Postal worker Newman from Seinfeld had quite a reputation for being mean. Even though he lived in a friendly-neighborhood, he seemed to have trouble making friends and acquaintances. Newman harbored a timeless grudge against the comedian, Jerry, he had no cure for his unrequited love and was despised by those around him. He picked Kramer as his friend but, what a shame, Newman’s only ally in the building was best friends with his nemesis.
As Seinfeld progressed, Jerry and his friends (apart from Kramer) detested the overworked mailman. Even though hating on Newman was played for laughs, he suffered tragic setbacks, roadblocks, and obstacles along the way.
10 Kramer Trivialized Newman’s Mental Health Issues
Newman was first mentioned in “The Revenge” as someone who’d been considering suicide due to unemployment and the lack of a partner. He would call Kramer at three in the morning to let him know he was going up onto the roof to kill himself. But his ignorant friend would just give him a nudge and say, “jump.”
Newman mistakenly sought refuge in an uncompassionate friend. There’s nothing worse than having a friend downplay your mental health and make personal problems seem less serious than they are.
9 He Was Unhappy In His Job
Even though Newman took pride in his position with the postal service, he’d work long hours and sometimes overtime to fulfill his job requirements. The negative effects of burnout spilled into almost every aspect of his social life. When George interrogated him about the harsh nature of his employment, Newman went on a deranged rant, saying,
“Because the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There’s never a let-up. It’s relentless. Every day it piles up more and more and more! And you gotta get it out and the more you get it out it keeps coming in! And then the bar code reader breaks! And then it’s publisher’s clearing house day.”
8 Kramer Abandoned Newman
Kramer prioritized Jerry over Newman. In the two-part episode, “The Bottle Deposit,” he took things a little too far by abandoning him in a secluded place. The two friends were always coming up with get-rich-quick schemes, case in point — the Michigan bottle deposit scam. Kramer tells Newman that bottles in Michigan can be refunded for 10 cents as opposed to 5 cents in New York and other states. After crunching the numbers, they agree to round up some bottles and drive to Michigan on Mother’s Day using Newman’s mail truck.
Meanwhile, Jerry’s car, which contains J. Peterman’s belongings (JFK’s old golf clubs which Elaine’s purchased from his money), gets stolen. The two plots merge when Kramer spots Jerry’s car on the actual day of the scam. Despite opposition from Newman, he decides to chase the thief. Kramer dumps the bottles, mail bags, and eventually Newman, to keep up with the hot pursuit.
7 He Doesn’t Have Air Conditioning
Various instances in Seinfeld show how overworked and underpaid Newman was. In “The Ticket,” Kramer accompanies him to the courthouse to fight a speeding ticket. It is there that it is revealed that Newman sleeps in a really hot bedroom, without access to air conditioning.
Newman’s excuse for speeding is his friend (Kramer), who at the time was about to commit suicide. Lying begets more lying and Kramer’s alibi for suicide is apparently the lack of an air conditioning unit. “Every night I sleep in a really hot room, I don’t want to kill myself,” interjects Newman. For the poor mail carrier, gaining access to air-conditioning was a luxury, more than a basic necessity.
6 His Apartment Is Rife With Fleas
In “The Doodle,” Jerry, who has never had any pets, is surprised to discover his apartment is infested with fleas. When he learns Newman is responsible for the whole fiasco, he heads for his apartment.
Now, getting someone’s home infested with bugs is an uncivilized act, but Jerry seemed okay. Therefore he should have spared his sick neighbor some recovery time and delayed the confrontation. As Newman miserably resists scratching his itch, Jerry is able to obtain a confession out of him. What’s worse, the comedian enjoys every minute of the interrogation!
5 He Can’t Eat Fruit
Another sad aspect of Newman’s character was the fact that he couldn’t eat fruit. In “The Suicide,” Newman tells Kramer he can’t eat fruit because it makes him incontinent.
Fruit is a handy snack food and everyone on the show, particularly Kramer, seemed to enjoy them. Unfortunately for Newman’s character, fruit was a bad idea.
4 No Soup For Newman
Newman could neither eat fruit nor enjoy Yev Kassem’s jambalaya. “The Soup Nazi” is one of the most iconic episodes of Seinfeld. It’s about an immigrant chef who opens an excellent soup kitchen in Jerry’s neighborhood. Known for his strict ordering procedure, he gains the formidable ‘Soup Nazi’ reputation.
Out of respect and adoration for Yev, Newman immaculately places his order for a large jambalaya. Unfortunately for him, Elaine’s shenanigans drive his beloved soup chef away to Argentina. The thought of the Soup Nazi going away makes Newman panicky and unhappy. At the end of the episode, he rushes to his place to get a big pot to stock up before the Soup Nazi shut his kitchen.
3 He Was Abducted By The Post Office Security Men
In “The Junk Mail,” Kramer’s exploits once again land Newman in trouble. He goes on an anti-mail rant using Jerry’s van as a campaigning vehicle. Kramer puts a solid effort into what he calls the “Mobile postal re-education center,” to bring disrepute to the Postal Service. His good friend, Newman tries in vain to warn him about the consequences of defaming a very important organ of democracy.
As a consequence, Kramer has a visit from the Postmaster General Henry Atkins, but is let off with a warning. While leaving, he sees Newman being hauled into the interrogation room. For Newman, to be abducted by Post Office security men would have been a humiliating and terrifying experience.
2 He Experiences Unrequited Love
Newman has an unrequited love for Elaine and he knows he’ll never get her. He waxes eloquently about her grace and charm in “The Soul Mate.”
“One winsome tulip we ceaselessly yearn for throughout our dreary, workaday lives!” In “The Millennium,” Newman lets his sworn-enemy, Jerry come to his ‘Newmanium party’ in exchange for Elaine’s presence. In “The Reverse Peephole,” he terrifyingly walks into Elaine’s apartment, confessing he’d waited to be with her all his life.
1 Kramer Was A Terrible Friend To Him
Kramer was a toxic friend to Newman and he almost always chose Jerry’s company over his old friend’s. Aside from destroying Newman’s work vehicle in “The Bottle Deposit,” and setting a bulldog on him in “The Doodle,” Kramer was also an emotionally unavailable friend.
In “The Soul Mate,” Newman fails to open up to Kramer about his one-sided love because he’s immediately interrupted and talked over.
NEXT: Seinfeld: 5 Times We Felt Bad For Elaine (& 5 Times We Hated Her)
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