There was nothing like “Seinfeld” before it landed in 1989 and (eventually) become a comedy phenomenon, and frankly, there have been few shows quite like it since. The series had a magical alchemy of inspired writing, perfectly attuned performances, and a dedication to its own skewed take on the four-friends-living-in-New-York formula. The result was characters that remain memorable to this day, and dialogue that is part of the pop culture lexicon. Among the latter is “No soup for you!”
The Soup Nazi aka Yev Kassem (and played to Emmy nominated glory by Larry Thomas) is one of the most famous one-off characters to ever emerge on “Seinfeld,” confounding Jerry and his friends with his rigid rules for serving his treasured soup. And while The Soup Nazi was a sobriquet for his demeanor, in an unused storyline, the writers considered making him an actual Nazi.
“We joked a whole bunch about an end scene that would take place in the jungles of Brazil, à la ‘The Boys From Brazil,’ where the Soup Nazi [Larry Thomas] would return to the other Nazis — the actual former Nazi war criminals — with his soup recipes,” David Mandel told EW. “It was sort of half-serious, half ‘Should we do this?,’ half ‘We’re never going to do it.’ But it was much discussed. Going down a river and seeing lots of young boys with blue eyes from experimentation with the soups — it was a full coming together of soup and Nazi. Probably just as well that we didn’t do that one.”
An intriguing notion, but I concur that going the extra mile and turning Yev Kassem into an actual Nazi might’ve overcooked the joke.
However, there are some ideas that those involved wished they could’ve seen to fruition, and one of them is a pretty great concept that would’ve seen Jerry and the gang go to Mexico, but everything would’ve been weirdly familiar.
“There was one story that we never got to for any particular reason, but I always loved it,” Mandel shared. “Had there been another season, I certainly would have tried to write this, because it was near and dear to my heart. The idea was that Jerry and the gang go on a vacation somewhere — say, Mexico — and they would check into their hotel rooms, and Jerry would end up with a hotel room right across from Kramer’s hotel room, so the hotel-room dynamic would have been the same as the apartments. The entire episode would have taken place in Mexico but everything would have been kind of the same—there would have been a Mexican diner that they sat in. I just thought the idea of taking the building blocks of ‘Seinfeld’ — the apartments across the hall and the coffee shop — and transporting that to Mexico would be really fun. When Jerry decided to end the show, and I realized there weren’t going to be enough episodes, I was like, ‘Oh God, I wish there was one more season.’”
That’s a very interesting and kinda clever approach. The only time the Seinfeld gang all traveled somewhere was in season nine’s “The Betrayal,” which is set in India, and is told backwards. The result wasn’t that great, and the Mexico idea seems a lot more streamlined, and stays true to the show’s fundament. Ah, what could’ve been….