What’s the deal with telemarketers? They’re a pest that enrages many, including Jerry Seinfeld (or at least his Seinfeld character) and GOP senator Jon Bramnick. As per Mediaite, the New Jersey lawmaker so despises them that he’s introducing legislation inspired by the famous Seinfeld scene where Jerry gives a caller a taste of his own medicine.
Last week Bramnick introduced a bill that would require telemarketers to provide customers with “the name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made.” Should the bill pass, they would have to do so within the first 30 seconds of the call — provided people don’t angrily hang up on them.
Lest anyone was wondering where he got the idea, Bramnick posted the Seinfeld scene, from the Season 4 classic “The Pitch” and written by the uncancellable Larry David, in which Jerry takes a break from chatting with Kramer, George, and the latter’s new (doomed) girlfriend Susan to field a call from a telemarketer. After being asked about changing his long distance service (a beautiful time capsule, this scene), Jerry says he’s busy and asks for the telemarketer’s number so he can call him later. The telemarketer refuses.
“Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home?” Jerry asks.
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“No,” the man answers.
“Well, now you know how I feel,” Jerry replies.
Of course, telemarketers aren’t quite the scourge they were in the days before caller ID, to say nothing of smartphones. Perhaps a Seinfeld episode made today would feature Jerry raging against a more modern annoyance: robocalls.