Soup Nazis And Lowtalkers: 6 Side Seinfeld Characters

Friday, January 27 by Joe Terzio

soup nazi from seinfeld.jpg

When you hear "The Soup Nazi" or "He's a lowtalker," one thing should come to mind: "Seinfeld". The "show about nothing" was almost canceled before it could ever take off, but ended up turning into a postmodern ratings juggernaut that ended on its own terms before it became old and stale. The many iconic catch phrases, the great episodes that can be recited by memory, the moments of sheer comedic genius and all the wacky plots and characters are what "Seinfeld" will always be remembered for. The quartet of Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George were the core stars of the show, but it was often these wonderfully wacky peripheral side characters that had some of the most hilarious and memorable moments.

Newman.

Hellooo Newman! The portly postman was a friend of Kramer, but he despised Jerry for reasons that were never fully explained. He was Jerry's nemesis, his Lex Luthor to Jerry's Superman, as Jerry once put it. Newman delighted in annoying Jerry whenever possible. His get-rich-quick schemes with Kramer were also highlights (think rickshaws and bottle recycling). Newman had an unrequited love for Elaine that, thankfully, never came to fruition. Oh, the horror.

J. Peterman.

Elaine had several jobs during her stint on "Seinfeld", but the most unforgettable one was working as the assistant to the fictional J. Peterman for the real J. Peterman catalog. Things like that were part of the brilliance of "Seinfeld". Much to the annoyance of Elaine, Peterman would give long-winded romantic descriptions of the clothing found while he traveled the world. John Peterman as an arrogant dandy with a staccato-voiced delivery, and he played it straight, which made the character unintentionally hilarious. In a twist of irony, O'Hurley later became business partners with the real J. Peterman.

Uncle Leo.

A couple of things about Jerry's Uncle Leo: he was old, loud, obnoxious, cheap, insecure, and he thought that if someone overcooked his burger, he was an anti-Semite. Jerry tried to avoid Uncle Leo like the plague, but always seemed to run into him at the most unwanted times. Leo would shout out, "Jerry, hello!" and proceed to berate Jerry for not visiting him enough. Uncle Leo could be any of those crazy uncles that every family seems to have, and that's a part of what made the character so fun.

David Puddy.

A dimwitted, burly man's man, Puddy was Elaine's most-dated boyfriend. He constantly stared, squinted, and would often use "Yeah, that's right" to make a point. In other words, he was hilarious. A face-painting New Jersey Devils fan (“Gotta support the team.”), he worked as a mechanic, yet was a germaphobe. Puddy was all about contradictions. Some of the funniest moments in the series were when Elaine and Puddy broke up over the smallest things only to invariably get back together soon thereafter.

Frank Costanza.

The creator of Festivus, George's father Frank had some of the most laugh-out-loud moments on the show. Who can forget Frank in the Manssiere? Quick to anger and eccentric to say the least, the best moments were when George would get into screaming matches with his wife, Estelle, or when he berated poor George. It's no wonder that George ended up so dysfunctional and neurotic with parents like Frank and Estelle.

George Steinbrenner.

Through dumb luck, George somehow got a job with the New York Yankees management and often interacted with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Of course, it wasn't the real Steinbrenner. All the audience ever saw was the actor's back, who wore a wig to look like Steinbrenner. The voice was supplied by “Seinfeld” creator Larry David. The portrayal was a caricature of the highest form. The “Seinfeld” Steinbrenner talked nonstop and waved his arms around wildly while sharing random stream-of-consciousness thoughts. “Seinfeld” Steinbrenner was perhaps the most creative character ever thought up by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David: a tribute to their genius.