Catching up! In episode 17, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 70-61. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-downs, but here are some choice excerpts:
PAUL: Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a series filled to the gills with loquacious and snarky characters, but Oz was unique: he was taciturn and snarky!
AJ: Enid Coleslaw (Ghost World)
Enid is so cynical about everything, from her parents to her friends to the customers at the local diner. She can be hard to like at first, especially because she spends most of the book insulting anyone and everything, but eventually the walls she’s built up start to crumble.
PAUL: The Tick (The Tick)
Edlund and his writing team, to say nothing of voice actor Townsend Coleman, forged a musclebound, surreal, quippy, and obtuse superhero parody for the ages.
AJ: Arthur Dent (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series)
Arthur is very much the everyman of the series. There are plenty of oddball characters, but Arthur keeps it grounded.
PAUL: Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory)
Intellectually arrogant, emotionally retarded, caustic, cynical, superior, judgmental, obsessive compulsive, with absolutely no grasp of conventional humor or the concept of sarcasm.
AJ: Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Angel)
If I say that Fred is the sweetest character to ever appear on Angel, I don’t think I’d get any arguments.
PAUL: Dr. Perry Cox (Scrubs)
Acerbic and wantonly, hilariously cruel to practically everyone, but particularly the young interns and doctors under what he will refuse to admit is his mentorship, Dr. Cox is the most laugh-out-loud funny villain I can think of.
AJ: William Miller (Almost Famous)
William is fresh-faced and innocent, which is one of the reasons his mother is so overprotective that she even intimidates rock stars. And William retains that innocence throughout the entire movie, and so we experience everything with the same sense of wonder, awe, and disbelief that he does.
PAUL: Gollum (The Lord of the Rings series)
I grew up reading Tolkien obsessively, and while Gollum only had a cameo bit in The Hobbit, even that fascinated me. Something about the pathetic, sniveling little creature that still managed to frighten the goblins that shared his caves made me really curious, even at 7 years of age.
AJ: Yorick Brown (Y: The Last Man)
Yorick is sort of the last man you’d expect to be the last man on Earth.
PAUL: Roy Batty (Blade Runner)
As an artificially created being that is self-aware, Roy is a fractured prism through which to look at questions of humanity. What is human? How do you live knowing that life is finite? Are we more than the sum of our parts?
AJ: Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)
Samuel L. Jackson did a bunch of movies before Pulp Fiction, I wanna say like 20 or 30 maybe, but Pulp Fiction was the one that defined his badass screen persona.
PAUL: Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings series)
I never knew my own father, which has never consciously bothered me. I mean, I don’t feel the need to go on some kind of arthouse film quest to find my biological father or anything. And perhaps that’s actually because, in some small way, I had this character to connect with.
AJ: Eric Cartman (South Park)
Greedy. Selfish. Intolerant. Occasionally homicidal. Mostly downright evil. These are the qualities which define Eric Cartman, one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time, who somehow remains kind of lovable despite it all.
PAUL: Abe Sapien (Hellboy)
For some reason I just immediately fell in love with the idea that Abe can operate in an entirely different environment from anyone else. Well, unless you’re holding a magic nail, but that’s a different story.
AJ: Benjamin Braddock (The Graduate)
Along with Holden Caulfield and the aforementioned Enid Coleslaw, Benjamin Braddock is one of those classic alienated kids.
PAUL: Penny Lane (Almost Famous)
She was the muse, the siren, the vaguely supernatural romantic and sexual spirit of the film.
AJ: Drusilla (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel)
She is a vampire. She is mad. She is psychic. That is a brilliant combination, and brilliantly played by Juliet Landau.
PAUL: Wesley Dodds (Sandman Mystery Theater)
His modus operandi was he ran around with a gas mask and a gas gun, and he would put bad guys to sleep and basically give them horrific nightmares which were supposed to show them the error of their ways.
AJ: David Brent (The Office)
David Brent is the original Michael Scott from the U.S. version, but he is a much different character. Whereas Michael does stupid things on a regular basis but at the end of the day is still a pretty good guy who is mostly trying to do the right thing, Brent is a selfish, egotistical, narcissistic buffoon.