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Unfrosted is Like a ‘Longer Seinfeld Episode’ Says Writer Spike Feresten

Unfrosted is Like a 'Longer Seinfeld Episode' Says Writer Spike Feresten


  • Unfrosted, a zany ensemble comedy on Netflix May 3 with a star-studded cast like McCarthy and Grant, is a wild ride inspired by real history.
  • Jerry Seinfeld’s directorial debut, co-written with Seinfeld alums, brings to life a long-standing Pop-Tart joke that evolved into a film.
  • Comedy writer Feresten delves into Seinfeld’s humor legacy, casting process, and tackle of a historical breakfast showdown in Unfrosted.

Blazing Saddles meets Don’t Look Up in Unfrosted, which hits Netflix on May 3. Toss in shades of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and you have the makings of an unforgettable, outlandish ensemble comedy. Jerry Seinfeld marks his directorial debut here, co-writing alongside Seinfeld alums Spike Feresten and Andy Robin, and Bee Movie’s Barry Marder. The outing is zany fun all around and, perhaps not surprisingly, plucked (ish) from the history books.

You see, back in the early 1960s, there was a bit of brouhaha between breakfast titans Kellogg’s and Post. The competing companies raced to come out with the first toasted breakfast treats. In Seinfeld’s iteration, audiences can expect things to be broad and move along at a zippy pace.

Better still, the cast is yummy: Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Max Greenfield, Peter Dinklage, Christian Slater, Fred Armisen, and Jon Hamm, to note but a large handful. Look for Easter Eggs along the way as this comedy culls from famous films and pop culture curiosities. In an excerpt from an exclusive MovieWeb interview, Spike Feresten unpacks this tasty treat, explains why Kellogg’s knew nothing of the endeavor, and reminisces about a classic Seinfeld that was sheer genius. Read on or watch it above.

How Spike Feresten and Jerry Seinfeld Turned a Joke Into a Film

Unfrosted movie poster

Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story

Release Date
May 3, 2024

1hr 33min

Spike Feresten , Barry Marder , Andy Robin

Of course, Unfrosted really stems from Jerry Seinfeld’s Pop-Tart jokes that he’s been telling for years, but the genesis of a cinematic version happened more than 10 years ago. Over the years, Spike Feresten and Jerry Seinfeld would drive around Malibu and make off-handed comments about making a Pop-Tart movie. Seinfeld writer Andy Robin and comic Barry Marder, who co-wrote the animated film Bee Movie, entered the picture and a possibility emerged. Feresten explained:

“I recently checked my emails, and I have emails with Jerry and Andy and Barry
going back to 2013, where we were talking about this story
and joking about this idea. I don’t think any of us ever thought we’d really make it. It was just one of those… comedy writer riffing things. You know, when we’re having coffee with Jerry and we go, ‘Hey, remember that funny Pop-Tart idea that we had? What if it was like this? What if George Clooney was the Kellogg’s executive? And what if he was in Hawaii, and he suddenly got called back because Post developed it?’”

During the pandemic, the creatives met on Zoom and plotted away. “And now here we are,” Feresten said, chuckling.


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Seinfeld-izing the Kellogg’s Pop-Tart Story

Jerry Seinfeld stars Kellogg’s devotee Bob Cabana, who teams with Jim Gaffigan’s Edsel Kellogg III and Melissa McCarthy’s Donna to outsmart the folks over at Post — Amy Schumer as Marjorie Post and Max Greenfield as partner-gopher Rick Ludwin. As everybody scrambled to create a toasted breakfast treat, the script references a bevy of famous breakfast brands — from Rice Krispies to Frosted Flakes. So, how did Feresten et al. find the right tone to create just the right kind of zany?

“Well, that’s a very good question,” he mused. “I don’t think we sought tone. You know, I had to actually spend a lot of time thinking about the thing that we wrote, going, ‘What is this and what is the tone and how do we arrive at it?’ And then it was very clear to me exactly what had happened.” He elaborated:

You know, Andy and I and Jerry had all written on
and I realized this was just a bigger, longer
episode with a much bigger budget. So, the tone of it really is the tone of a
episode back in the day… you’ll see that we
-ized the Kellogg’s Pop-Tart story and the world that it was in. And that’s the tone, really, of the movie.

On Casting the Incredible Ensemble

If you’ve ever sat through wild ensemble comedies, such as Blazing Saddles, Cannonball Run, Don’t Look Up, and Tropic Thunder, Unfrosted will go down just fine. “Jerry was like, ‘Look, I would love my favorite funny people to be in this movie,’” Feresten shared about how he and Seinfeld managed to nab the stellar cast, adding that they hired casting director Kristy Carlson, known for casting some of DC’s biggest projects, including Wonder Woman and Justice League.


