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My Favorite TV Characters

1/23/08

This is a legitimate, hardcore top 10 list. I wanted to update the top5/10 list page and while I’ll be adding this to it, I decided to go all out and really put forth some effort into this (hence the fact pictures make their first appearance in the new blog.

I tried hard not to pick the main characters on shows because that would be too easy and too generic, so I put some thought into this and came up with a list I’m sure has some flaws (I’m willing to bet my top choice will be questioned) but for the most part im pretty proud of this.

If only I worked this hard on anything else.

So here they are, my 10 favorite TV show characters, along with why they make my list and some great quotes I found from each.

10. Susie Green, Curb Your Enthusiasm (portrayed by Susie Essman)

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On a show featuring the creator of arguably the most successful sitcom in television history, what makes Curb (and any other show for that matter) are the supporting characters. While Larry David is genius when it comes to handling the situations only he manages to involve himself with, my favorite character on the show is the wife of Larry’s friend and manager, Jeff. Susie Green to me takes the cake in terms of giving the show a burst of energy, whether its calling her loving husband a fat fuck or referring to Larry as a four-eyed fuck, Susie is never dull and never shy about saying what she really thinks, while having a mouth on her which dishes out the sort of profanity that you wouldn’t expect to hear from a middle aged mother and wife.

Memorable Quotes:

· [Larry steals the head of a doll from Jeff’s daughter’s collection] “You fat fuck! And you bald piece of shit! Where’s the fucking head?”

· [Thinking Cheryl is yelling at her] “Fuck you, you car wash cunt! I HAD A DENTAL APPOINTMENT!”

· Larry: “Not quite my cup of tea, but… y’know, uh, it’s nice.”

Susie: “All right, you know what? Fuck you… and fuck your tea.”

 

9. Stewie Griffin, Family Guy (voiced by Seth MacFarlane)

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I only recently really started to get hooked on Family Guy. I would occasionally watch the show when it premiered on Fox a few years ago, however after getting cancelled and brought back I never really gave the show a chance. However thanks to my roommates who are big fans of the show, I started watching it more regularly last year, and now I try to watch it as often as possible. One of the reasons is Stewie Griffin, the infant child of Peter and Lois. I, like many others, could not for the life of me figure out whether or not his parents understand him when he talks, while the family dog, Brian, engages in deep conversations with him. Regardless, between the fact that Stewie talks with a sophisticated, witty personality and seems to want nothing more in life than to kill Lois and rid himself of the family around him, Stewie probably ranks second on my list of cartoon characters behind somebody later on the list.

Memorable Quotes:

· “Damn you, vile woman, you’ve impeded my work since the day I escaped your wretched womb.”

· Stewie: “What the hell is this?”
Lois: “It’s your favorite honey, tuna salad.”
Stewie: “Oh, really, is that what it is? Because I could have sworn it was mayonnaise and cat food.”

· (to one of the prostitutes at Cleveland’s house): “So, is there any tread left on the tires? Or at this point would it be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?”

· “Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but you’re a total bitch.”

· (Lois finds a note in Chris’s pocket)
Lois: “Huh, what’s this? You know Stewie, Mommy doesn’t usually read things out of Chris’s pocket. She’s more respectful than that.”
Stewie: “Whatever helps you sleep at night, bitch.”

 

8. Dr. Mark Greene, ER (portrayed by Anthony Edwards)

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On a show that has been on 14 years now, if you can believe it, ER has cemented its place on the NBC go-to programming list, as year after year, despite the changes in characters, the show continues to be one of the more watched shows every week. Among the dozens and dozens of doctors on the show, my favorite was Dr. Mark Green, who always seemed to just make you feel as though everything was going to be alright. He was genuinely nice yet always seemed to be having issues needing his patience, whether it was his teenage daughter who accidentally allowed Mark’s newborn daughter to digest ecstasy, his ex wife his daughter lived with and subsequently left, and eventually his own health, Dr. Green really had a way of extinguishing the flames and ending up on the other side better than he started. One of the saddest and yet most powerful episodes of television I know I’ve ever watched was when Mark died due a brain tumor. Watching him spend his last days with his family while still trying to teach his daughter about living life the right way to the very end was emotional enough, until he saw as he helplessly, but peacefully died in his sleep.

