Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

vulture lists

All of Kramer’s Jobs and Schemes on Seinfeld

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of Seinfeld’s final episode. Though the characters famously worked under a “no changing” policy, one thing often changed throughout the series’ nine seasons: Kramer’s career goals. While the steady source of his rent and diner money was a mystery (he remained on strike from his job at H&H Bagels for virtually the show’s entirety), he had myriad short-term gigs and get-rich-quick schemes, some of which even paid off; he did make $18,000 betting on a horse race and, most notably, was able to retire (from what?) when his Coffee Table Book of Coffee Tables got optioned for a movie. Below, we take a look at Kramer’s entire work history, from miniscule odd jobs to outlandish schemes.

Chief executive officer. (Founded the think tank Kramerica Industries.)

Culinary entrepreneur. (Conceptualized a chain of make-your-own-pizza parlors and a restaurant that only serves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches called “P B and Js.”)

Inventor. (Conceived the idea for tie dispensers in restaurants to replace patrons’ soiled ones.)

Movie actor. (Got one line in a Woody Allen movie.)

Sitcom actor. (Guest-starred on hit series Murphy Brown.)

Expert gambler. (Gainfully anticipated winning outcomes in basketball, horse races, and flight arrival times.)

Perfumer. (Developed a beach-scented cologne.)

Portrait model. (Posed for a painting that sold for $5,000 to a couple who described him as “an innocent orphan in the postmodern world.”)

Screenwriter. (Developed a movie treatment titled The Keys.)

Scalper. (Flipped an opera ticket for a $400 profit.)

Model. (Showcased in a Calvin Klein underwear ad campaign.)

Record Salesman. (Appropriated old vinyl LPs to sell to music shops.)

Tennis ball boy.

Small-business investor. (Provided funding to a local nonfat frozen-yogurt shop.)

Soap-opera stand-in. (Worked on the set of All My Children.)

Clothing distributor  (Sold “The Executive,” a beltless trenchcoat invented by Jerry’s father in 1946, to Rudy's Antique Boutique.)

Author. (Wrote The Coffee Table Book of Coffee Tables featured on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.)

Beauty-pageant coach and chaperone. (Advised a Miss America contestant on her interview, appearance, and talent.)

Vintage-clothing salesman. (Sold Kenny Bania the suit off his back for $300.) 

Department-store Santa Claus.

Police lineup stand-in.

Intimate apparel designer. (Co-inventor of “the Bro”/“Manssiere,” “a support undergarment specifically designed for men.”)

Plaintiff. (Sued coffee company for burning him with their scalding café latte.)

Sports memorabilia appropriator. (Sold George Steinbrenner’s birthday card signed by the entire Yankee organization.)

Fireman.

Moviefone man impersonator. (Provides callers with movie time and theater information when they mistakenly dial his number, 555-FILK.)

Cinéaste. (Collaborates on the reopening of a revival movie house called the Alex.)

Hansom cab driver.  

Plaintiff. (Sued Oh Henry! candy bar heiress Sue Ellen Mischke for causing his car accident when she walked down the street wearing just a bra.)

Bottle exporter. (Tried to recycle truckloads of bottles in Michigan, where the refund rate per container is twice that of New York’s.)

Customer service tester. (Capitalized on a local bank’s policy promising $100 to anyone not greeted by a teller with a “hello” — though he ultimately only received $20.)

Author. (Wrote the book Astonishing Tales of the Sea, which chronicles the Andrea Doria ship collision.)

Office worker. (“T.C.B.” as in “taking care of business,” for the Brandt-Leland company.)

Photographer. (Snapped pictures for a variety of purposes from Christmas cards to intimate shots.)

Party planner. (Organized a Jewish singles dance.)

Tour guide. (Provided housing and entertainment for Japanese businessmen visiting Manhattan.)

Plaintiff. (Sued a tobacco company for ruining his good looks.)

Cock fighter.

Ghost writer. (Sells J. Peterman his life stories to use in Peterman’s autobiography.)

Cigar manufacturer. (Hires Cubans to roll cigars; unfortunately they turn out to be Dominican.)

Specialty sightseeing tour creator. (Conducts his three-hour “Peterman Reality Tour" using a school bus.)

Lifeguard.

Industrial inventor. (Creates a rubber bladder system for oil tankers in an effort to “put an end to maritime oil spills.”)

Condiment inventor. (Brainstorms bottle that integrates ketchup and mustard.)

“Television” host. (Erected the old Merv Griffin Show set in his apartment and rebooted it.)

Baker at H&H Bagels. (Briefly ends his strike.)

Army soldier.  (“Classified.”)

Hollywood sellout. (Sells option to The Coffee Table Book of Coffee Tables to a "big Hollywood so-and-so" and retires to Florida.)

Pretend patient. (Imitated wide range of diseased patients at a New York teaching hospital.)

Rickshaw entrepreneur. (Managed staff of homeless drivers.)

Photo: Castle Rock Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection