Oh hello, Newman

Wayne Knight Says Typecast Is His Destiny
LOS ANGELES – It could be, Wayne Knight says, that he was born to play comically evil, pompous villains.
“Most people would say no, but the reality is when you get typecast like that there’s got to be some germ of something in there,” said the 50-year-old actor, best known for his role as the malevolent mailman Newman on TV’s “Seinfeld.”
“I think early in my life I may have been more explosive, internally, than I am now,” Knight told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
“What happens, I think, is especially for comic effect you find something about yourself that you don’t like. You exaggerate it, and it’s funny.”
He did just that as the traitorous scientist who gets eaten by a dinosaur in “Jurassic Park,” as the voice of an unscrupulous businessman in the animated “Toy Story 2” and numerous other roles.
Knight is doing it again in his latest role, as the voice of a pompous, wealthy cat with his own human butler to boss around in the new animated TV show “Catscratch.”
“Those characters are like my dark side magnified by a thousand,” says Knight, letting loose with a Newman-like laugh. “Now I’ve mellowed in my older age, but I’m still playing that.”
Knight added that he likes going back and forth between on-camera work in shows such as “Seinfeld” and “Third Rock From the Sun” and voice work in cartoons.
“It really is using a different muscle because you throw yourself into it completely,” he said of the physical strain of working to achieve just the right vocal cadence for a cartoon character. “It’s like doing a very sweaty radio play.”