Sideshow Podcast: Jonathan Wolff Slapped the Bass for Seinfeld and the Internet Can’t Thank Him Enough
The show’s producers were having difficulty finding music that wouldn’t overpower the comedian’s opening routines. “Jerry, you’ve already given me the melody and theme,” Wolff told Seinfeld. “My job is going to be to support you and the organic nature of your voice.” Wolff sampled his own mouth noises and slapped some funky bass over it and the rest is history. He built the theme to be manipulated — the rhythm of the mouth pops, shakers, and bass notes changed ever so slightly to fit the different monologues that opened every show. Decades later, the internet has begun to manipulate it, too:
Special thanks to Reed Dunlea, who wrote about Jonathan Wolff for Vice.
AUDIO CORRECTION: Jonathan Wolff has written music for over 70 TV shows, but penned themes for only 44 of them. He retired in 2005, not 2000.