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Top 10 TV Sidekicks April 30, 2009

Can you make the ladeez knickers come of like that, He-Man? Yeah, that's what I thought.

"Can you get the ladeez knickers off like *that*, He-Man? Yeah, that's what I thought".

The Sidekick – Our heroes and villians would be nothing without them. Sometimes, they’re the ones we really tune in for; to see what they’ll get up to, cos they can often be more fun. Here are ten that have seared themselves into the collective pop-culture conciousness:


Baldrick – Blackadder – As Blackadder grew smarter with every incarnation, Baldrick got thicker. But Baldrick had his moments – he thought if he wrote his own name on a bullet during wartime that he wouldn’t get shot, cos he’d have the bullet with his name on it. Makes sense, really. So he threw the first dictionary in a fire; who can say they wouldn’t have done the same, given the situation? And, fair enough, he rumbled Blackadder’s plan to marry the cuckoo Queen Elizabeth. Perhaps he meant well? Say what you’d like about his stupidity but I’d bet money that ‘Baldrick’s’ grand-daughter ain’t sleeping with Russell Brand.



DJ ‘Jazzy’ JeffThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – A testament to never leaving behind the folks that made you what you are, Will Smith brought Jazz, part and parcel, onto his network show. And in return, Jazz made it funnier, more heartfelt and funky. In love with Hilary, constantly being thrown out by Mr. Banks but always ‘workin’ it’ in his Cross Colours gear, Jazz was the ‘Philly Element’ in the Prince’s  new ‘Bel-Air Lifestyle’. Doncha forget, home-fry.  


Rodney Trotter – Only Fools and Horses – Poor Rodney; always along for the ride but never the driver, except in the three-wheeled ‘Trotter-mobile’. This is the TV character that will bail you out of jail at 3 in the morning. Don’t worry, he’s used to it. He’s the brother of Del-Boy and understands these things happen.



Xander Harris – Buffy the Vampire Slayer –  Xander Harris personifies what it is to be brave, loyal and noble when everyone else around you has special and obvious natural gifts and you’re just seen as…average. To be beat down but never broken. I once worked in a pretty rough bar (Sorry, another bar story – I’ve worked in a lot of bars), where drug dealers would ply their trade openly (Apparently – I was oblivious) and I happened to make friends with one of these guy’s bodyguards; his name is Chris. We made friends because I would give Chris’ Boss cheek (Vic, and he’d talk in Ebonics to me and I’d say, “Just let me get out my ‘Vic-tionary’ so I can understand you.” Had I really known what this guy was capable of – I would never have been so flippant but…ignorance is bliss! No caps in my ass thus far.) Plus, me and Chris both loved ‘Buffy’. His favourite character was Xander and he used to say “I like ‘Buffy’ and that don’t make me soft. Xander’s my BOY!!!”  Xander’s my boy too.


(There are better quality ‘Xander’ clips available but this one says the stuff I mean)

Maggie Jacobs – Extras – “Whose dress are you wearing?” asks an entertainment reporter of Maggie at the BAFTAS. “Mine. It’s my dress. I bought it.” So says Maggie – best mate of wannabe star Andy Millman in Extras. I don’t want to explain her simple yet complex nature with a lot of over-intellectual blah-blah- she’s too wonderful and unique for that.



Howlin’ Mad Murdock – The A-Team – Everyone has their place in the A-Team, Murdock’s being the guy that is absolutely bonkers but he’s so bonkers that his plans MIGHT work. And they do!!!! He’s hyper-intelligent and the only one brave enough to purposely ruffle B.A.’s feathers. He’s the cock-sure pilot, the guy who knows which wire to cut, how to pull off a convincing drag and the one that’ll eat caterpillars. Basically, he’s every 7 year-old boy’s (or girl’s!) bestest friend.

The A-Team

The Lone Gunmen – The X-Files – They were acceptable (and untouchable) as Fox Mulder’s even-more-paranoid sidekicks on The X-Files but in retrospect, the major misstep of Chris Carter was giving them their own show. Not that it was bad – it was the most promising TV series in March 2001 and would have been a brilliant show – the ‘Joey Ramone is awesome’ speech by ‘Ringo’ will echo in my head forever. It was taken off the air because it asked too many near-the-bone political questions; to the extent that the CIA, the NSA and the FBI thought they had a leak. There’s a whole conspiracy theory about the pilot episode, which eerily predicted the 9/11 attacks that happened six months later. And it did. This is a coincidence. I hope. Although, I am concerned regarding the whereabouts of Carter since this show got axed. He doesn’t seem to be anywhere. Chris? Chris?!? (I know the last ’X-Files’ film came out recently but I never saw Carter doing press or anything and that is alarming.  We need a recent photograph of him, preferably with today’s newspaper date, as proof of life.)


