If there’s a sitcom character that has stood the test of time, it’s Seinfeld’s ‘Soup Nazi’. Played by Larry Thomas, this stern soup vendor left an unforgettable mark on audiences with his rigid rules and the unforgettable line: “No soup for you!”
His single-episode appearance didn’t just serve up laughs but reportedly ladled out the highest-earning role in Thomas’s career.
Introduced in the 6th season of Seinfeld, the ‘Soup Nazi’ added a unique flavor to the show’s signature blend of uncanny quirks and wacky humor. Thomas earned just over $2,000 for his performance, but the character’s popularity has proved to be a gift that keeps on giving.
In conversation with Fox News, Thomas revealed, “I get residuals for everything that I do, but the Soup Nazi has made me more money than anything else.” The most recent residual check alone was for around $900, highlighting the enduring popularity of the character.
Beyond residuals, the ‘Soup Nazi’ legacy has offered Thomas an unconventional revenue stream. According to People, Thomas is now earning six figures annually through Cameo, a platform where fans can pay for personalized video messages from their favorite celebrities. Thomas often dips back into his Soup Nazi persona to deliver delightful messages to fans, maintaining the character’s stern yet endearing demeanor. Currently you can get a personalized message from him for $150.
Since his iconic Seinfeld appearance, Larry Thomas went on to have a prolific career as a character actor on both the big and small screen. He appeared in numerous other sitcoms over the years including Scrubs, Arrested Development, and Hot Properties. Thomas also acted in films like Postal and 108 Stitches. He often played eccentric, over-the-top roles like lawyers, doctors, and foreign dictators. Though the Soup Nazi remains his most memorable character, Thomas worked steadily in Hollywood for over two decades after.
The reach of the Soup Nazi has extended beyond the sitcom and even personal fan messages. The character and its memorable catchphrase have been integrated into slot machines in Las Vegas, collectible cards, and even a touring food truck in 2011.
Thomas, proud of the role that has significantly shaped his career, regularly makes appearances at autograph signings and fan conventions. He continues to thrill fans by performing the Soup Nazi’s trademark line.
Despite the initial modest pay, Thomas’s Soup Nazi role is undoubtedly one of his most profitable gigs, not just because of the residuals but also due to the earning opportunities it opened up, such as Cameo. The Soup Nazi serves as a testament to Seinfeld’s enduring power to create memorable characters that seep into the fabric of popular culture. For Thomas, it’s clear: there’s plenty of “Soup for him!”