|First Appearance||"The Soup"|
|Last Appearance||"The Finale"|
|Portrayed By||Steve Hytner|
- "It's the best, Jerry! The best!"
- ―Bania's catchphrase
- "That's gold, Jerry! Gold!"
- ―Bania's famous line
Kenny Bania is a fellow comedian with whom Jerry frequently comes into contact on the New York City comedy circuit. He is a "hack" standup comedian, much loathed by Jerry. Bania is portrayed by Steve Hytner. (Twitter handle: @hytner)
Bania looks up to Jerry and frequently tries to impress him with recommendations to miscellaneous services and products. He follows up his suggestions by saying, "It's the best, Jerry! The best!" Conversely, Jerry intensely dislikes Bania for both his exuberance and his perceived lack of talent.
However, at one point Jerry becomes Bania's comedy mentor. Jerry does this basically to massage his own ego and prove his competency to his current girlfriend, who is highly dependent on her own mentor. During this brief alliance, one of Bania's jokes is:
- "Why do they call it Ovaltine? The mug is round. The jar is round. They should call it Roundtine."
Bania is awestruck by the joke, and in response exclaims: "That's gold, Jerry! Gold!" Jerry's intervention has the unexpected effect of improving Bania's reputation as a comedian, much to his annoyance. Jerry has even gone as far as calling Kenny “a timeslot hit”. (This is a reference to the shows that followed Seinfeld and Friends. They were popular because the shows that preceded them were popular; moreover, when these two preceding series were cancelled, those shows’ ratings suffered accordingly.)
In "The Soup Nazi," Bania unsuccessfully tries to cut Jerry in line at the Soup Nazi’s soup shop where he commented “Jerry, I didn’t know you like soup”. Jerry declined to let Kenny cut in front of him because it would result in both of them getting denied their soup.
In "The Finale, Part 2," Kenny Bania attends the trial of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Cosmo in Latham County. A deleted scene had him "taking" Mickey Abbott's seat which David Puddy was supposed to save for Mickey. Both of them fight over it until the trial begins. While the jury was out deciding on the verdict, Kenny was among those seen at the pool house where he, Keith Hernandez, and Mickey Abbott were defeated in a game of pool by Jacopo Peterman.
Gold, Jerry, Gold!
I’ve been working out. Went from a size 40, to a 42. I'm huge.