As it begins streaming all 180 episodes of Seinfeld today, Hulu—which has exclusive SVOD rights to Jerry Seinfeld's iconic TV series—is celebrating by re-creating Seinfeld's apartment for fans in New York.
From today through Sunday, Hulu is operating Seinfeld: The Apartment, a pop-up installation in New York's Meatpacking District. Built with help from Magnetic Collaborative, it features original items from the Seinfeld set, including the diner table and booth, the New Jersey Devils jersey worn by Elaine's then-boyfriend David Puddy (Patrick Warburton) in Season 6's "The Face Painter," and the Superman figure Seinfeld kept in his living room. There are also re-creations of iconic props from the show like the Festivus pole and the Pez dispenser.
Seinfeld also donated a canvas brick wall signed by the cast and crew after the show's finale. Among the scrawled messages: "Jerry — There's a spot open after Conan — think about it," from Rick Ludwin, the NBC executive who developed the show and later oversaw late-night programming.
Fans can have their photo taken in re-creations of the set for Seinfeld's stand-up comedy scenes—complete with microphone stand and brick wall—that bookend the show and George's photo shoot from Season 8's "The Package."
But the exhibit's centerpiece is its meticulous re-creation of Seinfeld's 129 W. 81st St. apartment from the show (the kitchen includes more than 20 cereal boxes).
"It just takes you back. The re-creation of Jerry's apartment is fun. It's a fun environment," said Warburton, who was on hand for a preview of the exhibition. "I love that the show has the legs that it has. I love that it's part of the fabric of all of our lives. And it's still relevant today, because the show itself wasn't about a time period—it was about quirkiness and human nature and the way we all deal and interact with each other, the way we all navigate certain situations from Jerry's comic perspective."
Hulu landed Seinfeld right before April's NewFronts in a multiyear deal worth as much as $180 million. Similar to when Friends debuted on Netflix in January and attracted a younger audience that hadn't seen the show during its initial TV run, Warburton said he's prepared for a new generation to see him for first time when they begin streaming episodes on Hulu. "That's great. They'll be like, 'He sounds like that guy from Family Guy,'" said Warburton, who voices Joe Swanson on that show.
With Seinfeld: The Apartment, Hulu hopes to replicate the fan frenzy that surrounded last fall's Central Perk pop-up store, which opened for a month in New York in honor of Friends' 20th anniversary. But while that was in operation months before Friends episodes debuted on Netflix, Hulu hopes its own installation will encourage fans to head home and start streaming.