Cosmo Kramer was an enigma. Jerry Seinfeld’s eccentricneighbor never seemed to have a job. He spent most of his time coming up withcrazy schemes and pilfering cold cuts and fruit from Jerry. Lawsuits, weirdantics, and strange money-making schemes literally took up every second of hisday. While Seinfeldwas filmed in the 1990s, you still needed money to live in the Big Apple. So,how did Kramer manage to stay afloat in one of theworld’s most expensive cities? Some fans theorize that the clumsy Kramermay have been independently wealthy.
Fans theorize that Kramer was independently wealthy
Fans of Seinfeld know very little about Kramer’sbackground. His mother, BabsKramer, however, is seen on a few occasions. First described as a heavydrinker, it’s later revealed that she works as a matron in a restaurant bathroom.His father is unnamed, and he never really mentions him.
Fans have theorized that perhaps Kramer comes from familymoney on his father’s side. Family money would explain how he manages to livein New York without ever actually holding a job. Sure, he’s allegedly on strikefrom a bagel store for more than a decade, but strike wages aren’t going tokeep him in vintage button-down shirts. It’s also assumed that Kramer is anonly child, which would mean he’d be the sole recipient of any familialwealth.
By all accounts, Kramer manages to just skate by
Kramer’s character is supposed to be mysterious, so it’s nosurprise that his fiduciary situation is kept a bit ambiguous. We do know that Georgeonce suggested that Kramer falls “ass-backward into money.” That seems like itmight be the most realistic answer to questions about his financial situation.
Through the series illustrious run, Kramermanages to sue a coffee company and a tobacco company. He publishes a coffee tablebook, invents a bra for men, and sells his life stories to Elaine’s boss. Whilemost of his schemes don’t work out in the long run, they do manage to help himgarner a little bit of cash.
Add in the fact that he pretty much pilfers life’snecessities from his neighbor, and George’s explanation makes a lot of sense.While money is a necessity to live, for Kramer, creativity is just asimportant. If you can manage to lower your topline, a little money can go areally long way.
The wonder of rent-controlled apartments.
George’s explanation for Kramer’s financial situation is further shored up by his living situation. As Jerry once explained, the building that he and Kramer live in is rent-controlled. In one episode, when he tries to get Elaine into the building, he explains the rent-controlled apartment above him was going for just $300 per month. The $300 figure was less than one-quarter of what apartments in Seinfeld’s neighborhood were going for at the time.
Rent-control is a bit of mythical creature for New Yorkers.While often used to explain the way TV characters manage to swing New York Cityapartments, it’s not all that easy to actually come by. Friendswriters used the trope to explain how Monica and Rachel could afford their spaciouspad. Sex and the City’s CarrieBradshaw was also apparently the lucky recipient of a rent-controlledabode. If those characters had one, it would stand to reason Kramer did too.
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