Despite being an on-and-off Seinfeld follower, one of the few things that stuck is one of the show’s most iconic characters, the Soup Nazi. And of course, how thirsty the pretzels made everyone.
Now, all those who have been through and thorough with Seinfeld’s many trivia pages would be aware that the character of the Soup Nazi, which was played by Larry Thomas, was actually inspired by an actual person (who may be a tad moody but is definitely not “Nazi”, just putting it out there).
Al Yeganeh, the NYC-based restaurant owner who was the inspiration behind the booming “No soup for you” catchphrase, operated an eatery called Soup Kitchen International. And although, the store shut down in 2004, Yeganeh went ahead and started ‘The Original Soup Man’ label, which includes packaged soups and franchises.
“The phenomenon started back in 1984. Way before the classic punch line on Seinfeld, there were long soup lines outside of Al’s legendary NYC store. This was soup worth waiting for, even in sub-zero winters. The innovative recipes, miraculously fresh ingredients and spices from Al‘s secret sources showed jaded New Yorker’s a whole new side of soup”, reads the Soup Man website.
Recently, Spike Feresten, who was one of the writers on the show Seinfeld, was on air at The Late Show. Feresten is also the brains behind the much-loved Soup Nazi on the show. On the episode with comedian Stephen Colbert, Feresten talked about the time he took Jerry Seinfeld along to Soup Kitchen International.
The writer recalls that Yeganeh wasn’t exactly happy to see the man who was the reason behind his famously infamous character on television. And as is tradition, Seinfeld was at the receiving end of Yeganeh’s cusses and was refuse soup. Watch the video below to know more about Jerry Seinfeld’s encounter with Al Yeganeh.
So you see, the “Soup Nazi” is the real deal – on and off air.
Feature Image: Wired