As Seinfeld fans know, the mail never stops, and with unprecedented numbers of people set to vote by mail this year, postal workers are facing a flood of deliveries like never before. But a certain "friendly local mail carrier" wants you to know you can count on the post office this election season.
A new ad commissioned by PACRONYM, a Democratic super PAC, features Wayne Knight as that mail carrier, who — though he's not identified by name in the ad — is unquestionably Newman, the sinister postman Knight played on Seinfeld. Indeed, the ad was written by David Mandel, a former Seinfeld writer-producer (and future Veep showrunner), who convinced Knight to bring Newman back after years of reluctance to reprise the role.
"It's been my studious attempt to let Newman die," Knight tells EW with a laugh. "I've been so associated with the character that it became somewhat of a lodestone in my mind." But as the Trump administration began to attack voting by mail and the U.S. Postal Service, Knight, "having played one of the most iconic postmen, knew that something would happen. And I began getting contacted by various different people about reawakening Newman for this purpose."
Knight rebuffed offers from the Emmys and a former Obama speechwriter before Mandel, one of the select few writers who "hold the voice of Newman," approached him. "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," the actor says.
Though the project was a run-and-gun affair ("We were running down the street trying to get away from this lady who was yelling at us, because we didn't have a permit," says Knight), the Newman in the ad is much the same character Seinfeld fans remember: "The only person who can slow down the mail is a mailman!" he exclaims. But to anyone concerned about possible ethical breaches from mail carriers, Knight has this to say: "Newman has been trying to subvert the Postal Service for his entire career. He has not been able to do it. It is a well-oiled machine with a couple of bad cogs in it that every now and then get caught. But in general, the thought that you can deliver something to a one-room post office in Alaska for 55 cents is pretty incredible."
You can watch the full ad above, and don't forget to request and return your ballot ASAP if you plan on voting by mail.