Sitcom's Homeliest Sidekicks
Not A Pretty Bunch By Any Standard
The great thing about sitcom sidekicks is that if they don’t bring the laughs, they usually are positioned to be the object of laughter. Or ridicule. Or scorn.
Part of their inherent problems, as characters, are their extreme lack of self-awareness, which helps them get into the most embarrassing of situations.
They are not the sexiest people. For that matter, they typically have faces only their mothers can love.
Well, maybe that’s pushing it…
Here are, in my opinion some of sitcoms homeliest sidekicks.
They are not arranged in any particular order.
To be clear, these are my picks. I know I’ve missed some characters who would qualify for this list.
Please feel free to share the names of those whom you feel should be added in the comments below.
He Could Cut A Mean Rug
Character: Ed Norton Show: The Honeymooners 1955-1956 plus several specials.
Played by the late, great Art Carney, Ed “Lilywhite” Norton was the quintessential pain in the backside neighbor who never missed an opportunity to get in the middle of a bad situation.
To his credit, Ed was rangy, spirited, and always enthusiastic.
He never let his job working in the New York City Sewers get him down.
On the other hand, his beady eyes, open mouth, slacked-jaw stare coupled with his bargain store vest and T-shirt along with his ever-present hat made him every bit as homely as his best buddy and the big kahuna of The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden.
Ed and Ralph Boogie
Bud Nipping 101
Character: Barney Fife Show: The Andy Griffith Show 1960-1965 plus several guest appearances.
Played by the late Don Knotts, there was never a person in the sleepy town of Mayberry that Deputy Fife didn’t annoy. He had the magical ability to make the worst out of every situation.
He never hesitated to ask his boss and BFF, “Ange” Taylor, if he could have a bullet for his gun.
Separate from his twitchy, anxious demeanor, was his ultra-homely aesthetics.
His eyes were buggy and bulging; his hair, what was left of it, never stayed put and his mouth was disproportionately large for his face.
Add to that was his buggy whip thin physique, which was constantly slouched at the back and rounded at the deltoids, and you have a man who’s as tough to look at as he was to love.
Barney Lays Down The Law
A Man's Lady
Character: Max Klinger Show: M.A.S.H. 1972-1983; After M.A.S.H. 1983-1984
Played by Jamie Farr, Max Klinger was a private in the US Army who constantly against the system to get kicked out of the Army and The Korean War.
Never mind his obligation being the U.S. Draft. Forget his cohorts. Max straight up wanted to go back home to Toledo, Ohio and his family.
There was no scheme too outrageous if it might bring results.
Dress like a woman? No problem.
Feign insanity? Okay, crazy it was.
His aesthetics did him no favors. Bow-legged and puny with a prominent, sturdy nose that could easily open a bottle of beer; Klinger had a look that was both highly uncomplimentary and unforgettable.
Getting Toledo on The Army
The World's Biggest Ladies Man-Literally
Character: Roy Biggins Show: Wings 1990-1997
Played by David Schramm, Roy Biggins was a sitcom sidekick dark horse.
Greasy (literally and figuratively), metabolically-challenged to the point of near-bursting, Roy never met a challenge that he couldn’t slither himself out of or a bill he couldn’t get out of paying or a woman whom he couldn’t make nauseous.
His charisma-challenged nature was one thing.
His appearance was another matter.
His slicked back hair always looked as though it were doused in motor oil; his waistline always arrived several seconds before the rest of his body and his twitchy, snake eyes always hinted at the dark, sinister machinations that were brewing in his over-sized head.
Roy made being contemptible an art form.
Busting Several Moves
The King Of Miserable
Character: George Costanza Show: Seinfeld 1989-1998
Played by Jason Alexander, no one could despise George Costanza more than he could despise himself.
He always took the shortcut out of any situation, which never turned out well. He could never do the honorable thing, largely because he didn’t think he was worthy.
Add to his angst his slouched, burly appearance and you have a person likely to put any psychiatrist’s entire family through college just on his psychotherapy payments alone.
George was built like an ectomorphic version of Woody Allen, save perhaps that Woody has more hair.
George homely appearance is capped off by his soft, doughy build, his divot in the hairline that just happens to sit on top of his head, and his small, deep set eyes which make his forehead appear highly prominent.
If you can’t stand how his look, chances are he would hate it even more.
The King of Pain
Character: Randy Hickey Show: My Name is Earl 2005-2009
Played by Ethan Suplee, Randy is the mouth-breathing, low-wattage bulb of a brother to Earl Hickey.
Randy’s most endearing quality is that he is the moral compass of the two siblings. Despite his best intentions, his inability to think before acting and his desire to please Earl constantly led him into trouble.
It’s not that Randy didn’t care about his slovenly appearance, it just didn’t occur to him to clean up every couple of months.
Randy’s mammoth size made him a huge, doughy roadblock. Or maybe it made him a teddy bear.
It depended on the moment.
A Boy's Passion
Known at Pizza Joints Everywhere...
Character: Kevin Malone Show: The Office 2005-2013
Played by Brian Baumgartner, Big old Kevin was a goofball numbers-cruncher who was more interested in what was for lunch.
His bulk slowed him down in every situation and the resulting slowness often made some folks wonder whether or not he was developmentally challenged.
Kevin was a great lover of food, so long as it was unhealthy in some form.
He liked the ladies and was somewhat aware that his looks were holding him back.
For starters, his potential six pack abs were covered in a figurative sleeping bag of doughy, pasty flesh and his vacant stare gave the impression that he wasn’t always paying attention.
Clearly, his mind was usually somewhere else; probably at the local mall’s food court.
As Good As It Gets For Kev'
Where Are The Bodies Buried?
Character: Hazel Wassername Show: Thirty Rock 2012-2013
Played by Kristen Schaal, Hazel was a potential psycho stalker slash all-around nut job just waiting to show her darker side.
There was never a situation she couldn’t manipulate through the darkest, sleaziest means possible.
Topping off her frightening demeanor was her never-got-asked-to-the-prom look. Sure it sounds mean but when you consider her split end-laden scrub mop hairdo along with her gone-off-her-thyroid-meds bugged out eyes and her deeply recessed chin, it all makes a sordid amount of perverted sense.
Her homely appearance involved a certain amount of mind over matter. She didn’t mind-apparently-so it didn’t matter.
Does Not Work or Play Well With Others
Born to Be Abused
Character: Stevie Janowski Show: Eastbound and Down 2009-2013
Played by Steve Little, Stevie is the unctuous sack of loser who throws away a career in teaching to become the personal assistant to the Babe Ruth of sociopaths, Kenny Powers.
Stevie goes to outrageous lengths to please Powers with the hopes of furthering his secret man crush. Things never go to plan and he became a living, breathing train wreck of a man.
Stevie's Finest Moments
Character: Randy aka, Randall; Randers; Bander Randers, and Lord of the Onion Ring Show: Trailer Park Boys 2001-present
Played by Pat Roach, Randy is what’s known up north as a “cheeseburger whore,” willing to sell his body for a mound of red meat.
When he isn’t keeping the peace as assistant supervisor with the Sunnyvale Trailer Park with boss, Jim Lahey, the two are busy trying to keep their closeted relationship one of the worst kept secrets among the locals.
Big Randy is one cheeseburger binge away from qualifying for sumo wrestler’s weight. He is greasy (due in large part to his hygiene aversion) with beady eyes and whiny voice. His wrecking ball mid-section is prominently on display because he refuses to wear shirts, no matter the occasion.
He probably thinks, on the rarest of occasions, about diet and exercise but he seemingly lacks the self-awareness to further any kind of goal.