Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hello, Newman: Seinfeld's aggrieved mail carrier returns in anti-Trump voting PSA

Illustration for article titled Hello, Newman: iSeinfeld/is aggrieved mail carrier returns in anti-Trump voting PSA
Screenshot: PACRONYM

Well, we’d have never pegged Newman as part of the #Resistance, but Seinfeld’s famously cantankerous mail carrier takes direct aim at the vile weed that is our president in a new PSA from PACRONYM, an anti-Trump super PAC.

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“Hello, zip codes. And you plus fours—you know who you are,” says Wayne Knight as a means of introduction, the actor slipping comfortably back into the slimy and apoplectic temperament that is Jerry Seinfeld’s chief nemesis. He goes on to address the “systematic, premeditated assault on the U.S. mail by President Trump and his so-called Postmaster General,” occasionally pausing to munch on the chicken legs and cookies tucked in his mail pouch.

If the ad seems funnier than it has any right to in this context, that’s because it was written by Seinfeld alum (and Veep showrunner) David Mandel, no stranger to the tics that made Newman so memorable. According to Entertainment Weekly, it was Mandel who convinced a reluctant Knight to reprise the role.

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“It’s been my studious attempt to let Newman die,” Knight said. “I’ve been so associated with the character that it became somewhat of a lodestone in my mind.” But Knight was swayed by Mandel, knowing full well the writer’s talent. “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 said.

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Not only does the language feel true to the character, but Knight’s handily able to channel the rising tide of rage and resentment that so defined Newman, specifically when agonizing over the millions of Crate & Barrel catalogs that are just “piling and piling and piling up.”

“When the mail stops, the world stops!” he screams, a nod to his previous declaration that, “when you control the mail, you control... information!”

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Looking for information on voting in the nightmare that is our upcoming election? Our sister site Lifehacker has you covered.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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