Outside of its four central leads, perhaps the best of the supporting Seinfeld characters is Newman - originally an unseen friend of Kramer’s (and voiced by co-creator Larry David) until he was properly introduced onscreen with Wayne Knight in the role in Season 3. The United States postal worker's constant scheming against Jerry essentially made him the main antagonist of the series, which is just one of the many reasons why it was so fun to watch him get wrapped up in such ridiculous moments of misfortune.
Fans will be able to relive each of those moment in all their glory on Netflix in October, which is why we have pointed out exactly where to find Newman’s greatest hits and our reasons for choosing them, starting with the most memorable moment from his premiere season.
Newman And Kramer Recall Getting Spat On By Keith Hernandez (Season 3, "The Boyfriend")
Kramer (Michael Richards) and Newman take issue with Jerry’s (Jerry Seinfeld) new friendship with one of his favorite baseball players, Keith Hernandez (guest starring as himself), claiming that the first baseman hocked a “magic loogie” at them after a Mets game years earlier. They recall the incident in pristine detail, accompanied with vintage-stye footage, to which Jerry presents a well thought-out argument for a second spitter.
What makes this brilliant send-up of JFK, in the 1992 two-parter “The Boyfriend,” especially funny is that Wayne Knight starred in Oliver Stone’s controversial legal drama (led by Kevin Costner) the previous year.
Kramer Ruins Newman’s Plan To Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket (Season 4, "The Ticket")
Speaking of legal dramas, Wayne Knight got to be the star of his own courtroom charade for the Seinfeld Season 4 episode “The Ticket,” in which Newman enlists Kramer to help him get out of a speeding ticket in court by claiming the mailman was racing to stop him from killing himself. Unfortunately, an earlier head injury causes Kramer to forget all about the fabricated story, and Newman, defending himself in the trial, completely loses his cool (and the case) trying to get him to say his lines about losing a banking job opportunity as rehearsed.
Knight’s energetic fury and animated gestures deserved an Emmy nomination and recognition as the best physical comedian of the Seinfeld cast… aside from Michael Richards, of course.
Newman’s Mail Truck Catches On Fire (Season 8, "The Pothole")
Speaking of energetic fury and animated gestures, an arguably more hysterical example of Wayne Knight’s physicality occurs as the result of some clever cause-and-effect in the Seinfeld Season 8 episode, “The Pothole.” After a sewing machine drops out from the trunk of Jerry’s car, as Elaine Benes (future Veep cast member Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is taking advantage of the widened lanes on the highway Kramer recently adopted, Kramer is later seen accidentally dumping an entire barrel of paint thinner on the same road.
Soon after, Newman is on that highway, too busy singing Lionel Ritchie’s “Three Times a Lady” to notice the sewing machine get trapped under his truck, causing sparks that ignite when he passes over the paint thinner, turning the vehicle into a literal fireball as he dramatically yelps out the immortal words, “Oh, the humanity!”
Newman Helps Elaine With Her Dog Problem (Season 7, "The Engagement")
In some instances, Newman has been willing to offer his own services others, such as Elaine, mostly due to his admitted affection for the former girlfriend of his sworn enemy. One of the first times she and the postman teamed up was in Seinfeld’s Season 7 premiere “The Engagement,” in which Elaine is kept up by her neighbor’s dog and Kramer suggests staging an “unfortunate accident” which would be orchestrated by Newman, who is actually game to exterminate the animal, but settles on kidnapping. However, the dog manages to find its way home and with evidence that incriminates all three of them, only to be apparently saved off-screen by a swarm of mailmen Newman tips off.
Newman Helps Elaine With Her Muffin Bottoms Problem (Season 8, "The Muffin Tops")
Another time Newman came to Elaine’s aid was in the following season when she goes into business with her former boss, Mr. Lippman (Richard Fancy), for a restaurant that only sells muffin tops. The only issue is that they cannot seem to get rid of the muffin bottoms (neither a local homeless shelter nor the city dump will accept them without tops) until Elaine hires a “cleaner” to make them “go away,” who turns out to be Newman.
In another hilarious example of a classic movie send-up on Seinfeld (in this case Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction), Newman shows up with four bottles of milk and an empty stomach to see that the muffin stumps effectively disappear.
Newman Catches Jerry Making Out During Schindler’s List (Season 5, “The Raincoats”)
Another iconic filmmaker Wayne Knight has worked with is Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park), whose other acclaimed 1993 hit, Schindler’s List, is a focal point of “The Raincoats.” Jerry misses the Holocaust drama in its entirety because he was too busy kissing his girlfriend, Rachel (Melanie Smith), in the theater, which Newman witnesses and giddily reveals to Jerry’s visiting parents (Liz Sheridan and Barney Martin), who are upset given their Jewish faith. The hour-long Season 5 episode later ends with a tasteful send-up of the ending of the Oscar-winning film, in reference to the fact that Spielberg watched tapes of Seinfeld to cheer himself up on its set.
Newman Is Tempted To Eat Kramer (Season 9, "The Butter Shave")
Of course, Newman’s ongoing rivalry with Jerry rarely came between he and Kramer’s friendship, which was threatened once, however, by a bizarre mistake made by Michael Richards’ character in the premiere episode of Seinfeld’s ninth and final season. Kramer overindulges with a recent decision to begin shaving with butter and ends up literally cooking himself after spreading a tub’s worth of it on his entire body before sitting outside in the sun for a little too long.
The intoxicating aroma emitting from Kramer’s golden brown skin proves tempting for Newman, who at one point thinks he sees Kramer’s head on a turkey at Monk’s before finally giving in and taking a bite out of his buddy in the comedy club's kitchen.
With how many clever, visceral, and downright strange Seinfeld moments Newman is directly responsible for, it is almost a wonder why Wayne Knight was not made a series regular at some point. Well, with 45 appearance out of the series’ 173-episode run, at least he will be remembered, easily, as the sitcom’s best recurring role.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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