New Legislation Inspired by “Seinfeld” May Actually Pass

New Legislation Inspired By

( – Touted as “the show about nothing,” the television series “Seinfeld” enjoyed nine wildly successful seasons from 1989 through 1998. The show focused on the life and antics of stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and three of his closest friends living in Manhattan in New York City. In a case of life imitating art, a bipartisan group of New Jersey lawmakers has proposed a telemarketing bill inspired by an episode of the comedy that might actually pass.

The season four, episode three show titled “The Pitch” featured a brief 40-second vignette in which a telemarketer calls and interrupts Seinfeld and his friends during a meeting with a television network executive to discuss the possibility of creating a show. As the telemarketer begins his spiel, Seinfeld interrupts.

He suggests the solicitor should provide him with his home number so the comedian can call him back at a more convenient time. When the marketer replies he can’t do that, Seinfeld suggests perhaps the solicitor doesn’t want unknown people calling him at home, saying, “Well, now you know how I feel,” before abruptly ending the call.

The clip inspired New Jersey state Senators Jon Bramnick (R) and Nellie Pou (D) to sponsor Senate Bill 921, popularly dubbed “the Seinfeld Bill.” The new law would require telemarketers to provide the name, mailing address, telephone number, and web address of the person or entity who hired the solicitor to call within the first 30 seconds of contact.

The proposed measure would also prohibit telemarketers from placing unsolicited calls from 9 p.m. until 8 a.m. in the recipient’s time zone. Additionally, it would prevent solicitors from using any methods, tools, or services to block caller identification services from displaying the calls as sales calls or otherwise misrepresenting a telemarketer’s identity.

Bramnick told Fox Business “extremely offensive” marketing calls have bothered him for years. He said while telemarketers use boilerplate scripts to sell to people, often asking for sensitive information, they never seem to answer consumers’ questions. In a comment to ABC7 New York, Bramnick added, “New Jerseyans should know who they’re talking to on the phone and what’s being sold to them by telemarketers.”

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