Memorable Quotes:

· Dr. Elizabeth Corday: You might consider boarding school. She could use some structure
Dr. Mark Greene: I could sell her off to pirates.
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: You develop a sense of self worth, community, respect… it worked well for me.
Dr. Mark Greene: Yeah, but…
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: But what?
Dr. Mark Greene: You’re British.

· [On a rapist in trauma]
Malik: Let the bastard die.
Dr. Mark Greene: He’s a patient like any other. He gets our best effort.

· Dr. Elizabeth Corday: That’s it, Mark. I’m not stayin’ here anymore. Every faucet leaks; your toilet actually rocks.
Dr. Mark Greene: I kind of like that.
Dr. Elizabeth Corday: There are things scurrying about in the walls. Do you know what scurries about in walls, Mark?
Dr. Mark Greene: Bunnies?

· [to young patient] “Next time you have a pinata, make sure the other kids are done swinging at it before you dive for the candy, okay?”

7. Ari Gold, Entourage (portrayed by Jeremy Piven)

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The inner workings of Hollywood were brought to our eyes thanks to the dynamic job of Jeremy Piven who plays Ari Gold, mega-agent to pretty boy Vincent Chase on the HBO hit show Entourage. Another show I was slow to get into, by the time I started getting addicting midway through the second season one of the primary reasons was Ari. Nothing is better on the show then watching Ari rip into his ‘gaysian’ (gay and Asian) assistant, Lloyd, who somehow manages to put up with a never-ending stream of insults and stick by his bosses side when he loses his job. Ari is actually more complex than meets the eye, as he tries (poorly) to balance his personal life with the personal life of his biggest client. While the show is never dull, the writing that goes into Ari’s character seems to be on a different level than the rest of the show, as he is constantly both kissing the asses of those above him and around him, sacrificing his dignity should the situation require it. Ari cares as much if not more about Vince and his career then his own family, however its seeing the love and passion you know he has buried deep down about both which make you forgive him if he ruins his own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. You know you still want to hug it out with him.

Memorable Quotes:

· “So you come to me for advice. I’m gonna fucking cry. All right, here’s what you do. You deal with talent the same way that you deal with women. You have to make them believe that they need you more then you need them.”

· “Listen to me, Lloyd, do you want to make it in this business or fold shirts at a Chinese laundromat? Pledge.”

· [Ari is about to leave his kid’s birthday party for business reasons]
Ari’s Wife: Where are you going?
Ari Gold: They flew in the liver, and I gotta do the transplant.

· “Silence is fucking golden.”

· “Tell Drama he’s on the top of my list of things to do today, along with inserting needles in my cock!”

· “I didn’t go to the Lakers game because they were playing the fucking Bobcats… And I came here today because I thought this was a session on how my wife could learn to communicate, how to answer a question without a question, basic Humanity 101, which I thought, given your wall of fucking diplomas, you could easily fix, or if you couldn’t, you could give her a pill that would either fix it or make her a mute. But now, to turn around and gang up on me? I have work to do. I have hundreds of clients to deal with, and just so we’re clear, I don’t care about ANY OF THEM. They’re ALL just a number, like Wife #1 and Therapist #7… GOOD DAY!”

 

6. Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs (portrayed by John C. McGinley)

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The second doctor on the list, Dr. Cox has got to be one of the most entertaining characters you’re going to find on television. The mentor of main character J.D., even though he refuses to acknowledge it, Dr. Cox is best known for his fast talking rants and endless supply of girls names for J.D., while at the same time being a damn good doctor who underneath the hard ass outer shell he presents cares deeply about both his patients and fellow doctors, including the one who looks up to him the most. While Dr. Cox likes to walk around with his god-complex and opinionated speeches about how he hates everything from the Yankees payroll to Hugh Jackman. The best aspect of his character is when you get to see the human side he has, whether it was him breaking down at Ben’s funeral (his brother and law) or being an absolute mess when he accidentally kills 3 patients, the few moments where you get to see him connect with the rest of the Scrubs bunch makes a guy you love to hate, but ultimately just flat out love.

