Wayne Knight on Playing Santa Claus in the ‘Elf’ Musical and What It’s Like Being Newman

I imagine that about six or seven times a day somebody comes up to Wayne Knight and says, “Hello, Newman” in an annoyed voice.  So perhaps he’s lucky that in his latest role that face of his that became famous on Seinfeld is hidden behind a long white beard.  That’s because Knight is playing Santa Claus in Elf, the holiday musical based on the Will Ferrell movie which is returning to New York after a one-year hiatus.

Knight might seem like an odd fit for musical theater, and he talks about that to the New York Post along with how he feels about being so associated with Jerry Seinfeld‘s nemesis.

Being that Elf is a musical, Knight jokes about his singing ability, saying, “It’s kind of like natural childbirth — something comes out; we can’t guarantee what it looks like. But Santa is not a dulcet-toned character, so it should be OK.”  But how about the dancing?  Knight says that part isn’t too tough either, saying, “The requirements on me are minimal, and I’m just barely adequate. I just kind of naturally, uh, suck. No. Everybody’s going through a tap number that Santa’s not part of. I told my wife, ‘Geez, I feel bad. I’m not doing enough in this number.’ She said, ‘You should tell them. They’ll let you into that tap number.’ I said, ‘Honey, we’re doing nine shows a week. Shut up.'”

As for his most famous role, Knight admits that while playing Newman for so many years has made it difficult for audiences to accept him in other roles, he can’t complain about how lucrative it has been.  He says, “It makes it much more difficult when someone sees you as a particular character to disappear in a film. They see you as Newman. It is a mixed blessing in that sense. But in the sense that it’s brought me income and notoriety, no, it’s fine.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/natalie-portman-jackie.jpg
Natalie Portman: “I think you can’t judge your character when you play her, or else you wouldn’t be able to”
Portman speaks about the challenges with playing the famous First Lady.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Aaron-Eckhart.jpg
Aaron Eckhart: “I have a saying: ‘If you’re sweating, you’re doing it wrong'”
"People ask me, 'Why aren’t you sweating?' And I say, 'Because I am making myself effortless.' The physical is key." - Aaron Eckhart
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/anna-kendrick.jpg
Anna Kendrick on Why She Became a Actress and How She Got Her Role in ‘Up in the Air’
"It became the way that I learn about myself and the way that I learn about other people." - Anna Kendrick on Acting
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Viola-Davis-Fences.jpg
Viola Davis on Returning to ‘Fences’: “It was a chance and an opportunity to fix some things I never got right on stage”
"You know when you’re not getting it right, you know when you’re coasting." - Viola Davis
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Nicole-Kidman.jpg
Nicole Kidman on Roles She Turned Down: “It’s just the journey”
"You’re meant to play certain things and if it’s meant to be, then it just kind of happens." - Nicole Kidman