10 Favorite TV Characters Meme

Wings at Caffeinated Joe has brought to my attention a simple meme that seems like it might be fun to try. It stems from Michael May's Adventure Blog and is simply this: List Your Top Ten TV Characters of All Time.

1. Fred Sanford (Sanford & Son)

If I have to explain why Fred G. Stanford tops this list, you and I simply can't hang out together anymore.

2. Jack Tripper (Three's Company)

As I've said before, Ritter was a physical comedy genius, and totally likeable. He could play the slapstick game, but had a lot more comedic skills in his arsenal. If Jack Tripper doesn't bring a smile to your face, you probably like death metal and hate your parents.

3. Marcia Brady (The Brady Bunch)

Fact: I was tempted to put all eight Bradys and Alice on this list, but that only left room for one from another show, so I refrained. It was a tough decision which Brady to choose, but you know Marcia always wins.... sorry, Jan.

4. Sam Weir (Freaks and Geeks)

So many great characters, but none were as close to my heart as the geek Sam Weir. We all went through an awkward phase at one time or another - Sam is the embodiment of this phase.

5. Steve Austin (The Six Million Dollar Man)

When this show finally comes out on DVD in USA format, expect this blog to shut down for a week. I will take off work and watch each and every episode continually for days without sleep until I black out.

6. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Movie Macabre)

It's 1983 and it's late at night on a Saturday. You grab some cereal and turn on the TV and there's Elvira - is there anybody in the entire world you would rather see up on that screen? I didn't think so.

7. David Brent (The Office)

It's my humble opinion that Gervais invented an entirely new style of comedy with this character - or at least did it so well that it became popular. It's the kind of laugh where you're also cringing. Andy Kaufman relished making you feel awkward, but Gervais added a dose of realism and levity to the mix and came up with pure comedy gold.

8. Buck Rogers (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)

Gil Gerard always bagged the babe, had the cool line, and saved the day in the nick of time. A confident ladies man, Buck never wasted an opportunity to remove his shirt exposing his thick chest mane. He's basically Burt Reynolds in the 25th Century.

9. Emmy Jo (The New Zoo Revue)

I wanted to include a TV character from my early childhood and nearly landed on a Sesame Street or Electric Company star (Easy Reader anyone?), but went with the lovely Emmy Jo. Those who don't remember her may want to check out my post Ode to Emmy Jo. Back in the day, she was quite a hit with the kindergarten/elementary school crowd - the talk at the sandbox and jungle gym. She deserves any shout out she gets these days.

10. Rick Marshall (Land of the Lost)

I've said this before, but I totally admire Spencer Milligan for playing this role with total sincerity. He made you believe it was all real, despite the cheap effects, plastic plants and Styrofoam rocks. The new Rick Marshall played by Will Farrell is a homage, but it's also a parody. In contrast, the original Land of the Lost was played completely straight and I am thankful for it.

There is no tagging in this meme, but I look forward to other blogger's picks. Let me know in the comments if you decide to do your own, so we can check it out.


  1. Great list! Buck Rogers is a great addition.

    And I love that you debated on having the entire Brady Bunch up there. They were 'my second family', as it were.

    I noticed what you say about Spencer Milligan and The Land of the Lost, when I was viewing the marathon earlier this week. The first two seasons of that show were so good, and so loyal to their premise. Good stuff. Makes me wish the movie was in that vein, instead of more comedic. But not sure it could work these days, either.

    Great list, love your choices!

  2. I loved your whole list. I can't disagree with any of them. I really dig seeing Redd Foxx at the top of your list. That man is so cool. I loved Sanford & Son. He was awesome even outside of the show.

  3. Wings - Thanks for the positvie words, and thanks for the inspiration for this post. It was fun and quick- the best kind.

    Keith- You can't put Freddie G. anywhere but the top. The man was funny as hell - on the show and in his rated X comedy routines. He was the best at what he did, which is make people laugh their ass off.

  4. Sister Marcia is the top of any lists as far as I am concerned I am kicking myself that I missed Fred Sandford in my own. Can't really agrue with any of the choices on your list especially Gil Gerard on Buck Rodgers a fastly underratted funky fun show.

  5. I remember Gary Coleman guest starring on Buck Rogers, but I would've really loved to have seen Fred Sanford in the 25th Century - that's an episode I would pay to see!

  6. Great list, but I would have to have The Fonz, just because I did everything I could to be like him. I even had a switchblade comb even though it was too bulky and the tines(?) were too small. If I get some time I'm going to pick up on this theme. I'm still working on psychedelic songs though, so it may be a while.

  7. Fine choices. I'm jumping on this meme too...

  8. Excellent list....an all star cast of great television!

    Honorable mention goes to Dick Van Patten as Thomas Bradford and any one of the eight Bradford kids from Eight Is Enough, but that's just my two cents

  9. I'm with you on the Steve Austin Pick. I remember how let down I was as a little kid when I realized I could never have bionics.

  10. AnonymousMay 31, 2009

    Buck Rodgers and Wilma
    Marcia and Jan
    Arnold, Willis and Kimberly
    Punky Brewster
    Emma and Steed (The Avengers)

  11. I've done my own at http://www.retrohound.com/10-favorite-tv-characters/

  12. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich (barney miller), Wilma Dearing, Mr. Roarke, Kris Monroe (Cheryl Ladd, Charlies Angels), Peter Tork, Miss Parker (the pretender), Johnny Fever (wkrp), Emma peel (avengers), Chuck/Bob Campbell (Soap), Sue Ellen Ewing (Dallas)