The Soup Nazi
"The Soup Nazi" Seinfeld episode Episode no. Season 7
Directed by Andy Ackerman Written by Spike Feresten Production code 706 Original air date November 2, 1995 Guest stars Season 7 episodes September 1995 – May 1996
- "The Engagement"
- "The Postponement"
- "The Maestro"
- "The Wink"
- "The Hot Tub"
- "The Soup Nazi"
- "The Secret Code"
- "The Pool Guy"
- "The Sponge"
- "The Gum"
- "The Rye"
- "The Caddy"
- "The Seven"
- "The Cadillac, Part 1"
- "The Cadillac, Part 2"
- "The Shower Head"
- "The Doll"
- "The Friar's Club"
- "The Wig Master"
- "The Calzone"
- "The Bottle Deposit, Part 1"
- "The Bottle Deposit, Part 2"
- "The Wait Out"
- "The Invitations"
List of Seinfeld episodes
The Soup Nazi is also the nickname of the titular character played by Larry Thomas. The term "Nazi" is used as an exaggeration of the excessively strict regimentation he constantly demands of his patrons.
Jerry, George and Elaine go out to a new soup stand Kramer has been raving about; its owner is referred to as the "Soup Nazi" due to his temperament and insistence on a strict manner of behavior while ordering. Jerry explains the procedure for ordering which George accepts, but Elaine rejects. En route, Elaine notices a sidewalk furniture dealer with an armoire for sale and decides to stop and buy it. However, when she returns to her building with it, the building superintendent tells her there is no moving allowed on Sundays.
When Jerry and George get to the soup stand, George follows the procedure but notices that he did not get the free bread with his soup order. Jerry tells him to let it go, but George asks for some and is told he will have to pay $2 for it. When George objects, claiming that everybody in front of him got free bread, he is told that the price for bread is now $3. When George continues to protest, he quickly has his money returned and his soup is brusquely taken back, with the catchphrase "No soup for you!"
Over the past weeks, Jerry has been annoying George and Elaine with his open affection and baby talk (calling each other "Schmoopie") with his new girlfriend Sheila (Alexandra Wentworth). During another visit to the soup stand, when Sheila will not stop kissing Jerry in the line of customers, the Soup Nazi orders her out of the line, and Jerry is forced to pretend he does not know her. When George finds out, he admits his annoyance with their "baby talk" romantic behavior to Jerry. Jerry later tells Sheila he was just joking at the soup stand and makes up with her. When George finds out, he begins to act similarly with Susan to make a point. Susan misinterprets George's intentions and thinks that George is finally enjoying showing his feelings in public, continuing to act that way after Jerry again breaks up with Sheila.
Elaine, still awaiting the chance to move her new armoire upstairs, asks Kramer to guard the piece of furniture on the street overnight. When he arrives, she goes to the soup stand to get him soup. While she is gone, some "street toughs" intimidate Kramer and steal the armoire. At the soup stand, Elaine ignores everyone's prior advice and annoys the Soup Nazi with her behavior. He refuses her soup and bans her from coming to his restaurant for one year. She returns to her building to find Kramer without the armoire.
Later, Kramer, who has become friends with the Soup Nazi, tells him the story of the stolen armoire in passing. The Soup Nazi offers Kramer an antique armoire he has in storage in his basement. Kramer gives the armoire to Elaine as a replacement for her stolen one. Elaine goes to thank the Soup Nazi for the armoire, but the Soup Nazi angrily declares that he never would have given it to Kramer if he knew it was for her—instead, he would have smashed it to pieces with a hatchet. Offended, Elaine returns home, where she and Jerry subsequently discover the Soup Nazi's secret soup recipes, which have been left behind in a drawer of the old armoire. She returns to his shop, recipes in hand and declares that she is going to destroy him and his business by exposing the recipes, gleefully revealing this in an ironically similar way he brushed her off earlier. Feeling ruined, the Soup Nazi decides to close the business and move to Argentina and starts giving away his remaining soup, which Newman and Jerry hurriedly try to take advantage of.
"The Soup Nazi" was Spike Feresten's first credited Seinfeld episode as a writer. The idea for the episode arose when Feresten told Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David about New York soup vendor Al Yeganeh, who was nicknamed "The Soup Nazi." Seinfeld and David laughed and said, "That's a show. Do that as your first show." Feresten's inspiration for the armoire subplot was a New York apartment building in which he had lived, which forbade moving furniture on certain days. The armoire thieves were written as homosexual because Larry David decided that "only gay guys would steal an armoire." The first cast table reading for "The Soup Nazi" was held on September 28, 1995, and it was filmed before a studio audience on October 3. In the episode, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) imitates Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. This was done at Jerry Seinfeld's suggestion, even though Louis-Dreyfus had never seen the film.
On TV.com, users rated this the best episode of Seinfeld.