Fr. Dougal McGuire – Father Ted – He doesn’t believe in organized religion but he does believe in the ‘Spider-Baby’, Pete Sampras, the Eurovision Song Contest and ghosts. Ted needs Dougal to look better and Dougal needs Ted because he’d die crossing the road. Let’s hope they never find the money that was only ‘resting’ in Ted’s account, for without Ted – Dougal is truly a lost child. Especially when it comes to nuns. Ahh, well, they’re only nuns…  

Father Ted

Orko – ‘He-Man’ – Being super strong, having a skull-shaped castle and a page-boy haircut is cool and everything but tiny little Orko got He-Man out of loads of trouble. It pays to be clever and magical and, ummm, have no legs.



Ricky Ricardo – ‘I Love Lucy’ – In the show, Lucy was the second banana to Ricky’s song-and-dance-man and she was never comfortable with that, which worked to great comedic effect and made her the star. In real terms, Desi Arnez was her sidekick but WHAT a sidekick. Brimming with talent, good looks and charm, plus the ability to soothe and focus the whirlwind that was Lucille Ball while retaining his hot-blooded Latin quality; this man possessed it all and held his own, on and off screen. When you think about what an indelible persona Lucy Arnez was – that was no easy thing. He was the man BESIDE the woman, all the way.

(I’m doing 2 clips – just for my man, Anthony G. HI-YI-YI!)

Thank you to the people who make the videos.

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Sam Tweedle April 30th, 2009

Brilliant as usual. Wouldn’t have come up with most of these…as usual. And considering that the majority of them are amongst my all time favorite TV programs is something else.

But no Bruce Lee as Kato? No Burt Ward as Robin? No clip of Bruce Lee beating Burt Ward to a messy pulp? Okay…that never happened, but it nearly did and there lays a story. :)

And man oh man…I am a HUGE Desi Arnaz fan. Did I ever tell you that? I cover Desi’s career on my web-site too at Don’t mean to pimp like that…but the more Desi the better. BABLU!!!! BTW – did I tell you when I was in LA I went to Desilu studios? That was a pretty powerful moment. I’ll have to take you there next time I return.

Sam Tweedle April 30th, 2009

Damn..that should be Babalu…..

Erin April 30th, 2009

Pimp away! I love yer stuff. I’m a big Desi-fan too. I try and avoid characters like Kato and Robin a bit, just cos they always get play in lists like this. I wanna ring the bell for Orko and Xander – they never get mentioned!

That ‘Babalu’ is so excellent. No fakery there, pure talent. I was so happy when I found that.

Howard April 30th, 2009

I suppose everyone has their favorites, though I can’t argue much with yours (you know how I love watching Dougal). Being just a bit older than you, my all time favorite is Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard), Martin Mull’s sidekick and announcer on the show Fernwood 2 Night, playing more or less the same character he did in the movie Best in Show. Here’s a link.

Sam Tweedle April 30th, 2009

I just recently got into Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman through a recommendation from one of my readers, and via that I got a number of bootlegs of Fernwood 2 Night, and that show is pure brilliance! Your right. Jerry Hubbard is a riot as the anti-semetic co-host who would backstab Barth just as fast as back him up. I didn’t think of that either, but your so right. Brilliant observation!

melora donoghue May 2nd, 2009

I have to say I made a big ole corny “awwee” noise when I saw Maggie Jacobs because I love her so very much and the Baldrick’s grand-daughter not sleeping with Russell Brand made me chuckle out load.

Thanks for bringing some noise to my house this morning and for being my side-kick for many zany LA adventures. Still buzzing from Magic Mountain last weekend, you are the best roller coaster side-kick/host.

YOU = Goody-goodness!!!!!!!

Erin May 2nd, 2009

I’m going to check out ‘Fernwood 2 Night’- never steered me wrong, Howard and Sam.

Ahhh, we’ve had some zany adventures indeed, Donoghue! Roll on with the zaniness! (I’m cool with side-kick status, I identify with them way more. However, at Six Flags – I am the Roller Coaster MASTER. The lines part with a wave of my hand, like Moses with the Red Sea. Or, at the very least, like Mr. C.Heston. ;-) )

Nonny May 5th, 2009

Great list! That Extras clip is hilarious! I never saw that episode, but I do adore her.

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