25 Favorite TV Characters

Via Dave, I tracked down (yeah, it was all of 3 mouse clicks, shaddap) James Gunn’s list of MY 25 FAVORITE TV CHARACTERS EVER (or at least the ones I could think of sitting down for a half-hour…). It sounds like a good waste of brain cells (not to mention the fact that it’s Friday). I chose to follow his rules for the game. (I did cheat, a bit, because I had the benefit of all the other lists to choose from before straining my brain to come up with my own answers.)


  • No puppets or cartoons.
  • No mini-series.
  • No reality show people.
  • All characters must be regulars on the show.

I’m also throwing in “No more than one character from the same show,” or else I’d have half the list filled with Babylon 5…

In no particular order:

  1. Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson), BLACKADDER – OK, technically, it’s four different characters through time, but not really. Blackadder is Blackadder no matter when in time he exists.
  2. The Doctor (various), DOCTOR WHO – As opposed to Blackadder, who is a different character played by the same actor across time, The Doctor is the same character played by different actors across time. Christopher Eccleston came close to knocking Tom Baker out of my favorite doctor spot, but not quite. If I had to rank them in order of preference, I’d go Tom Baker, Eccleston, Troughton, Davison, McCoy, Hartnell, Pertwee, McGann, Colin Baker. I have high hopes for David Tennant’s version, too.
  3. Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik), BABYLON 5 – Man, this was tough. Picking one character from Babylon 5? Ack. But Londo’s tragic story arc takes him the furthest from where we see his orignal character, I think. G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) is a close second.
  4. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), FAWLTY TOWERS – No one does manic like Cleese. No one.
  5. Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin), THE NIGHT STALKER – Scariest show ever when I was a kid.
  6. Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan), THE PRISONER – I know Eccleston is planning on doing The Prisoner remake, but I can’t see how it will come close to McGoohan’s.
  7. Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda), M*A*S*H – This was another show that was kinda tough to pick a single character out. Very few TV characters go through so much transforming (most aren’t on as long as Hawkeye was). His journey is very similar to Londo’s (and obviously more real).
  8. Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), MONK – One of the funniest characters ever created.
  9. Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), HOUSE – Hugh Laurie has been a favorite since Blackadder and Wooster and Jeeves.
  10. Dr. Samuel Beckett (Scot Bakula), QUANTUM LEAP – I loved this show. I almost put Al (Dean Stockwell) on here instead.
  11. Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), I LOVE LUCY – Lucy, Ethel, Fred and Ricky = belly laughs.
  12. Mork (Robin Williams), MORK AND MINDY – Yes, I know it’s just the Robin Williams schtick, but it’s the Robin Williams schtick when it was new and crazy!
  13. Barney Fife (Don Knotts), THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW – Who couldn’t love Barney? Wait. Let me get my bullet!
  14. The Cat (Danny John-Jules), RED DWARF – Funniest product of billions of years of evolution ever.
  15. Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris), LOST IN SPACE – Oh! The pain! The pain!
  16. Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk), COLUMBO – I loved the way he sucker-punched every suspect with his “I’m just an idiot here…” act.
  17. Gilligan (Bob Denver), GILLIGAN’S ISLAND – Oh, come on. How could you not like Gilligan?
  18. Reverend Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd), TAXI – It was either Rev. Jim, Louie DePalma or Latka. I flipped a 3-sided coin.
  19. Granny (Irene Ryan), THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES – Her real name was “Daisy Moses” which made her Grandma Moses. Get it? Uh-haaa. I almost went with Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey).
  20. Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), GET SMART – Would you believe…?
  21. Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding (John Larroquette), NIGHT COURT – Again, I found it hard to pick a single character from this show. It’s one of my favorite comedies ever.
  22. Les Nessman (Richard Sanders), WKRP IN CINCINNATI – “This has been Les Nessman with a wrap-up of today’s major news stories.” Almost went with Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) from Mary Tyler Moore instead.
  23. Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox), FAMILY TIES – “Of all the Basic Applied Economic Principles of Capitalism in the Post-Industrial Era Seminars in the world, you had to walk into mine.”
  24. Sgt. Mick Belker (Bruce Weitz), HILL STREET BLUES – Best. Growl. Ever.
  25. Hal (Bryan Cranston), MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE – He’s the greatest dad ever, and I don’t even know his last name!

Runners up:
Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Dwight Schultz), THE A-TEAM
Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke), THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW
Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), SMALLVILLE
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), THE X-FILES
Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck), MAGNUM, P.I.
Jim Rockford (James Garner), THE ROCKFORD FILES
Col. Steve Austin (Lee Majors), THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN
Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman), THE ODD COUPLE
Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), ALL IN THE FAMILY
Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), THE HONEYMOONERS
Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson), MACGYVER
Detective Phillip Fish (Abe Vigoda), BARNEY MILLER
J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), DALLAS

This entry was posted in Wouldya Lookit That!. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 25 Favorite TV Characters

  1. *** Dave says:

    Nice. And inspirational. I’d go with Higgins (barely) above Magnum. And I prefer Laura slightly over Rob Petrie. And Dan Fielding … yes.

  2. Thud says:

    I’ll have to give this a try, but I’m chucking that stupid no cartoon or puppet rule. So, I’d love to hear what Gunn has against cartoon characters or puppets. As far as I’m concerned, that’s total BS, and that’s putting it as gently as I can manage. What, fictional cartoon characters aren’t real enough for him?

  3. Solonor says:

    I cut out his explanatory text. I agree with his logic. If I included cartoons and puppets, then there wouldn’t be much room for anything else! 🙂

  4. Ric The Schmuck says:

    I don’t see any Trek characters, Original Series or Next Gen. Interesting ommision…

    Other than that, I can probably agree with most all of your choices. They were all awesome. I simply don’t have the mental capacity to try and recreate such a list.

    Still, no Data or Spock or Picard…

  5. Solonor says:

    Doh! I had Spock, Scotty, Kirk and McCoy in the list, then I needed to weed 3 out for my 1-per-show rule and wound up deleting all three!!!

  6. Solonor says:


    Math is hard.

  7. Ric The Schmuck says:

    And I would have thought that Arthur Fonzerelli would have deserved an Honorable Mention.

    Fussy, ain’t I? 🙂

    Fun stuff to think about.

  8. Ric The Schmuck says:

    oh yeah….

    Kozmo Kramer?

    I’ll go away now, promise.

  9. Avocet says:

    Wow! You have five from my list (six if you put Spock back in, seven if you swap Al for Sam)! That’s more than anybody else, even ***Dave, whome I knew back in the days before TV Land and Nick at Night. I find most current characters don’t beat out the ones I grew up with in the 60s and 70s.

    Oh, and a longer list would have let me include Felix Unger! 🙂

Comments are closed.