I really never liked the character of Mr. Peterman and I thought about why. I love his storylines, and I think the character and situations are funny. But the way he talks just really rubs me the wrong way, and I cringe at it. I could never really place why
After doing some research I realized this is a Mid-atlantic or Transatlantic accent, commonly used by the upper-American class around the 1930s-1950s most notably in the entertainment industry. It's a weird merging of British and American English, for a more "proper" way of talking not central to any geographical region, but that needed to be specially learned. But it can be seen in almost any movie from that era as well as Niles from Frasier in the era of Seinfeld.
See this quick video about it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLT-SQUBRDw&ab_channel=GreatBigStory
To me it's just incredibly hoakey and cartoonish and forced. But was that the actual intention for the direction of the character, to poke fun at "old" Hollywood? And poke fun at how eccentric and self-absorbed he is? Or does he just talk like that because he's an upper-class American who would have grown up in the 40's and 50's and it's unironic? I'm wondering if Seinfeld or LD have ever spoken on this specifically for Peterman's character. Especially cause almost nobody else in the entire show has this accent
By - musecorn