Jerry Seinfeld on “Unfrosted,” the made-up origin tale of Pop-Tarts

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It started with a stand-up bit, from Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix special, “23 Hours to Kill”: “When they invented the Pop-Tart, the back of my head blew right off!”

And like all good comedy, it was based in truth. In 1964, when the Pop-Tart was introduced, 10-year-old Jerry Seinfeld fell hard.

Asked if he had a favorite flavor from the start, Seinfeld replied, “Brown sugar cinnamon, obviously.”

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Correspondent Mo Rocca with comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the stars of his new movie, “Unfrosted.”

CBS News


“I’m surprised that it took them that long to add frosting,” said Rocca. “It was two or three years.”

“Why? You think that’s obvious, frosting?”

“Well, they look a little drab to me when they’re not frosted.”

“You’re a tough audience!” laughed Seinfeld. “I thought they were absolutely sensational instantly. But I did not know – and my parents did not know – these things are not food!”

It should come as little surprise that the man who headlined a sitcom about nothing has managed to build a whole movie out of that routine. His new film “Unfrosted” is a mostly made-up origin story of the processed food favorite.

Seinfeld said, “The real story that we started with (and I think it’s the only real thing in the movie) is that Post came up with this idea, Kellogg’s heard about it very late, and decided to try and catch up.”

To watch a trailer for “Unfrosted” click on the video player below:


Unfrosted | Official Trailer | Netflix by
Netflix on
YouTube

“Sunday Morning” contributor Jim Gaffigan plays Edsel Kellogg. When Seinfeld asked him to sign on, he was there: “I would never bet against Jerry Seinfeld,” he said. “You know, sometimes comedians can be funny for a decade, or maybe a decade or two, but Jerry seems to have transcended, you know, four, five decades now.”

In addition to writing and acting, Seinfeld stepped behind the camera for the first time, as a director. “I thought, what would be the least work?” he said. “The least work is for me to just tell the actor how to say it, instead of me telling the director, and then the director telling the actor.”

Casting, he said, “was so much fun. And Hugh Grant [who plays a certain tiger] was the guy who made the movie.” 

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Kellogg’s executive Bob Cabana (Jerry Seinfeld) gives Thurl Ravenscroft (Hugh Grant) his lines for Tony the Tiger in “Unfrosted.”

Netflix


Seinfeld called on a bunch of his comedian friends, from Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy to Sarah Cooper

Asked what surprised her about Seinfeld as a director, Cooper replied, “He was very specific with what he wanted. There was a moment where Tom Lennon had to do this line where he had to do this, ‘Voila!’ And he did a take. And then Jerry came over and adjusted his hands just slightly. And everybody’s like, ‘How is that making it better?’ But then he did it, and it actually was better!”

“I’m precise,” Seinfeld said. “But for my thing, and what I do, I have to be that way.”

Director Seinfeld walked us through a Kellogg’s-style funeral for a “taste pilot” who blew up during the creation of the Pop-Tart. (And yes, that part is made up.) “You always wanna be in very serious places in comedy, ’cause it makes it easier to be funny.”

Why? “The more you’re supposed to act right, when you act wrong, it’s funny,” he said.

He referred to himself during the funeral scene: “If you look at my face there, this is what’s hard about acting and directing at the same time. I’m directing here; I’m just watching, ‘Are they doing this right?’ I have completely dropped my character. Luckily, I don’t take my work as an actor at all seriously!”

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Jerry Seinfeld provides commentary for a funeral scene from “Unfrosted” to correspondent Mo Rocca.

CBS News


But he did make sure the other actors felt taken care of. Cooper said, “There was actually a moment on set that I think it was the only moment I saw somebody get a little bit tense, and Jerry was just like, ‘Guys, we’re making a movie about a Pop-Tart!’ You know, he put it all in perspective so quickly.”

According to Gaffigan, the director also gave speeches that he called “pretty inspiring. He would just say, like, ‘I really appreciate you guys, your contribution. This is a really exciting thing for me.’ And he would speak from his heart.”

Seinfeld admitted being a speechmaker: “Sure, yeah. I’m a comedian, so I’m used to talking to people in an uncomfortable situation. That’s what standup is. This is a very uncomfortable situation. We’re expecting to laugh; you’re expecting to be funny. That’s not that different from a movie set. This is all awkward. And everyone’s nervous.”

Since this is “Sunday Morning”‘s Money Issue, we had to ask whether Kellogg’s was in on the action with “Unfrosted.” “Kellogg’s did not have anything to do with this movie,” Seinfeld said. “When you see the movie, you will understand. No company would want a movie made about their product like this!”

       
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Story produced by Reid Orvedahl. Editor: Lauren Barnello. 

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