'Seinfeld': How Did Kramer Make an Income?

Each character in Seinfeld has unique quirks and traits. One of the most free-spirited characters from episode 1 was Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards). It is safe to say he is an enigma in every way. One of the interesting things about Kramer was his ability to always have an income and money for rent.

Even in the 90s, when Seinfeld was filmed, it took some serious change to afford an apartment in New York City, where the sitcom is based. Even Jerry (Seinfeld) often questioned why Kramer never had a stable job or how he managed to have money. Throughout the sitcom, Kramer came up with a lot of schemes and odd jobs that somewhat answered how he made some money.

Kramer worked various odd jobs to for fun and income

According to Variety, Kramer’s income came from many business ventures and jobs in Seinfeld’s nine seasons. In “The Race,” Kramer worked in a department store as a Christmas Santa before gettign fired after showing an interest in communism. At one point, he joined in on a few police line-ups for fun and because they paid a bit of money. In one episode, Kramer was paid by J. Peterman (John O’Hurley) to use his life stories for a book.

One of Kramer’s comical moments is when he joins his friend in acting out diseases for medical students at the hospital. His biggest money payout was in “The Subway.” While overhearing a conversation on the train, he learns about an opportune horse bet. Kramer capitalizes and makes a bet winning him $18k. Kramer even worked as a scalper and sold an opera ticket for $400.

In ‘Seinfeld’ Kramer sued different companies for no money

Money is not much of a concern for Kramer. In “The Maestro,” Kramer calls his lawyer Jackie Chiles (Phil Morris) with the opportunity to sue Java World, a coffee company. In previous events, Kramer was burned because his coffee was too hot. Kramer and Jackie were on the cusp of a substantial possible payout. But once Java World offered free coffee for life, Kramer agreed before they could mention the money payout.

In “The Abstinence,” Kramer goes a bit too heavy smoking cigars. He does not even realize his skin has gotten leathery and has yellow teeth until Jerry points it out. Kramer decides to sue the tobacco company for ruining his good looks. Without informing Jackie, Kramer gets a settlement for no money. He instead gets a giant billboard in Times Square.

Even when Kramer sues a candy company, it falls flat. Fans can also assume Kramer received money for his ad with Calvin Klein and revenue from his coffee table book sales. In the sitcom, Kramer reveals he once worked for a bagel shop and has been on strike for years. The money from the strike is only minimum wage and not enough to add to Kramer’s income in Seinfeld.

Is Kramer independently wealthy?

The question of Kramer’s income in Seinfeld has still alluded fans until this day. At one point, fans theorized Kramer might be independently wealthy. In the sitcom, fans only meet his mother, who worked as a matron in a restaurant. Not much else is known about Kramer’s family or his father.

Kramer’s comical schemes and ability to consistently pay rent alluded to him possibly being wealthy on his father’s side. In a Reddit thread, one fan explains the best part about Kramer is that fans will never honestly know. On the one hand, he owns a car, goes golfing, and pays rent. At the same time, he wears vintage clothing, eats Jerry’s food, and finds savvy ways to not pay. For example, not washing his hand so he can reenter the Reggae lounge without paying.

Seinfeld has many bizarre details that never made sense, especially with Kramer. “I think we’re meant to consider both the possibility that Kramer lives off an inheritance, but also the possibility that he just hustles and cons his way through life,” said the Redditor

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