The Story Behind The Daring 'Seinfeld' Theme Song

03/18/2015 11:17 am ET | Updated Mar 18, 2015
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Few television theme songs are as widely known and distinct as the opening music from "Seinfeld." True fans will know that the signature slap bass theme from the sitcom was actually created on a synthesizer (nope, not a bass guitar), but what about the rest of the story?

Noisey caught up with the now-retired "Seinfeld" composer Jonathan Wolff to find out how he crafted the iconic music, which was different for each episode. Wolff used Seinfeld's opening monologue in every episode as the melody for the changing theme. The composer then recorded samples of lip pops, tongue noises and other "organic human sounds" to create what he described as a "percolating rhythm, this New York groove" to play around Seinfeld's dialogue.

Each week Wolff would re-create the theme with a synthesizer, a process, which he said in a 1993 interview, took about four hours. The use of a slap bass sample was also something unheard of at the time, an era of saxophone TV theme music. "When it showed up as his theme song, Jerry liked it, Larry liked it," Wolff told Noisey. But not everyone was pleased with the daring score, as Wolff revealed he received calls from the show's producers.

Creating the theme wasn't all Wolff did though. He was also responsible for writing "Hot and Heavy," you know, the song Elaine's saxophonist boyfriend butchers on stage after he unsuccessfully over-uses his mouth in the bedroom. And on that note, we'll leave you with "Hot and Heavy":

For the full interview, head to Noisey.

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