Memorable Quotes:

· “Okay, think of what little patience I have as, oh, I don’t know, your virginity. You always thought it would be there, until that night Junior Year when you were feeling a little down about yourself and your pal Kevin, who just wanted to be friends, well, he dropped by and he brought a copy of About Last Night and a four-pack of Bartels & James and woo hoo hoo, it was gone forever – just like my patience is now.”

· J.D.: Ooh, Dr. Cox, can I ask you something?
Dr. Cox
: The answer is yes, it was me who saw you doing leg lifts in the gym on that inflatable ball. It was quite the display of girl power.

· Dr. Cox: Oh, gosh, Shannon, thank you so much for clarifying my point by repeating it word for word. And now, in a reciprocal gesture, can I be included in the planning of your coming-out party?
J.D.: Is that a gay joke?
Dr. Cox: No, it’s a cotillion joke. My God, Newbie, it’s been two furiously frustrating years – how is it possible that you still don’t get me? I would never compare you to the gays. I like the gays – I like their music, I like their sense of style, I especially like what they’ve done with Halloween – but our thing is that you are a little girl. That’s who you are. But that’s really not fair…

· “You’d better go ahead and enjoy this while you can, Bob, because if your evil genie goes ahead and grants your wish and I’m gone forever, then the only one you’re going to be able to contend with around here is yourself. And when you really get to know *that* person, oh, dear God, you’ll scream so loud that Satan will want to tear up that contract he made with you at birth just so he can get some sleep.”

 

5. Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano, The Sopranos (portrayed by Dominic Chianese)

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In my opinion the most underrated character on what I also would argue is the greatest show in television history; Uncle Junior begins the series as the Boss of the family after Tony, out of respect for his uncle, steps aside to give Junior the spotlight. Unfortunately Junior’s reign is short lived, as he is incarcerated and begins to suffer from dementia. The immediate rise and subsequent fall of the guy they call Uncle June is really incredible, because throughout the entire series, he reminds you of the man he was and has you believing there might really be nothing wrong with him at all. Despite not being a true main character as the seasons progress, he is involved in arguably the most shocking moment in Sopranos history, when he shoots his nephew, apparently unaware he is doing so. Junior, like most of the other characters on the show, is a very complex personality, constantly struggling to deal with the realization he is past his prime while watching his family essentially move on without him. Plus if nothing else, you got to love those frames of his.

Memorable quotes:

· “Tony, if you’re gonna lie to me, tell me there’s a broad in the car waiting to tongue my balls.”

· “You heard about the Chinese godfather? He made them an offer they couldn’t understand”

· “When I was a little kid, no older than that, I always used to wonder why nobody collected prayer cards like they collected baseball cards. Thousands of bucks for Honus Wagner and jack shit for Jesus. “

· “Don’t be so fucking smart. Things could have gone the other way, my little newphew.”

· “That man is one cunt hair away from running all of North Jersey and I am that cunt hair.”

 

4. Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World (portrayed by Ben Savage)

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Call it a backhanded compliment, but a friend of mine always used to refer to me as Cory Matthews, because in his eyes, I- much like Mr. Matthews (as Mr. Feeney referred to him as), I was more or less remarkably average in everything I did. Now I can understand part of what he was saying, and while I know I’m both well below and slightly above average in a number of things, Cory really did give off this vibe that he was nothing more than your average kid. He had a loyal best friend, great parents who loved him and a cliché older brother and younger sister (plus a new born brother towards the end of the show). But Cory was as cool as they came, mixing up being a complete goof-off in class while also managing to reel in a girlfriend like Topanga Lawrence. As he got older, he never stopped being the kid we all knew him to be, and even though it was unrealistically incredible how the whole gang ended up going to college together (including Eric and Jack- Shawn’s), watch them all grow up was a lot of fun.

