Popular supporting actor Wayne Knight returned to his most famous and beloved character this week to discuss issues with mail-in voting. Newman, an excitable and vindictive mailman, appeared in 45 episodes of the beloved sitcom Seinfeld, and here, he feels like the perfect choice to discuss some of the recent issues with the Post Office. In a quick spot that barely runs over two minutes, he encourages viewers to ask for their mail-in ballots as soon as possible in order to make sure they’re delivered and counted on time.
Sometimes when people return to a character from a TV show that went off the air a long time ago, it can feel a little off. Not here. Wayne Knight is obviously a bit older and he’s not flanked by his scheming partner Kramer or getting an angry "Hello, Newman" from Jerry, but it feels like a really natural and genuine progression of the character. Check out the spot below…
That’s Newman. There’s nothing about this that feels inauthentic. It’s probably a bit too political to be an actual bit off of a new Seinfeld episode, but apart from that, the writing is really sharp, Wayne Knight is in perfect form and it’s true to his character. I especially love him saying the only person who should slow down the mail is a postman himself. Classic Newman.
We only remember personalities and specific details about main characters from a very small percentage of shows once they’ve been off the air for a few years. It’s an even smaller percentage of shows in which we very vividly remember random side characters. Seinfeld has so many incredible side characters that still feel so real and so quotable more than 20 years after the beloved comedy went off the air. Apart from Newman, some of my favorites include George’s parents Frank and Estelle Costanza, David Puddy, Uncle Leo, Dr. Tim Whatley, Mickey, Jackie Chiles, J Peterman, the Seinfeld’s, the Soup Nazi, Susan Ross and so many more.
Outside of Seinfeld, Wayne Knight has quietly had a pretty damn good career. He has some really well-remembered and appreciated scenes in the original Jurassic Park in which he plays the villain Dennis Nedry. He’s given the reaction shot to Sharon Stone’s famous uncrossing her legs moment in Basic Instinct. He’s got more than a hundred episode credits in 3rd Rock From The Sun. He’s a key voice in Toy Story 2. Most actors just hope for one role that connects with audiences. He has so many.
And of course, if you haven’t made a plan to vote yet, you should look into your state’s rules as soon as possible. Election Day is November 3rd. Make your voice heard. More information on how can be found here.