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Seinfeld drops into Duluth area to film some ice fishing

DULUTH , Minn. - Rick and Annette Olson's 6-by-12-foot ice house was transformed into celebrity digs on Wednesday when Jerry Seinfeld came to town to film a trailer for an upcoming television program.

Seinfeld and the cast and crew -- about 50 in all, according to Annette Olson -- spent about 12 hours in Canosia Township, creating a video with a "Grumpy Old Men" vibe. The production crew used the Olson's shack as a warming spot and used neighbor Chuck Krysiak's home for meals and as a space to set up laptops.

Olson managed to get a photograph of herself with the actor/comedian, deciding that since it was her ice house, she could just walk right into it -- although she wasn't able to identify Seinfeld.

"I honest to God do not watch TV," she said. "I didn't know for sure that was him. I can't tell you what's on TV, but I can tell you how to smoke fish."

Krysiak mingled among the crew a bit, and went to the lake a few times to check out the action.

"It was very busy," he said. "They brought in all their production, their lights, their sound. They brought in an RV. They were working all day long. I tried to stay out of their way."

Krysiak said he got to chat a bit with Seinfeld.

"It was nice," he said. "Just like talking to anybody else."

The shoot was hush-hush: The Olsons and Krysiak were asked for secrecy until the departure of the crew, who wanted pristine, undisturbed snow for the shot, and no gawkers, Annette Olson said.

"We couldn't tell anyone," she said. "That was hard for me. My mouth never stops."

They were approached about the use of their fish house a few days earlier, but actual confirmation didn't come until late Tuesday afternoon. Rick Olson went out in the dark to search for the homemade shack -- which is decorated with deer antlers and beer signs -- and drag it across the lake to a crew's requested location.

Annette Olson, who normally provides home care services, says she and her husband received $200 for the use of the space.

Riki McManus of the Upper Midwest Film Office confirmed that Seinfeld was in town, and said the bit will not be used in a feature film.

An employee at the Beverly Hills office of Seinfeld's agent said the actor's only current projects are touring and an upcoming reality program slated for NBC, "The Marriage Ref," which is scheduled to air in March.

Christa Lawler is a reporter at the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.