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The man many know as Newman has a new show

November 25, 2011|By Cassandra M. Bellantoni
  • Toluca Lake resident and celebrity, Wayne Knight, will be starring in The Exes, a TV Land show about three divorced men living as roommates. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Toluca Lake resident and celebrity, Wayne Knight, will…

Actor Wayne Knight is a veteran of iconic television and major feature films, from playing the evil mailman Newman on “Seinfeld” to the gluttonous villain in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.” He’s also a longtime Toluca Lake resident and a new father, with another sitcom, “The Exes,” premiering Wednesday night on TV Land.

Co-starring Kristen Johnston and David Alan Basche, “The Exes” is about three divorced men and their lawyer-landlady, and how they navigate tricky relationships with their newfound freedom. The show is just one more way in which Knight has kept busy since the end of “Seinfeld” in 1998, with frequent appearances on Broadway and on such current shows as “Hot In Cleveland” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

After a recent taping of “The Exes” at CBS Radford in Studio City, Knight spoke of his life and career so far. He is just as funny out of the studio and without a script.

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How many times a day do people say, “Hello … Newman”?

I pretty much hear it every day. Before I leave the house, I say it to myself a few times and my wife says it too. Then I hear it when I go to Trader Joe’s.

Was “The Exes” always intended for TV Land?

Well, we were going to do it door-to-door, but we decided it worked better on television.

In the episode I saw, you play a kind of techno geek with an Internet business.

My character, “Haskell,” is going to evolve. In the beginning he’s basically an ass attached to the couch and hands attached to the iPad. Over time we will learn a little more about Haskell. He’s in his techno bubble, but part of the process of being in a relationship with these other two guys is finding out who’s inside. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like peeling the layers off an onion, then having to deal with the smell.

When did you settle down in Toluca Lake?

I’ve lived here for 10 years. It’s the perfect combination of proximity to the studios, an imaginary Connecticut with a golf course, all built out of the head of Bob Hope. It’s like this unknown place, but I never really thought about the quality of the schools until recently.

Do you have children?

I have an 18-month-old son.

You are married to Clare Knight, the editor of “Kung Fu Panda 2.” Does she think you’re hilarious at home?

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