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January 05, 2007

Sidekicks

Sidekicks

By Rebecca the Bookseller

Batmantvseriesbatmanrobin4000246769368You know them - Batman has Robin - so does Howard Stern; the Lone Ranger has Tonto; Winnie the Pooh has Tigger too. Sometimes they are like yin and yang. Sometimes they are like dumb and dumber. There's even a joke about Jesus and his robe maker, Hyram Finkelstein. They went on to open a small shop together....wait for it....Lord & Taylor. Ugh.

Any way, I've been thinking about sidekicks ever since I got a second chance to read one of Elaine's blogs, wherein she refers to the Psycho Sidekick. So that's what I want to be when I grow up, or retire, whichever comes first.

Not all sidekicks are psycho. Sure, I've wondered about Jerry for years. Who hasn't? Even for a mouse, you'd have to be a little nuts to hang out with a cat all the time. And Wiley Coyote? Obviously on a suicide mission from the jump. But what about the quiet ones? You think Yogi is the real mastermind behind those decades of pic-i-nic basket theivery? No way. Boo-Boo is running that op.

Recently, while flipping through the Schott's Almanac, I saw their list of Best Sidekicks. There was Ed McMahon, in the top spot. Good for Ed. A pure sidekick is a rare bird - you shouldn't really include someone who is part of an ensemble (which nicks out George Costanza, Radar O'Reilly, Ralph Furley, Louie DePalma, Norm Peterson and the like). You might have a standout - like Scooby Doo and Shaggy, but then you've got the rest of those meddling kids, and do not even start with me on the aberration that was Scrappy Doo.

And what about the duos - Laurel and Hardy or Starsky and Hutch or Abbot and Costello or Cagney and Lacey? None of them are really sidekicks either. See, it's harder than you think.

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So here are some I'd nominate - see if you can remember who they are - and then add your own for consideration.

Barney Fife
Barney Rubble
Dr. Watson
Gromit
Chewbacca
Samwise Gamgee
Ron Weasley
Sancho Panza
Willow Rosenberg
Pedro Sanchez
Cameron Frye
Rhoda Morgenstern
Art Garfunkel
Sir John Falstaff
Ford Prefect
Paul Shaffer
Igor
Joseph "Blue" Palaski

OK, I admit that Blue was really part of an ensemble, but I had to give him the shout out anyway, because he not only went out with his boots on, but in one of the the funniests exits on film.

Your turn. And a star for the first person who can identify Blue without looking it up.

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Comments

Kid Curry
Billy (from Battlestar Galactia)
Lennier

Hmmm . . . I'm looking at my list and wondering where the women are. Of course, Billy and Lennier are both sidekicks to women, so that helps. I'd nominate Gabrielle, but although she was commonly referred to as a sidekick, I think she rose above that level.

Great, Rebecca -- now I'm going to be running book, TV and movie duos through my head all day :)

[Warning! Nerd Alert!] -- how about Spock of the pointy ears?

I swear, he's not my favorite.....

Here's one for the ladies: Lula from the Stephanie Plum books.

The Waco Kid from Blazing Saddles. Charlie- if not Spock, then who?

I see Willow up there, but what about Xander? Or Spike?

Here are a few more...
Ethel Mertz
Joe Pike

Sidekicks have always been second class citizens in Entertainment Land. There was some kids' superhero movie in the past five years (The Incredibles? Sky High? They blur together) where if you didn't have the cojones to make superhero, you were doomed to life as a sidekick -- a fate worse than death. You have liberated the sidekick from the slag heap of history, Rebecca.

Would it be crass, Cheryl, to suggest any of the women in the James Bond movies? In recognition of their acting skills, of course.

Good point about the women. Maybe it's because women come in either duos or groups? Laverne & Shirley, for instance - neither is the sidekick. Here's one - Flo ("Kiss My Grits") who was a sidekick to Alice. I think Gabrielle at least started out that way, too.

Maybe it's becuase the sidekick is many times the comic foil and men are better at playing dumb than women? Leonard Kosnowski and Andrew Squiggmann, for example.

Charlie - I left out Spock under the Ensemble exemption. The Bond Girls? Nice try. Side kickery was not their strong suit.

Can't believe I forgot the great Madeline Kahn -

Her Victoria Brisbane was the perfect sidekick to Mel Brooks in "High Anxiety". That hotel bar scene is one of my all time favorites.

And who was Nancy Drew's friend? Shame on me for not remembering that one too.

Rebecca, Blue is either Paul Bunyan's steer or the dog on Blues Clues.


Oops, it was Babe, not blue.

How about Renfield from Dracula? He certainly got 'kicked' enough :o)
Colonel Hastings
Tinkerbell
Sergeant Lewis
Mini-me
Horatio
Oh this is such fun!

