Unfrosted: Is Rick Ludwin Based on a Real Post Employee?

Image Credit: John P. Johnson / Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Unfrosted‘ tells the story of the rivalry between Kellogg’s and Post, the cereal-making companies that had been in cutthroat competition, trying to outdo each other in the market. The story specifically focuses on the creation of Pop-Tarts, which changed everything for Kellogg’s and the competition in the market. Around the same time, Post had also been trying to come up with their own version of Pop Tart to challenge Kellogg’s supremacy in the market.

In the film, which abandons the road to the realistic version of events and presents the story from its own funky lens, Kellogg’s races against time as Post prepares to release its own product, the pressure of which falls on the employees. Rick Ludwin, Marjorie Post’s right-hand man, finds it upon himself to ensure their product’s success. Interestingly, he is not based on a real person.

Rick Ludwin Pays Tribute to the Man Who Saved Seinfeld

In ‘Unfrosted,’ Jerry Seinfeld presents his own version of the origin of Pop Tarts, fictionalizing and exaggerating the events to the extent that generates tons of laughs from the audience. While a lot of characters in the film are derived from real life, even though they are also heavily fictionalized, a lot of other characters have been created from scratch to serve the plot. Rick Ludwin is one of them.

Image Credits: John P. Johnson / Netflix

The real Rick Ludwin had nothing to do with Post or its rivalry with Kellogg’s. In reality, he was a TV executive who, at one point, served as the vice president of NBC. He is credited with a lot of things he accomplished in his illustrious career, but what he is most remembered for is backing Jerry Seinfeld’s now-popular comedy series when it could have easily been scrapped by the network. Reportedly, in its early days, when ‘Seinfeld’ was being developed, there were some executives who didn’t see a potential in the series. The show would probably have been canceled if it hadn’t been for Rick Ludwin.

Ludwin is said to have gone out on a limb to save the show because he believed it could be a really great show. While people see the show’s success on the screen, rarely does anyone stop to consider the work that goes into it behind the scenes, and it is acknowledged by people who were behind the scenes on ‘Seinfeld’ how much Ludwin fighting for it meant for the show.

Considering that ‘Seinfeld’ turned Jerry Seinfeld into a household name, it makes sense that the comedian would want to pay tribute to the man who championed the show and changed his life. With ‘Unfrosted’ being his directorial debut, Seinfeld found a way to pay his respects to the TV executive and named an important character in the film after him. While it is a tribute, the Ludwin in the movie, played by Max Greenfield, only borrows the real Ludwin’s name. Greenfield’s character is entirely original and was created with the people who work at companies like Post and Kellogg’s in mind and the pressure they are often under, especially if they are higher up the hierarchy. ‘Unfrosted’ presents all that but with a lot of laughs.

Read More: Is Donna Stankowski Based on an Actual Kellogg’s Scientist?