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John O'Hurley co-hosting 10th National Dog Show

November 22, 2011|By Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services
  • DOG LOVER: Actor John O'Hurley will host his 10th National Dog Show program 9 a.m. Thursday on NBC.
DOG LOVER: Actor John O'Hurley will host his 10th… (NBC )

Thanksgiving traditions are a wonderful thing. Think Thanksgiving, and you think turkey, family, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show Presented by Purina.

This is the 10th year anniversary of the broadcast with dog show guru David Frei and John O'Hurley.

"I don't know what you get someone for a 10th anniversary of co-hosting the dog show; I haven't looked that one up," Frei said. "Maybe aluminum foil or a gold leash. Anyway, I'm glad were able to make John a TV star."

O'Hurley, of course, was J. Peterman on the TV-classic "Seinfeld," he was the winner of the first season of "Dancing with the Stars," he's written numerous books (including some about his dogs), hosted TV game shows and is currently starring on Broadway in "Chicago."

With all that — and more — O'Hurley says he's very often recognized, but people don't know how they know him. In New York's Central Park just a few weeks ago, O'Hurley says he was recognized by someone who then said, "How do I know you exactly?"

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O'Hurley answered, "Don't you remember me from Junior Prom?"

"She looked confused," O'Hurley said by phone from New York. "She really began to study me, as I then added, 'Well, the years haven't been very good to me.'"

O'Hurley said he loves co-hosting the dog show because it's what television should be. He's no fan of reality programming. "My test is that at the end of an hour or two hours, however long the show is that you can say, 'That was a good use of my time.' It's that simple. After watching reality shows, I don't say it's a good use of my time; I say, 'I think I have to take a shower now.'"

O'Hurley continued, "That's the thing about the dog show — it's for everyone in the family, from 5-year-olds to 95-year-olds. And that's good TV."

Of course, as J. Peterman on "Seinfeld," O'Hurley was involved in one of the best sitcoms ever.

"I was very blessed," he said. "It was the right cast at the right time with great writing. It was about the language we generated, like 'spongeworthy,' 'no soup for you' or (then he lowers his already uniquely dulcet tones and transforms once again into Peterman), 'Elaine! You're out on your patooty!'"

On "Dancing with the Stars," O'Hurley was the first season's winner.

"Oh, gosh, back then, we had no idea this show would be as big as it's become. I may have won, but I considered myself lucky to not fall down."

O'Hurley said that watching "Dancing" is in some ways very much like watching the National Dog Show.

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