Seinfeld brought the world no shortage of iconic characters. George who pursued life with “passionate mediocrity.” Elaine with her physical antics. Cosmo Kramer with the famous skid stop entrance. And, of course, Jerry Seinfeld himself with his everyday observations.

But, many will never forget perhaps the quirkiest of all, J. Peterman. The catalog publishing magnate who had a penchant for disappearing into rain forests, and a fondness for riddlespeak, was played to pitch perfection by actor John O’Hurley. Recently many will recognize the Maine native from his numerous, entertaining television appearances including Dancing with the Stars (the controversial co-win in season one), and Family Feud which he hosted from 2006 through 2010.

John O'Hurley dressing room, SHN Orpheum Theatre San Francisco
“If you like white, you’re in the right spot.” – John O’Hurley in the dressing room at the SHN Orpheum. That singing you hear in the background? His co-star warming up her vocals just an hour before another performance of CHICAGO – now the number two most watched Broadway musical.

Today, the (tall) actor is doing something he seems naturally suited to do:

Sing. Dance. And act.

And what better place than on the stage. Just recently having surpassed Cats, CHICAGO is now the number two most performed Broadway show of all time. O’Hurley has starred in the lead role as over 1,000 times. As he told me in this Stark Insider dressing room interview, preparing these days is sort of like “reciting the pledge of allegiance.”

John O'Hurley on Dancing with the Stars
John O’Hurley on the first season of Dancing with the Stars. He would co-win, and then ultimately win in a dance-off.

Oenophiles might be interested to know that he’s accumulated a “massive” wine collection. “I have a rare wine cellar at home,” he notes. “So named because it’s rare there’s any wine left in it.” (some of his favorite labels include Harlan and Screaming Eagle).


J. Peterman is a real company. And John O’Hurley is still involved (though, he does not, as he emphasizes, write copy). Find out below in the interview what he did after Seinfeld ended to maintain a relationship with J. Peterman.

Find out more in the video below, including why the Seinfeld script “doesn’t read funny.”

Chicago is now playing at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. The tour then continues across the country with stops including El Paso, Washington, London (Canada)and dozens of other cities.

WATCH: Backstage Broadway: CHICAGO with John O’Hurley of Seinfeld

Loni Stark
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.