We told you Jerry Seinfeld was going to spill the beans on the Ted L. Nancy books, and spill he did, but not the beans you were looking for — especially if your name is comedian Bruce Baum, and you've been telling people on your site that you wrote the letters for the "Letters from a Nut" series.
And yet, there Seinfeld was today on NBC's Today, sitting next to comedian Barry Marder instead. Seinfeld told Lauer that they came forward because they had to, saying: "He's the guy who created this whole — he has written all the letters. He created the character. And there's a lot of people on the Internet that are claiming credit for it, and that started to bother us." Roll tape!
Seinfeld revealed Marder as the source last night on CNN's Larry King Live, and online at CNN.com, Baum's wife, Lynn wrote this in the comments last night as the program aired:
My husband, Bruce Baum and Barry Marder wrote the original three books together at our house in Thousand Oaks! I fed Barry Marder regularly for months as he was here almost everyday. Barry refuses to acknowledge the fact that he and Bruce wrote this book together! I am a teacher and when I came home from school I fed them and they would read me all the letters they wrote that day and the responses they received. The letters were sent to a P.O. Box right near our house in Thousand Oaks. Bruce gave a thank you present to Seinfeld, for writing the forward. Barry was supposed to give it to Jerry. I wrapped it and went with Bruce to deliver it to Barry so he could give it to Jerry. I will testify to this under oath. Apparently Barry never gave it to him. My children and I are witness to the fact that the books were written at our house and Bruce is the co-author. Jerry was not involved with the first book until after it was written and apparently has been lied to regarding Bruce's participation. Jerry is misinformed and needs to get his facts straight.
Marder is listed on IMDB.com alongside Seinfeld and Chuck Martin as creator/writers of a 2008 TV project, "Sincerely, Ted L. Nancy" for Lionsgate that I don't think ever aired.
It's not that the idea is even theirs, anyhow, as I already pointed out. Anyone who remembers the Lazlo Toth books by Don Novello knows this, too. But it is a lucrative collection of books at this point. So I'm sure Seinfeld and Marder knew they had to go public if they wanted to keep profits and residuals from going to anyone else. I'll let you know if I hear more on this story.
UPDATED: Baum told me: "Everything my wife said in her statement is true. I stand behind her statement."