Jerry Seinfeld’s antagonist, postal worker Newman, had two main goals on Seinfeld. One, to safely deliver mail (by way of controlling information), and two, making Jerry’s life difficult. Sometimes he’d succeed, but other times his overzealous plans would backfire on him. Either way, he etched a place in fans’ hearts and, in due course, became one of the funniest villains on TV.
As it usually is with memorable characters, they have a permanent place in meme culture. With Seinfeld hitting Netflix, it is a good time to go through some of the great memes made in honor of TV’s beloved villain aka Newman.
Newman: The Wordsmith
The classic sitcoms, Friends, and Seinfeld are often pitted against each other. And while that debate may never be settled, the Seinfeld fandom has an upper hand, thanks to the wordsmith, Newman.
This still taken from “The Raincoats” episode shows Newman entering Jerry’s apartment in his absence to fink on him. In the episode, Newman happens to witness Jerry and Rachel “making out” in the cinema hall during Schindler’s List, and he decides to sabotage their relationship out of spite. Jerry’s mother, Helen, is shocked to find out about her son’s behavior, and Rachel’s father, Mr. Goldstein, forbids her from seeing Jerry.
Because The Mail Never Stops
Of all the Newman quotes from Seinfeld, “…because the mail never stops” is truly iconic. In “The Old Man,” fans discover that Newman is a United States Postal Worker. Though he takes pride in being a federal employee, he does get stressed out about the frequency and unending nature of the mail.
Newman also doesn’t work in the rain and in “The Andrea Doria,” he’s discovered to be storing eight undelivered bags of mail in Jerry’s storage locker. This meme is a reminder that life imitates art and vice versa.
Newman Or Wayne Knight?
This meme, from Reddit user ATT7, depicts Jerry expressing his anger towards Newman, without realizing the actor and the character might be two different entities. Besides Seinfeld, Wayne Knight’s illustrious resume boasts roles such as Alan Starkman in Netflix’s Narcos, Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park, and Officer Don Orville in 3rd Rock from the Sun, among others.
Now if Knight says he had the best time shooting the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, there’s a high chance that statement might annoy the co-creator and the lead character, Jerry, from Seinfeld.
Bring Back The Original Aspect Ratio
The entire run of Seinfeld may have arrived on Netflix but some visual gags have been cut out of many episodes, thanks to the 16:9 remastering, as reported by Slate. Although the format is best-suited for HDTV, it often crops out the bottom portion of the screen. Fans, therefore, have taken issue with the remastering and are left wondering if Netflix will restore the episodes to their original square/fullscreen 4:3 aspect ratio.
This issue is perfectly encapsulated by Newman’s original quote: “When you control the mail, you control the information.” Replace “mail” with “aspect ratio” and this meme accurately sums up die-hard fans’ feelings about the key visual gags being cropped out.
The “show about nothing,” Seinfeld paid homage to the pop culture of the ’80s and of its time. The eponymous character was obsessed with Superman and frequently talked about him on the show. The American gangster epic trilogy, The Godfather, and the 1991 thriller, JFK, were also referenced in Seinfeld. Supposing Game Of Thrones ran on the air at the same time as Seinfeld, there’s every chance it would have been referenced in the latter. In which case, Newman would have read the books and spoiled seasons solely out of spite for Jerry.
As for Kramer, the man kept a “mooching inventory” at Jerry’s, which included a billed amount for half a can of soda, a third of an apple, half of a banana. It is therefore plausible he would go to any extent to survive in the city, and in this case, try and sell the milk from Jerry’s finished bowls of cereal.
The Many Faces Of Newman
A trend made popular by Dolly Parton, this meme template gives people a chance to upload four photos for different social media apps, each showing a different side of their personality. Here are four different photos of Newman, each of which fits a particular social media or dating platform.
The top left corner shows him sitting alongside Jerry at the Superbowl. Though the latter was never happy to run into him, circumstances, ranging from comical confrontations to get-rich-quick schemes would bring them face to face. Newman would often partner with Jerry’s friend and neighbor, Kramer, and the two were always up to no good. Actor Wayne Knight starred in the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, and so, that’s him as Police Sergeant Don Orville in the LinkedIn still. The bottom quadrants show Newman’s adventurous side as Kramer’s neighbor on Seinfeld.
Newman Loves Jambalaya
Season 7’s “The Soup Nazi,” is one of Seinfeld’s most famous, and its plot deals with a newly opened soup stand run by a rather temperamental chef, Yev Kassem. While Jerry and the gang are enamored with the place, they fail to follow his line instructions and invite his wrath. Elaine rudely bangs on the counter, Jerry and his girlfriend Sheila show little to no regard for Yev’s rules, and George asks for free bread.
Newman, on the other hand, sticks to the ordering mechanism and steadily marches like a soldier with his large Jambalaya. He then takes a whiff of his soup and trembles out of excitement. This meme speaks to anyone who has shown the same excitement and eagerness before actually sitting down to taste their comfort food.
Oh, The Humanity!
However cruel and vicious he may be, Newman certainly has the worst luck in the world. Sometimes he gets the short end of the stick, at other times, he is misunderstood. There are also some sad aspects about his character, and this meme, inspired by season 8’s “The Pothole,” is one such instance.
In said episode, Kramer spills flammable paint thinner all over the highway as Newman’s truck drives by and catches fire. The meme speaks to anyone who has been teased in a friendly, good-natured way by their friends in a group chat.
The Arbiter Of Justice
This cross-over meme perfectly melds Newman’s dialogue with the No Country for Old Men poster. In “The Seven,” Kramer expected Elaine to honor the verbal contract she made in haste and hand him her bike, but Jerry suggested the two go to the impartial mediator – Newman.
Once again, postal master Newman dazzled viewers with his fast-paced, dramatic monologue and applied the Judgment of Solomon to solve the dispute. He pronounced the bike be cut down the middle and the disputing parties each get their half. Repulsed by the idea, Kramer said he’d rather the bike be handed to Elaine than see it destroyed and he eventually became its owner. Funnily, later in the episode, he sold it to judge Newman himself for $50.