Actor John O’Hurley, perhaps best known as Mr. Peterman on the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld, has gone to the dogs. O’Hurley, 67, has been host of The National Dog Show, a Thanksgiving Day tradition [Nov. 25, 12 p.m., NBC] since 2002 and says he’s “a better man with a dog in my lap.”
Here he talks a lot about dogs and a little about that other show — the one famously about nothing on which he made a lasting impression.
Do you have personal favorite dog show breeds?
I love the Irish Setter. I always joke that it reminds me of the redhead that just walked into the cocktail party and all the heads turn. It’s just an absolutely remarkable show dog. But would I want one? Nah, it would be kind of out of my lifestyle. I have rooted for it every year. One year the Irish Setter actually won best in show and I really thought that my life was pretty complete at that time.
Tell us about your first dog
Taffy was my first dog, a little dachshund. In kindergarten/first grade [in Natick, Massachusetts], Taffy would wait for me when I came home from school and then the two of us would go down to what I would refer to as my secret hiding place, which was the little swamp down at the end of the street. I would walk around the swamp every day with my net and Taffy. I would turn over every rock. Together we would look for anything that was living, a toad or a snail or a fish that we could find.
What’s your current dog situation?
We have two rescues: Mia, who we just got, and Charlotte, a little terrier mix; and a purebred Havanese named Lucy. Mia’s only about 5 pounds; a little Yorkie, terrier and maybe Jack Russell. I mean she bounces around like nobody’s business. It certainly would be indicative of that breed.
Your favorite Seinfeld episode?
The Frogger episode [18th episode of the ninth and final season, first aired April 23, 1998] — that represented the best of Seinfeld, the genius of the writing, the genius of the direction. And then, of course, it contained the one line that George said that was so telling of his character, when he looked at Jerry and said, “I’m never going to have kids, that Frogger machine score is all I have.” That was so painfully and sadly honest.
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