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Jerry's Hate For Newman On Seinfeld Is Never Explained

When sitcom fans think of the characters featured on NBC's hit series "Seinfeld," they most likely zero in on Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), George (Jason Alexander), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Kramer (Michael Richards). For the most part, every other character around them was played by a guest star, strategically placed by writers to support the main characters and move the plot along. However, one character, Newman (Wayne Knight), turned his one-time guest spot into a more-than-reoccurring show staple.

Those weren't the initial plans, as several of the cast members explained in a behind-the-scenes documentary. In fact, the first time fans heard the name "Newman," the character's reveal never went further than a mere mention of him by Kramer, explaining he was someone who lived in the building. Later, when series creator Larry David and Seinfeld wanted to cast someone to play Jerry's landlord's son, they decided to establish that he was the previously mentioned character. That's when they met Knight.

When Knight came in to audition for the role of Newman, "Seinfeld" was already an established hit show. "I was a fan of the show," Knight recalled, "And thought, 'Well, here's a shot of getting something that's actually good.'" Although this was supposed to be a one-time guest spot, Knight's performance and chemistry with Kramer changed minds. Ot was decided that Newman would continue to be Kramer's counterpart. He also promptly became Jerry's ultimate rival, but to this day, fans are not totally sure why.

Newman organically became Jerry's arch enemy

By the time Wayne Knight's Newman was a fully established character on "Seinfeld," many fans were quoting the now-famous greeting he and Jerry would exchange whenever they came together. A simple "Hello, Newman" or "Hello, Jerry" seems basic when read off a script, yet the exchange was brilliantly hilarious on-screen. That's because those simple four words perfectly embodied the pure hatred the two characters had for one another. The catalyst of that rivalry has remained one of the biggest unanswered questions from "Seinfeld."

The characters' first real interaction had Newman vindictively planning to out Jerry for having a romantic fling with a woman whose boyfriend is in a coma. Jerry and Newman's dislike for each other began there, but the reason for this specific clash, along with future ones, was never fully understood. However, the actors themselves had their own opinions about it. For Seinfeld, the reasoning is pretty simple. "It was an instinctive dislike of the character," he said. For Knight, there was a much broader explanation. "Nobody really likes Newman," Knight said.

Fans will likely never know exactly why Newman and Jerry actually hated each other. It's possible that Jerry's love for a superhero had something to do with it. It was known throughout the series that Jerry was borderline obsessed with "Superman," and like every fictional hero, the hero must have a nemesis. For Jerry, that nemesis was surely Newman.