Top 10 Cool Sitcom Characters
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
May 24, 2011
Filed Under TV
Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
While cool takes many shapes, and comes in many sizes, there are some TV sitcom characters that simply soar above the rest.
Like the onset of severe gastrointestinal disorder following an overabundance of Cajun, their coolness cannot be denied.
Here is my list of the top ten cool sitcom characters:
10. Agent 99
Maxwell Smart got the laughs, and top billing in the credits, but it was Barbara Feldman as Agent 99 that handled any and all situations that required cool. No, she didn’t have a phone in her shoe, the one cool, redeeming value of Max, but she more than made up for it by bailing him out of sticky situation after sticky situation, all the while remaining cool under pressure.
9. Hawkeye Pierce
Before he got all sentimental on us, Hawkeye Pierce was easily the coolest cat on the MASH scene. The practical jokes, often with the assistance of Trapper John, he played on Frank and Hot Lips were outstandingly cool. Not to mention the way he handled Colonel Blake, all the while maintaining his cool as the #1 doc of a medical madhouse.
8. Cosmo Kramer
Perhaps best described by Elaine (who was cool too, with her fictional job as a copywriter for the J. Peterman catalog) as a hipster doofus, Cosmo was certainly a different kind of cool, but cool nonetheless. His love of Mackinaw Peaches, an adopted road and putting up with Newman for all those years are prime examples of staying sitcom cool. Keeping his first name such a closely guarded secret for o’ those many years took a certain measure of cool as well.
7. Hogan from Hogan’s Heroes
The oft-neglected Colonel Hogan, at least when people think about cool sitcom characters, was an absolute one-of-a-kind. Everyone knew who was running the Stalag 13 show, and it wasn’t Colonel Klink. His abuse of Schultz, often without his even realizing it, was absolutely precious. Cool as a the other side of the pillow.
6. Vinnie Barbarino
One of the first truly cool characters on television, Barbarino wasn’t necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed, just the coolest. You don’t become leader of the Sweathogs without having an abundance of innate coolness. For many, Vinnie Barbarino stands above all other John Travolta roles to this day; which is pretty cool. Though, John may not feel as giddy about this distinction.
5. Dr. Johnny Fever
WKRP in Cincinnati starred the fetching Loni Anderson as Jennifer Marlowe, but it was Dr. Johnny Fever that shined with his unlimited supply of cool. In fact, he was the only character who went on to do his own spin-off gig “The New WKRP in Cincinnati: Fever in the Morning.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t much cool about the show, just The Doctor.
4. Mary Tyler Moore
Setting the world of TV sitcoms on its ear, Mary Tyler Moore was one of the first truly cool women on television. Mary was living on her own; and doing quite nicely thanks very much, while holding down a steady gig in the local TV newsroom, both unheard of at the time. Unheard of that is, until Mary Tyler Moore brought her unparalleled brand of cool to the screen, and changed TV forever.
3. Maude Findlay
Bea Arthur didn’t quite have Mary Tyler Moore’s style, but if there were ever a tougher broad on a TV sitcom, we may be better off not knowing about her. A Spin off of the wildly successful All in the Family, Maude didn’t just wear the pants in the family, she chose ‘em, bought ‘em and decided when to get rid of ‘em.
2. Sam Malone
Early Sam, in other words pre-Diane, was nearing the epitome of cool. This was clearly the case for the guys in the bar; Norm, Cliff. Carla and the rest of the crew who had Sammy up on lofty, yet still immensely cool, pedestal. While his dating feats remain the stuff of legend, his background as an ex-Major Leaguer added a certain panache to the well-quaffed one.
Trite? Perhaps. But from 1974 through the ’84 TV season no one, and that’s means absolutely no one, approached the level of cool the Fonz oozed from each leather-clad pore. The bike, the girls, the finger-snappin’; and let’s not even get started with the jumping of sharks on water skis, left the rest in the not-so-cool dust.