And...going back to a former post about sleeping, no one mentioned lavender did they? Didn't think about it until I had a massage last night, my therapist used lavender oil, and I slept like a little kid!

Good guesses, Buzz, but no. Although Babe the Blue Ox is a good sidekick.

Nancy Drew's gal pals were Bess and George (remember how cool it was she had a "boy's" name?)...

I love this post!

Nancy Drew had two sidekicks--Bess and George. I don't count boyfriend Ned--too much of a wuss.

Okay, how 'bout Inspector Lynley's sidekick, D.S. Barbara Havers?

Does this mean that Thelma and Louise were equals?
ma

Paulie (from both Rocky and The Sopranos)

Cal Naughton, Jr. - Ricky Bobby's team mate
Andy Richter (at least for a while)

Arthur Fonzarelli - who ended up taking over the show

Did somebody already say Ed Norton?

Great topic.

I don't think it's possible to improve upon Kirk and Spock, but I'm also fond of Travis McGee and Meyer.

Is anyone a sidekick in their own mind? Or are they always the star of their own movie?

Hawkeye and Trapper? Hawkeye and BJ? Hot Lips and Frank? Henry and Radar?

Back to books, what about Maturin to Aubrey?

*BLINK*

Aw, Harley, you've done it again. Anyone who remembers Florida's most famous salvage expert and his economist friend just had some major stock points added.

Someone mentioned The Fonz, who started as a sidekick and took over. Anyone but me remember Alexander Scott? Illya Kuryakin? Classic examples of the "sidekick" who ended up on equal footing and more than once took over.

For the funniest stuff on sidekicks, I recommend "The Last Action Hero" with the current Govenor. The scene that always makes me laugh is when the kid charges down the hill on his bicycle playing chicken with a speeding car, muttering to himself, "This'll work, I'm the hero's sidekick....this'll work, I'm the hero's sidekick..." As the car gets closer and closer, the kids screams "HOLY SHI*! I'M THE COMIC SIDEKICK, I'M GONNA DIE!"

Oh...along with Tink, Captain Hook's right 'hand' man Smee (or the croc).

Another lady, Delia Peabody, sidekick to Eve Dallas.

Very fun! I'm going to be late for work.

Is Jeeves the sidekick? or Bertie?

What about Melrose Plant to Richard Jury?

What about Genevieve from Bubble's? Happy Friday, fun blog.

Ilya Kuryakin? Well, William, right back at you with the compliments!

Oooh, Emma Peal. Talk about an inspiration for young girls. Smart, witty, extra cool and way hot.

I was gonna say Dick Cheney... but then I thought maybe it was W, really. And I don't want to get into trouble for bringing up politics, anyway.

My mom tosses out Snow White's Seven Dwarves (I think she might get a nod for sheer quantity here.) We can only remember 5 of the 7 names though.

For a lit. reference... how about Watson (to Holmes). And yeah, my mom came up with that one too.

Agent 99.

And what's the name of the character Danny Glover plays against Mel Gibson's Martin Riggs?

I wonder if there's a difference between a foil and a sidekick? Which one, for istance, often gets shot, beaten up, has his kid kidnapped and/or gets killed?

Cheryl, I've spoken before of my worshi...I mean my total adorat...I mean my occassional watching of THE AVENGERS, and Mrs. Emma Peel..:) I'm not 100% certain she'd fall into the sidekick category, though. More often than not, she saved Steed. (I won't mention that as my reward for completing NaNoWriMo I finally indulged in the complete Emma Peel Megaset on DVD....no, we shan't discuss that at all....)

Last call.... Alexander Scott? Anyone? Anyone? (Glancing at Ms. Kozak) I know you know....I know you do.....

Gayle King
Corporal Randolph Agarn
Baretta and Fred
Ed McMahon
Roy Cohn
Prince Phillip
Ed Norton

Okay, as the mother of a teenager, may I suggest Garth to Mike Myers's Wayne and, really, I don't know whom is the sidekick to whom in the Bill and Ted war.

Also, who can forget Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid along with the reprisal in the Sting of Paul Newman and, heartbeat here, Robert Redford - though I'm totally blanking on their names.

Hey, Charlie...how's it going, hon?

I can't believe I'm the thirty-somethingth poster and I'm going to win Rebecca's gold star!! "Blue" is the old coot in the Vince Vaughn/Will Farrell/Luke Wilson fraternity in "Old School." He does indeed die with his boots on, Rebecca. He does indeed.

As for sidekicks in their own minds, I am certain that mealy-mouthed Melanie Wilkes thought of herself as a sidekick. She is another interesting example of sidekick-as-foil, too...

