In 1995, "Seinfeld" aired the sixth episode of its seventh season, titled "The Soup Nazi." At first, writer Spike Feresten thought it was a dud, based on a negative review from the only existing online "Seinfeld" fan forum.
“There was one entry and it said, ‘worst episode ever.’ All caps. That's all it said,” Feresten says. But the next day, everything changed.
“Jerry [Seinfeld] walked in and he goes, ‘boy, quite an episode last night,’” Feresten recalls. “He goes, ‘I don't usually get calls at this point, but I got a ton of calls from people saying how great this was.”
Larry Thomas memorably portrayed the title character and despite only six minutes of screen time, managed to nab an Emmy nomination.
“I got the Middle Eastern dialect from Omar Sharif [from Lawrence of Arabia],” Larry Thomas recalls of his audition.
During the taping, Thomas had a case of nerves, which was a blessing in disguise. “That actually worked to my favor,” he says, explaining that his stiff performance added to the character’s unyielding presence. And his first “no soup for you?” “Huge laughs,” he says.