Although it is widely believed that Nancy is an alter ego of the comedian Jerry Seinfeld, this may just be a canny marketing ploy. At least one commentator has suggested that Barry Marder - a longtime Seinfeld collaborator and friend, and the Executive Producer of the ABC pilot based on the letters - is the real source. At any rate, Seinfeld claims to have "discovered" the material and provides an introduction for each of the books.
Nancy specializes in letters to unsuspecting celebrities and organisations; these missives typically consist of off-the-wall queries and much of the entertainment derives from the replies as individuals and institutions endeavour to respond politely to the author's often quirky requests and outlandish proposals.
In 2002, a number of news sources reported that Ted L. Nancy - or rather Jerry Seinfeld, who was assumed to be behind the prank - incurred the wrath of Hunter S. Thompson by embroiling the gonzo Godfather in one such correspondence. Thompson allegedly accused Seinfeld of pitching the letters as a show idea to ABC and objected to having his name associated with what he regarded as a cheap stunt. However, perhaps in keeping with the playful spirit of forgery and pranksterism surrounding the Nancy letters, the authenticity of Thompson's response has also been brought into question.