Memorable Quotes:

· “We’re gonna have a child? Wait, we’ve only kissed. I mean, I knew I was a good kisser, but *wow*.”

· “It was raining… you had an umbrella… I grabbed it, stuffed it down your throat, and then I opened it. Shawn, I Mary Poppinsed ya.”

· Cory: You are going to learn something from life every day. And make mistakes. And you’ll make good friends and Mr. Feeny will probably teach you every grade you’re ever in. And maybe someday you’ll fall in love with a woman as wonderful as Topanga. How would you like that?
Joshua Matthews: Yeah.
Cory: And be lucky enough to make a good friend as Shawn. How’d you like that?
Joshua Matthews: Good.
Cory: And when you’re not a little boy anymore, when the world has taught you how to be a man… Then you’ll still make mistakes. But your family, and all those good friends you’ve made along the way, will help you. And even though you’ll think the world has gone out of its way to teach you all the tough lessons, you’ll realize that it’s the same world that’s given you your family and those friends, you you’ll come to believe that no matter what happens, somehow the world will protect you, too. “Boy Meets World.” Now I get it.

· “Mom, Listen, I haven’t been together with Topanga for twenty-two years, but we *have* been together for sixteen. ‘Kay, that’s a lot longer than most couples have been together. I mean, when we were born, you told me that we used to take walks in our strollers together in the park. When we were two, we were best friends, I mean, I, I knew everything about this girl. I knew her favorite color. I knew her favorite food. Then we became six, you know, and Eric made fun of me because it wasn’t cool to have a best friend that was a girl or even know a girl, so for the next seven years I threw dirt at her. I like to call those “the lost years”. Then when I was thirteen, Mom, she put me up against my locker and she kissed me. I mean, she gave me my first kiss. She taught me how to dance. She was always talking about these crazy things and I never understood a word she said. All I understood was that she was the girl I sat up every night thinking about, and when I’m with her I feel happy to be alive. Like I can do anything. Even talk to you like this. So that’s, that’s what I feel is love, Mom… When I’m better because she’s here… and now she won’t be. So we’re finished.”

 

3. Dr. Christian Troy, Nip/Tuck (portrayed by Julian McMahon)

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I guess you could say that one of the themes of this list would be doctors, because Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck is probably the most complex character I’ve mentioned. Dr. Troy, one half of the very successful McNamara/Troy plastic surgery practice now located out in Hollywood, is the yang to Dr. Sean McNamara’s ying. There are a few things you can count on from Christian in almost every episode: He’ll be having sex as many as two times, with two different women (occasionally at the same time), he’ll make some degrading gay joke to their anesthesiologist Liz, he’ll reveal his emotional side when you least expect it, and you will get a glimpse of his tush. What makes Christian such a deep character is how he is able to have this human side about him you rarely see because of how hard he tries to conceal it. Even though Christian is usually doing his best to sleep with some chick he can then suggest a boob job for, the great thing about him is how much he loves his family, biologically and not. He can be this dark, unsympathetic person which makes you want to hate him, for instance having sex with a woman while making her wear a bag over her head, however seeing his love for his actual son (Matt) and adopted son (Wilbur) convinces you that even without a scalpel, you can see the man Christian really is on the inside.

Memorable Quotes:

· “We’re in the vanity business, Sean. It’s what we do. Appearance is everything to a kid. It’s how you fit in. Snip, snip, he feels better about himself, and you, sir, can make that happen. How cool is fatherhood?”

· “The line that divides the porn industry and the plastic surgery is a thin one. We’re both selling fantasy, aren’t we?”

· “I think I work better on women I’ve screwed. Once you’ve seen a woman’s cumface, you’ve seen her soul.”

· “If you’ll excuse me I’m going upstairs to pay somebody to pretend they like me.”

· “None of us get out alive. Now you can huddle in a group and face it one day at a time, or you could be grateful that when your body rubs against someone else’s, it explodes with enough pleasure that you can forget, even for a minute, that you’re only a walking pile of ashes.”

