/Wayne Knight Of Seinfeld Shares Why He Thinks Fans Hated The Shows Finale

Wayne Knight Of Seinfeld Shares Why He Thinks Fans Hated The Shows Finale


Wayne Knight is opening up about his conflicting feelings on the widely lambasted series finale of “Seinfeld,” 24 years after it aired.

The New York actor played Jerry Seinfeld’s mail-carrier nemesis, Newman, on the beloved NBC sitcom, which wrapped in 1998 after nine seasons. During a recent appearance at Pennsylvania’s Steel City Convention, he explained why he felt that the show’s two-part conclusion ― simply titled “The Finale” ― “didn’t quite land in the way that [co-creators Larry David and Seinfeld] wanted.”

“I think I’m like the rest of the public as far as the finale goes. I don’t think you can end that show in a way that would work,” he said, according to ComicBook.com. “The idea of doing a retrospective winds up feeling like a clip show, so I think that they tried to pay tribute to all of the people who had walked through that set, all the great performances, all the great people.”

"I don’t think you can end that show in a way that would work," actor Wayne Knight (right) said of "Seinfeld."
“I don’t think you can end that show in a way that would work,” actor Wayne Knight (right) said of “Seinfeld.”

In “The Finale,” Jerry and George (Jason Alexander) learn that their sitcom-within-a-sitcom, “Jerry,” has been given the green light five years after having been shelved. To celebrate, the two men join pals Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards) on a trip to France.

When their plane makes an emergency landing in Latham, Massachusetts, the foursome is hauled off to jail after witnessing a carjacking and doing nothing, thus violating the fictional town’s “Good Samaritan Law.” The episode ends with the characters still behind bars and showing no remorse for their actions.

The episode drew scathing reviews from fans and critics alike. “The show’s swan song was off-key and bloated,” Entertainment Weekly declared, while USA Today called it “dismal” and a “slow, smug exercise in self-congratulation.”

David, who is also the star and mastermind behind HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has since defended “The Finale” in recent interviews.

From left: Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the final episode of "Seinfeld," which aired in 1998.
From left: Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the final episode of “Seinfeld,” which aired in 1998.

David Hume Kennerly via Getty Images

“I think the thing about finales is everybody writes their own finale in their head, whereas if they just tune in during the week to a normal show, they’re surprised by what’s going on,” he told Grantland in 2014. “They haven’t written it beforehand, they don’t know what the show is. But for a finale, they go, ‘Oh, well this should happen to George, and Jerry and Elaine should get together,’ and all that. They’ve already written it, and often they’re disappointed, because it’s not what they wrote.”

Knight, however, isn’t so sure, telling ComicBook.com that David’s effort to “show that these people are not deserving of any glory” was ill-advised.

“He wanted them to have the worst time possible,” he said. “And as a concept, that works, but I don’t know if it works as a finale.”

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