Friday, May 18, 2012

Gotta Support the Team

Jason Gay says the Devils Will Always Have Puddy (WSJ sub req):

Warburton, who was born in Paterson, N.J., but raised in Southern California, wound up doing 10 episodes of "Seinfeld," becoming one of the series's most memorable side characters. But the Devils episode, called "The Face Painter," has enjoyed an especially long reach. The Devils franchise wound up using Puddy video clips during games in their 1995 Cup run—they still use them—and they invited Warburton to their opening-night championship tribute the following year.

Before that 1995 puck-dropping ceremony, the Devils asked Warburton if he'd do them a favor: Would he paint a D on his bare chest? The actor resisted; he was already painting his face and wearing a team jersey.

But Warburton relented, and it turned out to be a wise move. After dropping the puck during a red-carpet presentation, Warburton was stepping across the rink when he slipped and nearly fell, only to regain his balance. Sensing an awkward moment, he ripped his shirt off.

"I was so thankful I had that D painted on my chest," Warburton said. "The whole place went crazy."

It's all but certain that the Kings will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. If they meet the Devils in LA, we'll be on the lookout for a familiar actor with a painted face (although the Devils have changed their color scheme since the "Seinfeld" days). You gotta let them know you're out there.