1. Newman (Wayne Knight)
Jerry’s nemesis and Kramer’s frequent partner in crime was also the show’s most frequent guest star, and despite the animosity between him and Jerry, Newman often seemed like a fifth member of the core group. The fastidious postal worker was always trying to cook up new get-rich-quick schemes (in league with Kramer), new ways to torment Jerry and new strategies to seduce Elaine. Generally, none of them worked, but his diabolical machinations were nonetheless fascinating.
2. Frank & Estelle Costanza (Jerry Stiller & Estelle Harris)
After only a few minutes onscreen, George’s parents left no doubt about where his neurotic, rage-filled personality came from; loudmouthed Frank was constantly belittling his son, while passive-aggressive Estelle made George feel bad while appearing to have his best interests at heart. Over time, they separated and reunited, but were equally miserable both together and apart. They were the bane of George’s existence, and often of Jerry’s and Elaine’s as well, although for some reason the Costanzas always had a soft spot for Kramer.
3. J. Peterman (John O’Hurley)
One of Elaine’s many eccentric bosses over the years, J. Peterman was the head of his eponymous catalog company, for which Elaine wrote esoteric descriptions of extravagant apparel. Peterman was a dedicated adventurer who lived many of the absurd stories in his catalog, and was not reluctant to expound at great length about his various exploits. Actor John O’Hurley became so closely associated with his portrayal that in 2001 he became a major investor in the actual J. Peterman Company, on whose founder the character was based.
4. David Puddy (Patrick Warburton)
Of Elaine’s dozens of boyfriends over the course of the show, the only one who lasted longer than a handful of episodes was the lunkheaded David Puddy, a rather simple-minded brute whose blue-collar lifestyle and demeanor was always in contrast to Elaine’s more upscale tastes. Although Elaine stayed with Puddy longer than any other man she dated, he never seemed all that enthused about being her boyfriend, and they broke up and got back together numerous times.
5. Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg)
George’s somewhat randomly chosen fiancée seemed like a bit of a cipher at first, but over the course of their ill-advised union, she emerged as a more distinctive character, with her refusal to leave George no matter how poorly he behaved, her wealthy parents who disapproved of George, and her efforts to worm her way into the lives of George’s friends. George proved to be so detrimental to Susan that not only did he inadvertently get her fired, but he was also eventually responsible for her death by insisting on cheap envelopes for their wedding invitations, which had toxic glue that killed Susan.
6. The Soup Nazi (Larry Thomas)
The Soup Nazi’s single appearance (not counting his brief scene in the show’s finale) was enough to launch him into pop-culture stardom, thanks to his “No soup for you!” catchphrase and memorably harsh demeanor while dishing out the best soup in New York City to his customers. The gang was willing to endure any and all humiliations to taste some of that amazing soup, and actor Larry Thomas has made a whole career out of his classic guest-starring role.
7. Uncle Leo (Len Lesser)
Although Jerry’s parents were much less outlandish than George’s, he compensated a little in the family department thanks to his oddball Uncle Leo, who always popped up at the most inopportune moments, insisting Jerry say hello to him and extolling the accomplishments of his Parks Department employee son Jeffrey, who was never seen on the show. His unjustified cries of anti-Semitism and obsessive emphasis on greetings never failed to drive Jerry nuts.
8. Mickey Abbott (Danny Woodburn)
Yet another of Kramer’s shady associates, Mickey was a little person and fellow actor who often went on auditions with Kramer. He was quick to anger but very loyal to Kramer—not that it prevented him from attacking Kramer when he felt his manhood was threatened. Although Mickey had a decent career as a stand-in for child actors and a mock patient for medical students, he nearly threw it all away by wearing lifts in his shoes, which caused the little people community to shun him.
9. Kenny Bania (Steve Hytner)
Jerry never seemed to work with any decent comedians, but Bania was the worst of them all, with hacky jokes that somehow always seemed to revolve around milk, full of lame, brainless punchlines (which appealed to George). Worse, Bania idolized Jerry and always wanted to spend time with him, while Jerry couldn’t get rid of Bania fast enough. Unfortunately, Bania was very good at sticking around and showing up when he was least welcome, which was pretty much any time at all.
10. Tim Whatley (Bryan Cranston)
Jerry’s dentist was a bit of a weasel, although for some reason he was always socializing with Jerry and his friends, even briefly dating Elaine. Whatley was noted for being a “re-gifter” (reusing gifts from others), converting to Judaism for the sake of the jokes, giving charitable donations as presents, and generally seeming a little shady, yet for some reason he remained well-liked and was able to keep Jerry and Elaine as dental patients.