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/2016/09/Sarah-Paulson.jpg
Sarah Paulson: “I muscled a lot of what I’ve achieved by sheer force of will and relentless determination”
"If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy" - Sarah Paulson
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Boyd-Holbrook-Narcos.jpg
Boyd Holbrook on Shooting ‘Narcos’ in Colombia: “It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done”
Holbrook talks about working with the real-life Steve Murphy, what movie inspired his narration, and why shooting in Colombia was so challenging.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-Snowden.jpg
How Joseph Gordon-Levitt Developed his ‘Snowden’ Voice
"You're playing someone that everybody in the world has seen before. It's a little different than playing a fictitious character." - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/renee-zellweger-bridget-jones-baby.jpg
Renée Zellweger on Returning to Film After a Six-Year Absence: “I needed to grow as a person in ways that didn’t revolve around my work”
Zellweger talks about what prompted her six-year absence from Hollywood, what's different about playing Jones again, and ageism in Hollywood.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/dev-patel-lion.jpg
Dev Patel: “I want there to be people that look like me represented on screen”
"There aren’t many roles written for someone that looks like me. It’s slim pickings. It’s difficult, but I try and stay on the optimistic side." - Dev Patel