On Friday’s show, Paul and I began our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. We’ve each got our own lists, and last night we revealed our respective #s 90-81. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-down, but here are our picks with excerpts of what we said:
PAUL: Tulip O’Hare (Preacher)
She’s a gun-toting, can-take-care-of-herself woman who holds her own against Jesse Custer.
AJ: Margo Channing (All About Eve)
Margo Channing is a great actress, possibly the greatest stage actress of her time. But as one character says, her fault lies in the fact that she knows she’s great.
PAUL: Dana Scully (The X-Files)
Another strong woman who holds her own in a series or a setting where there are powerful, sometimes overpowering, characters. She had the unenviable job of being skeptical for seven full years of The X-Files, which sometimes worked better than others.
AJ: Dirk Diggler (Boogie Nights)
He, along with his director, Jack Horner, are committed to making adult entertainment better than it is perceived as being. But then the 80’s hit him, and the entire industry, like a brick.
PAUL: Rose Red (Fables)
If Snow White is the by-the-book, uptight, stick-up-her-ass, kind of follow-the-rules character, her sister Rose Red is the wild sister, the carousing, partying sister.
AJ: Truman Burbank (The Truman Show)
He begins to realize that his picture-perfect life has secretly been crafted by hundreds of set decorators and trained actors, and that it’s the illusion that it is. He has to come to terms with the fact that hardly any of his experiences are actually genuine, and that he doesn’t know anything about anything.
PAUL: Sam Quint (Jaws)
The very definition of the crusty old sea-salt captain.
AJ: Pam Beesly (The Office)
I do love Dawn, who is the Pam equivalent from the U.K. version, but Pam is close to being the perfect woman.
PAUL: John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)
He justifies his past as an outlaw by telling people he stole from the rich and he gave to the poor, and they were doing it to elicit a change in the people of the West and all that, but really, he’s just rationalizing.
AJ: Miles Raymond (Sideways)
In a way, Miles is a very relatable character. He’s so defeated by the numerous tragedies he’s perceived to have befallen him that he’s given to self-destructive behavior.
PAUL: Vermithrax Pejorative (Dragonslayer)
That’s a great example of a fantastical creature that’s, the way it’s animated and the way that it quote unquote “acts,” just comes across as very real. I mean, it feels like an animal.
AJ: Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)
What he is, is a hulking, unstoppable force determined to rip through the lives of anyone in his way to get what he wants.
PAUL: Storm (X-Men)
Storm, who had previously been the gentle, kind of mother spirit of the X-Men, she was taking on a much darker outlook on life. And it fully manifested in issue 173, October 1983, when she changed her costume in favor of a spiked collar, and leather pants and jacket, and a white mohawk.
AJ: David Fisher (Six Feet Under)
He starts the series out as a closeted gay man with a stiff upper lip that he uses to close his family off from all of his secrets. But he eventually comes out and begins doing things that imperil his relationship with a police officer named Keith. David has a really hard time coming to terms with himself.
PAUL: Valentine “Val” McKee and Earl Bassett (Tremors)
The greatest dark comedy, monster, horror, guilty pleasure, beer-drinkin’, MST3K-in’ movie of all time.
AJ: Professor Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series)
When Harry meets Dumbledore, he finally finds a father figure who loves him, trusts him, and encourages him to believe in himself, which is really important for a young kid.
PAUL: Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Possibly the greatest stop motion-animated romantic hero of all time.
AJ: Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather series)
Even though he’s a criminal and a murderer, he works hard, he’s committed to what he does, he’s even a kind and generous man who considers family the most important thing in the world.
PAUL: Duncan MacLeod (Highlander: The Series)
In my opinion, he’s a much, much better character, a much better acted character, better fleshed-out character, far more interesting than Connor MacLeod.
AJ: Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
She’s a tough-as-nails teenage detective, but she’s also a teenager, so not only does she have to deal with the hard-boiled film noir villains of Neptune, but she also has to deal with all of the angst that comes from adolescence.