Jonathan Wolff’s name can be recognized in the credit screens on a few of America’s favorite TV series. Ever wonder who coordinated all those funky tunes in the background of shows like Saved by the Bell, Who’s Boss?, and Married with Children? Jonathan Wolff is the mastermind behind it all. His most famous work lingers in the minds of the millions who have watched and still watch Seinfeld. His untraditional and improvised methods were the perfect solution for a big problem the producers were experiencing.
The producers of Seinfeld were dealing with a significant phonological difficulty when it came to finding the right music for the episodes. Once word got out about Wolff’s extraordinary talent of fitting musical notes during and between scenes, the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, gave Wolff a call. The conversation that followed would later lead to Wolff’s most known work. The talented musician immediately picked up on why it was so difficult for the producers to find a fitting soundtrack for the show.
As we all know, Seinfeld is a series that involves a lot of random laughter, exaggerated movements, and other sudden noises that would either interrupt or be interrupted by a traditional sitcom soundtrack. Wolff decided to do away with the sounds of saxophones and guitars, which are traditionally used in TV shows and came up with an entirely new instrument, his mouth. Wolff used the sound of the base as the primary melody and various sounds he made from his mouth to compose the music. While most TV shows have their go-to melodies that can be heard in each episode, it’s rare to find a Seinfeld tune that is played in one episode and repeated in another. To tailor the sounds to the show, Wolff re-did the music for each episode. He took a sample of Jerry’s voice from his opening stand-up act and used that as the basis for the music in the episode. In fact, the reason the music fits so well in this series is that Wolff customized each soundtrack by improvising the music as he was watching the episodes. That’s 180 episodes worth of work. Although his work for Seinfeld was quite demanding, most Americans who’ve seen the show can agree that Jonathan Wolff had a dream job. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to watch the hilarious series?