thirteen years now, and he was no doubt a favorite character of ours on a show that is the basis for our entire sense of humor, not to mention the basis of who we’ll be friends with (Seinfeld-people versus non-Seinfeld people). We caught up with O’Hurley on his most memorable Seinfeldian moment, and made him describe his outfit for The National Dog Show as J. Peterman would. And, may we add in J. Peterman fashion…He wore a cashmere Canali coat paired perfectly with a Loro Piana sweater and AG jeans ideal for walks on a chilly beach in winter or holiday escapes to the Berkshires…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Breakfast at the Polo Lounge in LA for the lobster benedict with Cristal Champagne. Lunch at Masseria in New York City for linguini vongole with a Gaja Chardonnay. Dinner at Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago for the filet with port wine reduction and Kosta Browne Pinot Noir.
What’s been the funniest moment in your thirteen years of hosting The National Dog Show?
The Great Dane passing by the NBC booth in the ring and squatting down to leave a large “editorial comment” just in front of me on the carpet. The show stopped for a twenty-minute clean up.
Do you have a favorite group? What is it and why?
Probably the Sporting Group. I like their movement in the ring – athletic and confident, like great dancers.
Have you had one embarrassing moment hosting? What has it been?
The first year when the judge was examining and picking through the coat of the Old English Sheepdog, I said, “If she picks through all that hair and finds only one eye, she’s got the wrong end of the dog!”
What are your Thanksgiving plans post-show?
Friday morning I begin rehearsals as Captain Hook for a special holiday production of Peter Pan in Los Angeles at the Pasadena Playhouse.
The Thanksgiving tradition you love…
My wife, son and I take a carriage ride through Central Park.
The one you don’t…
Dirty dishes! That’s why I have come to like eating out.
The personal grooming item you can’t live without and why…
Hair gel. My hair hasn’t moved in half a century.
Any chance you could describe the outfit you plan to wear to the National Dog Show in the J. Peterman way?
“A film noir tuxedo, dangerously double-breasted, accessorized only by a pocket square, a wink, and a glass of Cabernet.”
Do you have one favorite memory from Seinfeld? What is it?
Watching Michael Richards rehearse his moves.
Did you have a favorite episode? What was it and why?
The Peterman monologues. I would rehearse them religiously only to have most of them cut from the show because the show was always too long.
What’s something you miss about the 90’s?
The relative innocence of pre-9/11.
Your favorite spots to eat and drink in NYC…
If you could host a dinner party with any five people, living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?
Beyond the obvious deity (Jesus Christ), I would invite T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton, Mark Twain and Charles Krauthammer. No dinner, just a good bottle of Port, and cheese.
Here are 25 Seinfeld quotes for 25 situations.
*John O’Hurley, photographed by Danielle Kosann in New York, NY.