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Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers, James Franco and more open up at Hulu Upfronts

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Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Hulu announced five new series and the return of six original shows at its Upfront presentation Wednesday, hosted by Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam. The Awesomes co-creator Seth Meyers, whose animated series will return to Hulu for its third season, was on hand as well, suggesting that his former Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels would make a good addition to the show as a “Canadian Lex Luthor who wants the world to be 10 percent nicer.”

“I know he’s looking to get into cartoon voices,” Meyers said.

Killam and Meyers were hardly the only celebrities to appear at the star-studded event. While introducing 11/22/63, a series based on the Stephen King novel about an English teacher who goes back in time to stop John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the show’s’ producer poked fun at star James Franco for being underdressed. “This is my first upfront,” Franco explained. “I didn’t know how fancy it was!”

Difficult People‘s Billy Eichner, alongside co-star Julia Klausner and the series’ executive producer Amy Poehler, described their upcoming show as “Will & Grace, but the characters were unlikable.” Klausner added, “[It’s about] two best friends who hate everything in the world but each other.” Fred Armisen will play Eichner’s brother on the show, due out this summer, and Kate McKinnon joins as a magician. Debby Harry, among others, will guest star.

The morning closed out with Hulu’s announcement that in June, the streaming service will acquire all nine seasons of Seinfeld.  Ealier, Eichner said that he was angry because the site “spent $130 million on Seinfeld, but once on set they told me I couldn’t get an everything bagel.” Of course, it took time for Seinfeld to become this popular; at the upfront, the sitcom’s star and co-creator Jerry Seinfeld recounted how his show struggled to find an audience in its early days.

“For years, people didn’t catch on to it or think much of it,” Seinfeld said. “We were doing it for ourselves.”

The comedian also shared his favorite episode of the show — “The Marine Biologist” — and revealed that Jason Alexander memorized George’s three-page closing monologue in an hour. 

Now he’s excited for audiences to revisit the “full, old NBC version, as Larry [David] and I cut it” on Hulu—as opposed to the syndicated episodes that run on various channels. “I know from having kids that that’s the only way they’ll watch it,” Seinfeld joked. “You could’ve just put the DVD in, but I guess nobody really wanted to do that. [But] the show is still here, and that’s so humbling.”

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