Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The 100 Greatest TV Show Characters Of All Time (Part 8)

65: The Mighty Boosh: Howard Moon (Julian Barrett)
The funniest straight man in comedy today, Howard is as pretentious and up-himself as they come. Always the butt of the jokes made by his friend Vince Noir (Noel Fielding), Howard is completely repressed. He is vain and shallow, but tries to make himself out to be someone special, which leads to intensely awkward situations. He also tends to get kidnapped a lot, forcing Vince to go out and rescue him.

64: Prison Break: Theodore Bagwell (Robert Knepper)
Not many characters have been as consistently evil as Theodore ‘T-Bag’ Bagwell, a sick, twisted murderer with the ability to survive almost anything. During the first series he cropped up as a villain whom the main characters had to get past to escape the prison of the show, but… they didn’t. He got out with them, and then went on a killing spree. Knepper here managed to create a character everyone would hate, a man who is charming to the people he needs to charm, but vicious and without mercy once he has what he needs. It’s an astonishing performance, and it made every scene with his character riveting – far more so than any of the other characters.

63: Kenan and Kel: Kel Kimble (Kel Mitchell)
Nobody liked Kenan, because he was so uptight and had a terrible voice that took all the comedy out of everything. Much more interesting was Kel, a kid obsessed with orange soda. In fact, perhaps the only reason I even remember this character and put him in the list is because of his love for orange soda. I don’t even know him that well – he was a slacker, or something, the bad influence on Kenan who annoyed everyone else (especially Kenan’s apoplectic dad). I don’t have much else to say; this was perhaps a bad choice for the list but hey – it’s my list.

62: Angel: Wesley Wyndham-Price (Alexis Denisof)
We got to see an incredibly story-arc for Wesley, as his character started off as an inexperience, smug idiot on another show (Buffy), then moved across to the spin-off and grew into a distraught veteran who saw most of his friends die, had his throat slit, and had to watch the woman he loved die and resurrect as a demon. Yeah, it was not easy for Wesley, but he did he best to make it through, depressed though he was. His character began as comic relief and ended as the person everyone most wanted to have a happy ending. On a show filled with incredible, fascinating characters, Wesley was one of the strongest and most interesting of all. He betrayed, was betrayed, came back, shot and stabbed his way through life, and made it through to the series finale before being anticlimactically killed off. Just what he’d have wanted.

61: Dad’s Army: Frank Pike (Ian Lavender)
In a TV show about a group of people who are too old to go to war, it helps to have some youth to balance out the ranks of pensioners who must make up the majority of your cast. With Dad’s Army, a fabulous example of character-based comedy where just about every character could have a claim to enter this list, Frank Pike was that character, played with clueless aplomb by Ian Lavender. Pike was a mother’s boy through-and-through, who never took off his scarf and who was always the butt of the joke. For the more experienced members of the Home Guard, Pike was someone to be looked after, because he was so young and silly, and Pike was consistently annoyed by this – but cos he was so young and silly, he had to accept that they were almost always right about him. He also provided the country with a great new rhyme about Hitler, for which we must eternally thank the writers of the show.


  1. Please don't tell me Jack Jones from Dad's Army will beat Pike on this list because if he does...

    'Who loves orange soda?' - that could be turned into a rhyme about Hitler but it may be racially inclined and socially unacceptable. We wouldn't want Wilftonville not to be adored by every member of the public, right?

  2. I'm fairly sure that Wilftonville is widely hated by the general public, at this point.

    I can make no comment on Jones.