The nine-season run of “Seinfeld” was replete with classic moments, but one that has long stood out to NHL fans involved David Puddy, the beefy, laconic, occasional boyfriend of Elaine Benes. A fan of the Devils, Puddy surprised — and mortified — Elaine and Jerry by putting on green-and-red face paint before they went to see New Jersey take on the Rangers in a playoff game.
Flash-forward 23 years from that 1995 episode and a certain someone was at it again. This time, the playoff opponent was the Lightning (hey, blame the Rangers for not even making the postseason), but if the question was, “Is Puddy here in full face paint?” the answer was, “Yeah, that’s right.”
Of course, that was actually Patrick Warburton, the 53-year-old actor who played Puddy and, as a New Jersey native, is a legitimate fan of the Devils. He may have initially gone unnoticed, or at least unrecognized, but that quickly changed, as a video posted by the team showed.
Pud … er, Warburton even had the red “D” on his chest, which his character used as a compromise with Elaine (a.k.a. actress Julia Louis Dreyfus), who forbade him from ever face-painting again. Unfortunately, all of his vaunted support for the team was not enough Wednesday, as the Devils fell to the Lightning, 3-1, allowing Tampa Bay to take a 3-1 lead in the playoff series.
The appreciation is mutual between the Devils and Warburton, as players from the team have donned shirts emblazoned with his character’s painted visage. When Scott Wedgewood played goalie for New Jersey during the 2015-16 season, he had a similar image on his mask.
“This is always a lot of fun to be here. I’ve been a Devils fan since they adopted me,” Warburton told NHL.com. “The Devils are my team and it is always great to be back here.”
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