“Then in the midst of that dark and hopeless moment, the Kellogg Pop-Tart suddenly appeared out of Battle Creek, Michigan. Which as you cereal fans know, is the corporate headquarters of Kellogg’s, and a town I have always wanted to visit.
“Because it seems like a cereal Silicon Valley of breakfast super scientists conceiving up frosted fruit-filled heatable rectangles in the same shape as the box it comes in.”
The preceding sentences are part of Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up bit about the invention of the humble Pop-Tart — the tasty treat that the comedian says “revolutionised breakfast”. The joke is the perfect embodiment of the type of schtick Seinfeld has made his fortune from and that, of course, is writing about…nothing.
“I probably have been working on this for two years,” he told The New York Times in 2012 as he explained the anatomy of a joke. “Two years. I mean, usually, I write a bit in a couple days.
“It’s a long time to spend on something that means absolutely nothing. But that’s what I do. That’s what people want me to do, is spend a lot of time wastefully. So I do that [and] then I can waste their time.”
Now the comedic genius will be wasting a whole lot more of our time as he takes that joke and turns it into a Netflix original movie.
Titled Unfrosted, Seinfeld will write, direct and act in the film that explores how the Pop-Tart — an invention he says “blew the back of his head right off” — came to be. The comedian is co-writing the script with Spike Feresten and Barry Marder with production expected to begin in the first half of 2022.
While Seinfeld has been thinking about the creation of Pop-Tarts for 40-odd years, the idea for a film seems to have only come to him in the last three. In 2018 he Tweeted, “At one point I was thinking about an invention of the Pop-Tart movie. Imagine the drunk on sugar-power Kellogg’s cereal culture of the mid-60’s in Battle Creek, MI. That’s a vibe I could work with.”
At one point I was thinking about an invention of the Pop Tart movie.
Imagine the drunk
Kellogg’s cereal culture of the mid-60’s in Battle Creek, MI.
That’s a vibe I could work with.
— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) August 21, 2018
According to a publication called The Battle Creek Enquirer, Pop-Tarts were introduced in 1964, a year after the pet food division at cereal manufacturer Post developed the process for keeping toaster pastries fresh while attempting to create refrigerated dog food.
While Post announced the development of “Country Squares” in 1963, The Kellogg Company beat them to it and developed Pop-Tarts within six months and frosted Pop-Tarts a few years later in 1967.
Unfrosted marks the latest in successful series of projects for Seinfeld with Netflix. The streaming service inked a deal with the comedian in 2017 and since then has been the home for his interview series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and two original stand-up specials including 2020’s 23 Hours to Kill and 2017’s Jerry Before Seinfeld — both of which earned Emmy nominations.
Perhaps most excitingly, the platform will begin streaming all nine seasons of Seinfeld later this year in an exclusive deal set to last for five years.
Until that time, we’ll just be over here trying to wrap our heads around the fact that Siracha Pop-Tarts are a thing. C’mon now people, that is just nasty.