Riggs partner was Murtaugh(sp)Great straight man.
How about Eddie Murphy's Donkey to Mike Myer's Shrek?

Oh and Dustin Hoffman as Tom Cruise's 'sidekick' in Rainman

Don't forget;
Buddy and Sally and Mel on Dick Van Dyke
Fred and Ethel on I Love Lucy
Rerun on What's Happening
Ed Norton on The Honeymooners
Klinger on MASH
Karen on Will and Grace

Also these cozy mystery side kicks:
Hannah Swenson's sister Andrea
Jane Jeffrey's neighbor Shelley
Chris Bennet's husband Jack
China Bayles' friend Ruby
Annie's Max Darling
Abby Knight's hot Marco
The ultimate evil side kick was Rebecca's Mrs. Danvers

Cassie - good for you!

That crew is my current favorite comedy team - Night At The Museum could've used some more of those boys.

What great comments - from fine literature to fine cartoons- we have such a fine range of brainpower here at TLC.

Delia Peabody and Eve Dallas - EXCELLENT!

Thelma and Louise were equals.

Their sidekick would've been backseat pretty boy. That's a good kind of sidekick for them - shut up and look hot.

Which, some would argue, was the peak of Brad Pitt's acting career.

Corporal Agarn??? Now there's a man who's dating us---I mean, himself!

Was Bullwinkle Rocky's sidekick, or was it the other way around? What about Lassie and Timmy?

Trust my kid to get the gold star. That's 7 years of higher education at work, folks.

And worth every penny.

Ralph & Potsie to Richie & The Fonz (Happy Days)
Leo (Joe Pesci) to Riggs & Murtagh (Lethal Weapons)
Lenny & Squiggy to Laverne & Shirley (L&S)
Jake (The kid) to Charlie & Alan (Charlie Sheen & Jon Cryer)
Darrell and Darrey to Larry (Newhart)
Toto, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow to Dorothy
Mammy to Scarlett
Grandma to Tweety

Sorry, that was supposed to be Darrell and Darrell - to Larry

Angel to Jim Rockford

Winthrop (?) to the protagonist(name not currently recalled, as my memory is completely shot after striving valiantly through the muck of my brain for the name Angel, above)in some of Harlan Coben's books (thank God I remembered the author's name--that's very important, right?)

Cannot think of any female sidekicks, but there used to be a generic term for the female sidekick to powerful male concept: the now politically incorrect "Gal Friday" (also a movie with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, if I am recalling correctly)

Ooooh -- Illya. Sigh. So now we add Mark Slade (anyone remember him?).

And how about sidekicks to sidekicks? Cricky to Eddie Murphy's Mushu in Mulan, anyone?

I think my husband would say he's my sidekick, although I'd dispute that.

Dallas and Peabody- right on!
Stephanie Plum & Lula- absolutely
but has anyone thought of Screech from Saved by the Bell?

I just thought of another sidekick- Jessica or Laura from the Betsy Taylor/Undead series

Screech? Isn't he the one who just sold that home made porn to save his house?

I don't care what that boy's got going on - he's stil too weird.

Somebody got me watching Remington Steel on late night TV - he was one nice sidekick package for her.

How about Samuel L. Jackson to Travolta in Pulp Fiction?

Bea, Win is the sort-of sidekick to Myron Bolitar in Coben's series. I don't know that I've ever really thought of him as a sidekick. To me, the term "sidekick" implies someone who tags along, and doesn't have as much of a life on their own. I always get the feeling that Win has much more of a life than Myron does.

Chris Farley to David Spade, in almost every movie they were ever in.

William - who the heck is Alexander Scott? Because I don't think you're talking about the guy from PA who was in the railroad business.

Rebecca, my child, my child... how can you not be aware of the wonderfulness of Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and Alexander Scott (Bill Cosby) of the eternally classic series I SPY as they traveled the globe, keeping the world safe from Nefarious Plots, Sinister Villains, and All Around No-Goodniks? (The preceding would read a lot better if you could hear my picture perfect Robert Culp imitation.)

Undercover as a tennis pro (Robinson) and his trainer (Scott), they were really Secret Agents fighting for Truth, Justice, and Mom's Apple Pie.

Initially, "Scotty" was indeed a sidekick, but the producers quickly saw Cosby's star qualities, and the character was made an equal partner in short order. A daring move for the time, so much so that some TV stations in the South initially refused to air the show.

It's hard to imagine in this day and age, but the casting of Bill Cosby was a MAJOR thing at the time. And the beauty of the series was they made a statement...by NOT making a statement. Kelly was Kelly, Scotty was Scotty, and they were the Good Guys.

All three seasons are out on DVD. If you've not seen it, I highly recommend it.