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“We all got together on the phone and said, ‘This is what we think it should be. It’s a very big Netflix event movie. So, we should have every part cast with names that we love. Let’s try casting the biggest and funniest people in smaller parts and see if it works,’” he added. “We were surprised that people were saying yes — Melissa McCarthy, then Amy Schumer. Jim Gaffigan was someone we actually wrote the part for right off the top. He was the only one we really knew [we wanted], that it was going to be Jerry and Jim Gaffigan, even though [Jim] didn’t know that.”



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On Jerry Seinfeld’s First Time as a Director

The comedy marks the first time Jerry Seinfeld directed a live-action movie. Feresten comes with a long list of credits as a writer. Once everything was greenlit, the outing quickly turned into a wild adventure with a bout of impostor’s syndrome. Feresten said:

“One of the very first days we closed the door and said, ‘Now, neither of us knows how to do either of these jobs. What are we going to do? We confided in each other that. And the answer was pretty simple. We’re going to hire the most talented crew that we can find. We’re going to hire a great DP, Bill Pope. And we’re going to hire
the best cast from the movies
and TV shows that we love and a crew and listen to them. We’re going to take their advice.”

“And you know,” added Feresten, “Jerry, even though he didn’t direct episodes of [Seinfeld], he does sit over a director’s shoulder and go, ‘Here’s how I think we should do this.’ So, in a sense, he had been directing all along,” he added.

Kellogg’s & Post Didn’t Know About Unfrosted

Outlandish — and sometimes cartoonish — comedy abounds in Unfrosted. In fact, Kellogg’s and Post are thoroughly lampooned here — as is the time period. The funny thing is that the companies initially knew nothing about the project.

We never thought we were going to make it, so we didn’t call up and go, ‘Hey, we want to make this
…’ We [he and Seinfeld] were just together on a Zoom writing a funny story. Then, when we decided we were going to make it, I said, ‘Hey, you know, there’s about 100 brands that are critical to the story, but I don’t think we should go to them and ask permission.’”


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Still, imagine the fallout if there were to be any. The solution? Feresten ended up calling a friend who was a clearance lawyer. “I said, ‘Am I wrong? But is this story kind of like Ford v Ferrari in that it’s something that happened publicly, and we can talk about it?’” he added. “I think with Jerry Seinfeld, there’s no expectation of facts. People are expecting comedy. And [the friend] said, ‘No, that’s pretty much the case.’ So that’s how we approached the movie. Something that’s a national story like Post versus Kellogg’s in the early ’60s, and the creation of this toastable rectangle is something that you’re allowed to kind of write about.”

Have the fellas been contacted by Kellogg’s and Post since word dropped about the movie? “Yes, they couldn’t be happier,” he said. “They had been reaching out to us over the last year, and we said, ‘Just wait, just wait.’ We wanted to get it done. And Netflix has been an incredible partner in letting us do this. I don’t know any other place, by the way, that would have let us make this movie with these brands other than Netflix.”

Flashback to Seinfeld and Feresten’s Soup Nazi

Seinfeld series finale with the cast in jail

Back in the 1990s, Seinfeld epitomized must-see TV. Feresten came on board later in the Emmy-winning show’s run. We asked him about his favorite moments working on Seinfeld and some of his most memorable episodes. He wrote the ‘Soup Nazi’ episode, but surprisingly, he doesn’t see why it ever caught on. “I’m one of those writers who just doesn’t get why anyone would watch it?” he said, smiling. “That’s just the way I was made. But for me, The Contest is one of the greatest episodes of television in history.”


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You know that one. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer held a contest to determine who could go for the longest time without masturbating. “When I watched that, I go, ‘Wow, there’s some real genius there,’” Feresten added. He continued:

“When I was on the show — I came in on Season 7 — I was just kind of wide-eyed going, ‘I can’t believe I’m here with these folks.’ And they were really humble and down to earth. And I remember Jerry and Larry [David] asked me at one point, ‘Why do you even want to write on this show?’ I said, ‘
Don’t you guys get it? I think you’re the only funniest funny thing on TV right now
.’ And they go, ‘Really? They really didn’t know what they were to the world yet. And I just found that charming.”

“And again, Larry, just like Jerry,” continued Feresten, “they were just laugh hunters. That’s all they cared about. It wasn’t who’s dating who or what kind of relationship it is. It was like, ‘Do you have a story? Do you have something funny that we haven’t heard before?’ And I loved that.” And audiences are bound to love Unfrosted. The all-star comedy streams on Netflix May 3. Watch it through the link below:

Watch Unfrosted

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