Jerry Seinfeld on 'Unfrosted,' the fictional origin story of Pop-Tarts

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

And like all good comedies, this one was based on truth. In 1964, when Pop-Tart was introduced, 10-year-old Jerry Seinfeld fell hard.

When asked if he had a favorite flavor from the beginning, Seinfeld replied, “Cinnamon with brown sugar, obviously.”

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Correspondent Mo Rocca with comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the stars of his new film 'Unfrosted'.

CBS News


“I'm surprised it took them this long to add icing,” Rocca said. “It was two or three years.”

'Why? Think that's clear, frosting?'

“Well, they look a bit dull when they're not frozen.”

“You're a tough crowd!” laughed Seinfeld. “I immediately thought they were sensational. But I didn't know – and my parents didn't know either – that these things aren't food!”

It should come as no surprise that the man who headlined a sitcom about nothing has managed to build an entire movie out of that routine. His new film “Unfrosted” is a largely fictional story about the processed food favorite.

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

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


Unripe | Official trailer | Netflix Through
Netflix on
YouTube

Sunday Morning contributor Jim Gaffigan plays Edsel Kellogg. When Seinfeld asked him to sign on, he was on board: “I would never bet against Jerry Seinfeld,” he said. “You know, sometimes comedians can be funny for ten years, or maybe a decade or two, but Jerry seems to have transcended four or 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 amount of work?” he said. “The least amount of work is me just telling 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 director Bob Cabana (Jerry Seinfeld) gives Thurl Ravenscroft (Hugh Grant) his lines for Tony the Tiger in “Unfrosted”.

Netflix


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

When 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 a little bit. And everyone said, 'How does that make it better?' But then he did it, and actually it did used to be better!”

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

Director Seinfeld walked us through a Kellogg's-style funeral for a “flavor pilot” that exploded during the creation of the Pop-Tart. (And yes, that part is made up.) “You always want to be in very serious places in comedy because 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 the hard thing about acting and directing at the same time. I'm directing here; I just look: 'Are they doing this right? 'I have completely dropped my character. Fortunately, I don't take my work as an actor seriously at all!”

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Jerry Seinfeld comments on a funeral scene from “Unfrosted” to correspondent Mo Rocca.

CBS News


But he made sure the other actors felt cared for. Cooper said, “There was actually a moment on set where I think it was the only moment where I saw someone get a little tense, and Jerry said, 'Guys, we're making a movie about a Pop-Tart!' You know, he put it all into perspective so quickly.”

According to Gaffigan, the director also gave speeches that he called “pretty inspiring.” He just said: 'I really appreciate your contribution. This is really exciting for me.' And he spoke from his heart.”

Seinfeld admitted he was a speechmaker: “Of course, yes. I'm a comedian, so I'm used to talking to people in an uncomfortable situation. That's what stand-up is. This is a very uncomfortable situation. We expect to laugh; you expect to be funny. That's not that different from being on a film set. This is all awkward.

Since this is the Money Issue of “Sunday Morning,” we had to ask if Kellogg's was getting in on the action with “Unfrosted.” “Kellogg's had nothing to do with this movie,” Seinfeld said. “When you see the movie, you will understand. No company would want a movie like that made about their product!”


For more information:


Story produced by Reid Orvedahl. Editor: Lauren Barnello.

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