The Soup Nazi was portrayed by Larry Thomas, who was nominated for a 1996 Emmy for the role. Thomas, who did not realize that the character was based on a real person, received the inspiration for his portrayal from watching Lawrence of Arabia and studying Omar Sharif's accent.
A stone-faced immigrant chef with a thick Stalin-esque moustache, he is renowned throughout Manhattan for his soups. He demands that all customers in his restaurant meticulously follow his strict queuing, ordering, and payment policies. Failure to adhere to his demands brings the stern admonition ("No soup for you!") whereupon the customer is refunded and denied his or her order. He will then yell at the top of his lungs to the next person in line, "Next!" Elaine parodies this when she reveals that she has his recipes. She says to him, "You're through, Soup Nazi. Pack it up. No more soup for you. NEXT!"
The Soup Nazi has a cameo in the Seinfeld series finale, in which his name is revealed to be Yev Kassem. He also reacts as he always does when Elaine insults his soup at the court.
The character was inspired by Al Yeganeh, a New York City soup vendor who runs Soup Kitchen International in midtown Manhattan at 259A West 55th Street, near 8th Avenue, and The Original Soup Man chain of restaurants throughout the United States.
According to an Associated Press article published April 29, 2005, Yeganeh planned to open a chain of soup stores called The Original Soup Man. The first franchise opened in Princeton, New Jersey, on October 24, 2005. His company, Soup Kitchen International, plans to open 1,000 outlets nationwide. Soup Kitchen International's original West 55th Street location was closed for many years but re-opened July 20, 2010. Al was not at the location on opening day.
Before the episode was written, much of the cast of Seinfeld (including Wayne Knight) had been to Soup Kitchen International. After "The Soup Nazi" had aired, Seinfeld and several writers went to Yeganeh's soup stand for lunch. Upon recognizing Seinfeld, Yeganeh launched into a profanity-laced rant about how "The Soup Nazi" episode had "ruined his life," and he demanded an apology. Seinfeld gave what show writer Spike Feresten described as "the most sarcastic, insincere apology" he'd ever heard. Yeganeh bellowed "No soup for you!" and ejected Seinfeld and his friends from the restaurant.
According to Nora Ephron's DVD commentary, the first pop culture reference to Yeganeh (though not by name) seems to have come years before the Seinfeld episode, in the 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle. In the film, a magazine writer discusses writing a story: "This man sells the greatest soup you have ever eaten, and he is the meanest man in America. I feel very strongly about this, Becky; it's not just about the soup."
- Like Jackie Chiles, the Soup Nazi has appeared in commercials after the end of the series. In an advertisement by the Center for Consumer Freedom, he denies food to people he considers to be too fat.
- Larry Thomas appeared as himself in the Scrubs episode "My Self-Examination." He denies he is the Soup Nazi when asked by J.D. (Zach Braff), who then tricks him into saying the catchphrase "No soup for you!" by asking him "What is [the catchphrase] again? It's like, 'You're out of luck in the soup department...'"
- The Soup Nazi has been referred to in other television shows as well. In For British Eyes Only, a third season episode of Arrested Development, George Bluth, Sr. reveals he mistook Saddam Hussein for "the guy who plays the Soup Nazi," and for that reason was blamed for "light treason." Larry Thomas went on to guest star on the show as a Saddam Hussein impersonator.
- "No Soup for You!!" was a category on Jeopardy!'s November 30, 2004 episode, which had Seinfeld-themed category names for the Jeopardy! round. (In the same episode Ken Jennings was finally defeated.)
- In August 2009, Albert Gonzalez was convicted for robbery, being the most prolific hacker of credit cards (130 million). He operated on the Internet using the handle: "Soupnazi."
- Larry Thomas has used the character to promote soup kitchens for the homeless.
- Rapper Wale made a song called The Soup referencing the phrase "No soup for you!"
The "street toughs" in this episode are Bob and Ray. Ray will be renamed Cedric in "The Sponge" and "The Puerto Rican Day."
- ^ a b c d e "Seinfeld - Season 7" DVD bonus material, in which during the episode's "Inside Look" featurette, Feresten recounts this story.
- ^ a b "Seinfeld - Season 7" DVD bonus material, "Notes About Nothing" subtitles
- ^ "Seinfeld - Season 7" DVD bonus material, in which during the episode's "Inside Look" featurette, Louis-Dreyfus recounts this story.
- ^ See "Awards for Seinfeld." Internet Movie Database.
- ^ Confessions of a Soup Nazi
- ^ See a profile of Yeganeh in "The Soup Man of 55th Street." New York Cookbook. ed. Molly O'Neill. Workman Publishing, 1992. pp. 70-71. ISBN 1-56305-337-3; See one of his recipes on p. 78. of the same work.
- ^ See the official website at The Original Soup Man.
- ^ LAtimes.com
- ^ Ktvb
- The Soup Nazi at the Internet Movie Database
- Soup Nazi Fan Site
- Seinfeld - Official Site
- Larry Thomas, Seinfeld actor, audio interview at MrMedia.com
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