Skip to comments.A Republican on the Red Carpet (GREAT interview of John O'Hurley of Seinfeld!)
Posted on 12/22/2005 3:21:22 PM PST by HighWheeler
Many know him from Seinfeld as the oddball catalogue publisher whose gibberish and affection for The English Patient added stress to Elaine Benices life. Unbeknownst to many, J. Peterman has left the jungles of Burma to support the Republican Party. John OHurley, the actor who played the television character, is an open conservative whose views have been known among his colleagues throughout his acting career.
OHurley addressed students at the 2005 College Republican Convention in Sacramento last month, evoking the eloquent and eccentric humor many know him for. With self-deprecation for both himself and his Seinfeld character, OHurley filled the Sacramento Convention Center with uproarious laughter, claiming to be responsible for canceled shows and calling Peterman a lunatic. Amid the hilarity was the seriousness of issues pressing the state of California, which OHurley highlighted in his address.
Education reform was a main concern for the actor. OHurley spoke about his high school years, during which an exceptional English teacher encouraged him to try out for the school play. That marked the beginning of an enjoyable and fruitful career. According to OHurley, teachers who encourage their students to express their potential to the fullest are examples of education working correctly. On the other hand, OHurley added, a teacher who spends most of his time bashing Bush is an example of education working incorrectly.
As far as the rest of California politics is concerned, the Seinfeld castmember remarked, In Great Britain, its the cows that are crazy. In California, its us.
The Patriot caught up with John OHurley for an interview. Sipping wine from a plastic cup and clutching a book by former Congressman Jim Rogan, Peterman responded to our questions with the usual eloquence and comedy on the side:
Patriot: What hope do you have for conservative filmmakers who are trying to counter Michael Moores use of a popular medium to get their message out? OHurley: There were answers to Michael Moores films like Voices in Iraq, but see its an opposite thing. With Moores films, people whine without offering solutions; its not in conservatives minds to just complain. We offer solutions, so it doesnt lend itself to that sort of filmmaking.
P: Without getting any of your former co-stars in trouble, can you tell us of any colleagues of yours who gave you a hard time for being a Republican? O: Oh, my best man, who I wont name, is extremely well-known as an actor, is as staunch a Democrat as I am a Republican, and as I said he brings up all the complaints and none of the answers.
P: Is it suicide for an actors career in Hollywood if he or she mentions conservative political affiliation? O: No, I think Hollywood is struggling for its own survival and anyone that could attempt to black-ball people must be in a very strong position. These people change jobs every two years.
P: Rob Reiner announced his candidacy for governor against Arnold in 06. What are your thoughts? O: I know Rob Reiner to really be all about the delivery and politics doesnt belong there, just like on a college campus. I think it is a non sequitur. I dont think he has the potential clout he said he has.
P: You advised students not to follow any of Petermans actions or sayings, but there have to be some Republican values in him. He nearly fired Elaine for having traces of opium in her system. O: She also got fired because she didnt like The English Patient
P: Would you consider doing a show with a political theme? O: Oh, absolutely. Id do a series of The West Wing.
P: It seems like the prominent Hollywood Republicans are more eloquent and articulate than many of their acting peers. People like Charlton Heston, Kelsey Grammer, and yourself speak very well and are all Republican. Coincidence? O: Well, just to be lumped in that category, Ill try not to make gurgling noises. I think there is a sense, sort of like the mom-and-dad thing. The mom wants to feed everyone and the dad says, How are we going to pay for it? And maybe because we need to know all the facts we become more eloquent.
P: What is your favorite Seinfeld episode? O: The Wedding Cake, when Elaine took my 45-year-old wedding-cake slice and replaced it with a $2 Entenmanns. I just thought it was the best show with the filming and characters. I also liked the Frogger Game episode.
Wow, O'Hurley is a Republican? Doesn't he do those commercials for Progressive Insurance Co., a big contributor to democRATs and RAT causes?
I'm surprised the story didn't mention his more recent popularity for "Dancing with the Stars." Not to mention some fairly hilarious hotel commercials.
Thanks for posting... I didn't know he was a Republican!
Yes he does.
Very attractive man.
I didn't either. I just now stumbled on it while Cruzin the Internet, and was as surprised as any FReeper would be.
Good article, though I think the "title police" will be after ya!
I love him even more now . . .
Elaine: But, Mr. Peterman, I...
Mr. Peterman: Elaine, I have a question for you - is the item still with you?
Elaine: I guess so...
Mr. Peterman: Elaine, do you have any idea what happens to a butter-based frosting after sitting 60 years in a poorly ventilated English basement? I have a feeling that what you are about to go through is punishment enough. Dismissed.
"According to OHurley, teachers who encourage their students to express their potential to the fullest are examples of education working correctly. On the other hand, OHurley added, a teacher who spends most of his time bashing Bush is an example of education working incorrectly."
This is as good as any post on FReeRepublic.
LOL! Republican or not, O'Hurley is one of my fave TV actors. Glad to hear he's on our side, though. ;-)
I'm pleasantly surprised that he's a conservative.
He is a conservative who likes a good catfight now and then.
He's a smooth talking character. Who else could've convinced me to purchase one of those Urban Sombreros?
"He treats me like the sultan of Uum Papa Mau Mau!"
"They miniaturize an entire bar just for me!"
"FANTASTIC! They know I like to sleep BETWEEN the sheets!"
Was your professional career ruined?
This is what we like to call "Carrer Suicide"
Hope he has a back-up plan.
Which hotel? I'd like to know more.
Myself, I'm a marine biologist.
O'Hurley went to college in Rhode island (Providence College - Go Friars!).
Could he be coaxed into running against either of the lame brains representing RI in the U.S. Senate?
That's my favorite line. I chuckle EVERY time I hear that... his delivery is perfect.
Wish I DID know more! His website says he's pitched for some 16 different businesses!
John OHurley was a perfect fit in one of the greatest (THE greatest?) sitcoms ever made. His "J. Peterman" was a classic character who we will be seeing regularly in reruns for the next 30 years, at least. John does funny commercials these days, too.
It's good to see a star actor be so candid and proud about his conservative political orientation. Very refreshing.