Fact Check

Was Peter Dinklage the Voice of the Wake-Up Call Guy in a 1995 'Seinfeld' Episode?

"You're going by sound? What are we, whales?"

Published Mar 10, 2023

 (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Image Via Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
In the 1995 "Seinfeld" episode "The Wink," a wake-up call to Elaine is voiced by Peter Dinklage in an uncredited role.

Myriad Reddit posts and listicles assert with great confidence that Peter Dinklage had a cameo in the 1995 "Seinfeld" episode "The Wink." This claim appears to have originated with a 2011 YouTube video titled "Peter Dinklage on Seinfeld as Wake-up Guy James." In this episode, Elaine asks James — a man at the other end of a wake-up call — on a date, based solely on his voice.

Perhaps fittingly, this claim appears to be based solely on TV viewers hearing that character's voice and thinking it sounded like Dinklage's. As Jerry exclaimed to Elaine in the next scene, "You're going by sound? What are we, whales?"

While the James character is quite visibly played by Brian McNamara and credited as such on IMDb (the movie and film database), the assertion generally holds that a sexier voice — that of an uncredited Dinklage — was required for the initial voice-only scene. 

This claim was bolstered, for a time, by the fact that someone once added the role of "James' Telephone Voice" to Dinklage's IMDb page, as captured in a 2014 archive. That credit has since been removed, adding doubt to the claim. 

Snopes reached out to representatives of Dinklage for comment, but did not receive a response. Snopes also, however, reached out to a representative for Brian McNamara. "Brian has heard this rumor before," the representative told us by email, "but in fact it is Brian's voice." 

Because the claim is based on a decade-old YouTube video and out-of-date and incorrect information posted to IMDb, and because McNamara's representative told us the voice belongs to him, the claim is "False." 

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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