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Newman's Hilarious Dance Scene On Seinfeld Was Completely Improvised

Every long-running TV series comes with its own iconic moments. The NBC hit show "Seinfeld" is no exception; just hearing the words "Yada yada yada," "Chocolate Babka," and "Gold, Jerry, gold," will automatically transport dedicated viewers straight to the exact episode each represents. But one of the most well-known "Seinfeld" phrases, "No soup for you!" was declared in Season 7, Episode 6, ("The Soup Nazi"). This episode not only includes that famous line of dialogue, but also a hilariously memorable moment from Newman (Wayne Knight), when he gets excited after receiving his order of Jambalaya. According to creator/star Jerry Seinfeld, the moment was improvised on the spot by Knight.

This moment stems from a scene that takes place at the takeout counter of the Soup Nazi (Larry Thomas), a master at making New York's very best, you guessed it, soup. Knowing that an improper ordering technique can get you permanently banned from the establishment, Newman carefully asks for is his favorite choice, Jambalaya. After successfully receiving the order, he scampers outside to quickly open the bag and get a long sniff of the goods inside. Newman takes a deep inhale and then, like a child, says "Jambalaya" and dances off down the street. 

When Seinfeld participated in a 2014 Reddit AMA he explained, "That moment, which I remember crystal clearly, is the enormous talent of an actor like Wayne Knight. And the script said 'Newman looks in the bag, and says Jambalaya' but the delivery and the dance was all his."

The dance was part of the perfect Seinfeld episode

This crunchy crouton of comedy, provided by Knight, is merely one taste in the hot steaming bowl of goodness that is the Soup Nazi episode. Depicting a soup establishment that has grown so popular customers must follow the exact rules of ordering or risk a lifetime of banishment, the episode brought the occasional intensity of the Manhattan lunch rush to a new level. 

Of course, Kramer (Michael Richards) seems to be the only customer the Soup Nazi likes, so much so that the store owner offers him his old armoire. That same piece of furniture ends up containing the secret recipes of each soup, allowing Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who has been banned from the take-out restaurant, to ruin the Soup Nazi's business.

Fans got to see Newman one additional time in the Soup Nazi episode. As word quickly spread that the Soup Nazi was closing his doors and giving out his remaining soup for free, Knight's character runs towards the establishment holding a giant pot to collect whatever goods he can. Although the moment is very funny, that earlier improvised shimmy is what has become iconic. In fact, Newman's little dance down the street has become so well remembered that it has been developed into its own meme. As for the Soup Nazi, himself, he wasn't seen again until the series finale, when he showed up in court to testify against Jerry and friends as they were all sentenced to prison.