And FYI, Harley...did you know that Robert Culp was almost cast as Travis McGee in a proposed series back in 1967 or so?


Scotty?! Ok, then. I'm a bit young to remember anything other than it was Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. Not that the rest of you are old or anything. heh.

Thanks for clearing that up.

And thanks to everyone - some new people joined us today too - welcome and please come back.

Another nod to Cassie for identifying today's mystery sidekick "You're my boy, Blue!". Cass - new chef at the Square along with a new pastry chef who delivers fabulous cookies. Bring your Mom over for brunch.

Great, great comments today!

Thanks to you guys, TLC is off to another great start in 2007!

Thanks William. My husband mentioned the characters from I Spy, but we couldn't remember their names.

Xena's sidekick Gabrielle (loved that show)
Hercules' Sidekick Iaoulus
The Tick's sidekick Arthur
Nero Wolfe's Sidekick Archie Goodwin
Yogi Bear's sidekick Boo-Boo
Bullwinkle's sidekick Rocket J. Squirrel
Calvin's sidekick Hobbes
Krusty the Klown's sidekick Gone Wrong: Sideshow Bob
Green Hornet's sidekick Kato
Fafhrd's Sidekick The Grey Mouser

And the proto-sidekick: Gilgamesh's sidekick Enkidu

Oh...The Brain's sidekick Pinky.

Jonny Quest's sidekick Hajji.

For gods sake somebody stop me!

Stop, JD! You can't possibly top Pinky and the Brain...

(Just kidding, JD, you don't really have to stop.)

Tarzan and Jane?

Hmmm...no, Cheetah was the sidekick. Or maybe Boy.

Jane was the Love Interest.

Hey now, am I hearing some Jungle Sexism here?

Can a Love Interest be a Sidekick as well? Or is that another blog, for another day?

Marci to Peppermint Patty in Peanuts!

Paulie Walnuts and Silvio Dante to Tony Soprano
Tony Blair (poodle boy) to GW Bush

Thank god its 2007, time to start counting the days.

I think we've finally established it: We are all NERDS!

Except these two guys Nancy....let me know if you know which one is the Sidekick...:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9zMBTbSKvk

Great blog, I did a paper in high school and I named many of the people on the first list. Lest we forget, George "Gabby" Hayes and Smiley Burnett!

Again, if you wish to be cool,
please visit -
http://www.browardlibrary.org/resources/onlinestorytime/blues.htm

Ok, I know this is veryvery late . . . but no one mentioned Gilligan?

Gilligan was a hero masquerading as a sidekick. Luvvie was a sidekick, as of course was Mary Ann.

A fave girls sleepover party question in my generation: Who would you rather be on Gilligan's Island -- Mary Ann or Ginger?

Sorry I missed this yesterday - thanks for leaving it up.

Rebecca - off to a great start - way to go.

Michele - that's funny because the question men always ask is which one would you Do?

What about Jughead (Archie's sidekick)? I ask because the question that follows Mary Ann or Ginger is Betty or Veronica.

And who wins? My guess is Mary Ann.

Depends on the day. It's Wild Card day - of course today is just a warm up for tomorrow's double header. So I'll ask around during the replay reviews.

"A fave girls sleepover party question in my generation: Who would you rather be on Gilligan's Island -- Mary Ann or Ginger?"

Substitute "do" for "be" and guys have the same debate.

Still going!

OK - a couple from my kids:

Grr to Invader Zim

Krypto to Superman

Gaz to Dib

The Giant to Inigo Monotya

Al to Ed (Full Metal Alchemist)

Rose to Dr. Who

Sorry - that was Inigo Montoya, (You killed my father, prepare to die)

I love Inigo! And, of course, he started out as a henchman but sort of wound up as a sidekick himself, didn't he?

I'm just now discovering Wallace to Veronica; that's a fun one.

What about the younger Brady's to Marcia and Greg? Laurie and Danny to Keith? Danny to Reuben? Or vice-versa?

Geez, Mom, you spelled G.I.R. wrong. T_T

And "Monotya" sounds like a disease.

The Cheat to Strong Bad (Homestar Runner)
Pikachu to Ash (Pokemon)
Baby Bop and BJ to Barney (It had to be said. You're all thinking it, and you're just lucky someone under eighteen is here to take one for the team so you don't embarass yourselves)
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Qui-Gon Ginn (Star Wars Episode I)
Donald Duck to Mickey Mouse
Telemachus to Odysseus
Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart (I'm sorry, but he totally is.)

Hoooboy, now Kathy's Kid is old enough to post. We could be in big trouble.

This is from my daughter, Molly to Loonette on Big Comfy Coach.

Oops, sorry typo, that's Big Comfy Couch.

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