 

2. Eric Cartman, South Park (voiced by Trey Parker)

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You might be asking yourself why a character who is openly anti-Semitic, racist, sexist and any other ‘ist’ you can think of would be not only on my list, but ranked near the top of it. Well in the case of Eric Cartman, there may not be a more brilliantly created character on TV. Since the beginning of South Park, Cartman has always managed to stand out for a variety of reason, most notably his choice of language and intolerant personality. If I had a nickel for every time Cartman made some derogatory Jewish reference, I could probably buy the rights to the show from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. An interesting tid-bit of information I found out, South Park is actually a two-time Emmy award winning show, which shows you how legitimate a show it is, or how lacking the competition in that particular category was. Either way, Cartman is unquestionably the most valuable player on the South Park team, as he is never without a scheme or plan involving everything from getting a much anticipated trip to his favorite Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita or turning his hand into the next Jennifer Lopez. Like him or hate him, you have to respect his authoritay!

Memorable Quotes:

· Cartman: You so much as TOUCH kitty’s ass, and I’ll put a firecracker in your nutsack and blow your balls all over your pants.
Stan: Jesus, Cartman.
Cartman: Well, I’m just sayn’, man, seriously, don’t mess with kitty, man.

· Cartman: Yeah, well I sneaked around my mum’s closet too and saw what I’m getting. The Ultravibe Pleasure 2000.
Stan: What’s that?
Cartman: I don’t know but it sounds pretty sweet.

· I would never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried anything, I’d be like, EH. You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie. Eh, woman, you shut your mouth, and make babies.”

· It’s a man’s obligation to stick his boneration in a woman’s separation, this sort of penetration will increase the population of the younger generation.”

· Jewish Kid: Is anyone else having problems concentrating on this? I just can’t seem to concentrate.
Cartman: Maybe we should send you to a concentration camp.

1. Chandler Bing, Friends (portrayed by Matthew Perry)

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OH MY GAWWWD! IS THAT CHANDLER BING?! Yes Janice, Chandler Bing from Friends makes the cut because he is probably one of the characters from any TV show I’ve ever watched who I most relate to (I also named one of my cats Chandler after him). First and foremost, could he BE any more sarcastic? Hopefully you picked up on that Chandler-ism, because I pride myself on my ability to turn just about anything into a sarcastic comment, much like Chandler. On top of being (in my opinion) the funniest character on the show, like many of the other characters on my list there was more to him than just being funny. His relationship with Monica highlighted how emotional he can be, while his friendship with Joey showed how much child there was in him, even well into his 30’s. What made Chandler such a great character was how well he could balance being a complete goof off while also being serious when he really needed to be. Whether it was sneaking in watching the Thanksgiving day parade when the guys weren’t around or getting locked in an ATM vestibule with a super model and only having Joey figure out the situation through their own gibberish language, Chandler is pretty much the sort of person I hope I grow up to be, because he had a hot wife, a great sense of humor, an emotional underside and a group of Friends that were always there for him. (Theme song anybody?)

Memorable Quotes:

· “Yes, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the dumbest a person can look, you are definitely nineteen.”

· “You have to stop the Q-Tip when there’s resistance.”

· “Oh, yeah, I’m a gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I’ve missed the last… twelve hundred times.”

· Ross: I figured after work, I’d pick up a bottle of wine, go over there, and try to… woo her.
Chandler: Hey, you know what you should do? Take her back to the 1800’s when that phrase was last used.

· Chandler: I got her machine.
Joey: Her answering machine?
Chandler: No. Interestingly enough, her leaf blower picked up.

…In Syndication (just missed the cut)

  • Jack Bauer, 24 (Kiefer Sutherland)
  • Pauly ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, The Sopranos (Tony Sirico)
  • Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls (Lauren Graham)
  • Simon Cowell, American Idol (himself)
  • Celia Hodes, Weeds (Elizabeth Perkins)
  • Ali G/Borat/Bruno, Da Ali G Show (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  • George Costanza, Seinfeld (Jason Alexander)
  • Jack MacFarland, Will and Grace (Sean Hayes)
  • Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
  • Jim Halpert, The Office (John Krasinski)
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January 23, 2008 - Posted by | Television

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