Actor Wayne Knight is resurrecting his iconic “Seinfeld” role of smarmy mail carrier Newman for a new video defending the U.S. Postal Service over President Donald Trump’s unfounded conspiracy theory that voting by mail will lead to voter fraud.
“According to this month-old issue of Dr. Roberta Greenberg’s Time magazine subscription, there’s been a systematic, premeditated assault on the U.S. mail by President Trump and his so-called Postmaster General,” says Knight-as-Newman contemptuously, punctuating his sentence by spitting. “That guy’s never even licked a stamp.”
He continues by declaring, “They have the unmitigated gall to try to slow down the mail — when everybody knows that the only person who can slow down the mail… is a mailman!”
In the video, commissioned by a Democratic super PAC dubbed PACRONYM, the infuriated postal worker goes, well, postal as he outlines all the sneaky ways that Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has tried to undermine the USPS.
“They’ve shortened working hours. They got missing mailboxes. They’re decommissioning sweet, sweet sorting machines to try to delay voting by mail,” he continues.
“And it’s not just your mail-in ballots you gotta worry about,” he adds while picking a giant turkey leg out of a package.
“You gotta worry about your grandma’s blood pressure medicine. Your social security cheques. Military benefits. And millions and millions of Crate and Barrel catalogues. They’re just piling and piling and piling up. They’re not getting delivered anywhere! It’s a disaster!” he yells. “When the mail stops, the world stops!”
Admitting he’s not usually political — “the last time I voted it was for flavour of the month at Baskin-Robbins” — Newman urges American voters to vote early in person. And for those who do want to vote by mail, he suggests applying for ballots right now and mail them in ASAP.
As a pair of masked government agents walk away with a mailbox, he concludes by issuing a threat to the president.
“Alright Donnie, you know those tax returns? The ones you don’t want anyone seeing? You should never have mailed those,” he concludes, breaking out into his patented maniacal Newman laugh.
As Entertainment Weekly points out, the video was written by “Seinfeld” writer David Mandel, who enlisted Knight to step back into the role.
“It’s been my studious attempt to let Newman die,” Knight tells EW. “I’ve been so associated with the character that it became somewhat of a lodestone in my mind.”
However, as Trump’s postal shenanigans came to light, Knight says he “began getting contacted by various different people about reawakening Newman” in order to defend the USPS.
After turning down the Emmys and a former Obama speechwriter, Knight agreed once he knew it was Mandel who’d be writing his words.
“If we could capture the voice, if we get it funny, and we could get the message out, I felt like it would be disseminated in a way that would reach people, and that was what was important,” he says.