The Real Soup Nazi

Now Reading:  
The Real Soup Nazi

The character of the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld was inspired by a real-life person: Ali "Al" Yeganeh, who was born in Iran to Armenian parents.

“The Soup Nazi” is considered one of the best episodes of Seinfeld, ever since the first episode with the character aired in 1995. The episode sees a soup owner, whose nickname is "Soup Nazi" because of merciless personality and overly demanding behavior, get into a conflict with several of the characters on the show. “The Soup Nazi” is portrayed by Larry Thomas who comes from a Russian and Romanian background. The actor won an Emmy for his performance.

Ali "Al" Yeganeh ran Soup Kitchen International in New York City, eventually turning it into the chain, The Original Soupman. In a 1989 profile of him in The New Yorker, he was “described as an Armenian with a bit of Spanish accent… despite having Iranian origin.” Ali Yeganeh has stated on numerous occasions that he is very offended by the "Soup Nazi" moniker.

See a popular scene from the episode below.