Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Movies Post

In honor of it still being August, even though the world is sure acting as if summer ended already...

Here's ten great "politics" characters with little or no actual political content. Had to be both: I love, say, Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey, but that show has tons of real politics in it; Lloyd Braun would qualify on the "no politics" side, but I never really thought he was up to the standards of The Maestro or Rabbi Glickman.

Almost making the list: King Arthur, I think, would have qualified but for Dennis's great rant. Well, there's also How One Identifies A King. I like Mel Brooks's Governor Lepetomane, but I think that has a bit of politics, too. I have no idea of whether there was any political content in Benson, since I've always avoided that show like the plague, even though I am a big Odo fan. Never really thought there were any great characters on Spin City. Aw, I could keep this up all day; let's get to it. Presented in no particular order...

1. Mayor Quimby. Is this one a cheat? Obviously a great character; I don't really think of him as having political content, but I suppose he probably does. I'll count him anyway, since he is such an awesomely great character.

2. Rufus T. Firefly. Hail, hail Freedonia: "Three men and one woman are trapped in a building! Send help at once! If you can't send help, send two more women!" (Yes, "war is stupid" is a political message, but still...).

3. Deputy Commissioner Mark Halperin. I know, Jackie Cooper as murdering Senate candidate Nelson Hayward was more of a true politician than was the police commissioner, but this one -- in which Columbo foils the evil commissioner by tricking him into framing Val Avery's small-time crook -- is the keeper. Speaking of Columbo, we also have:

4. Boston Councilwoman Janet Eldridge. I don't think I could include Woody Boyd here; his final season campaign for office did have something resembling actual politics (Frasier's claim that voters are sheep). Not so with Sam's three-episode fling, a classic sequence. Wim With Jim!

5. Mayor McCheese.

6. Richard Bellamy, MP (and later Viscount Bellamy). There's of course a lot of politics in this series, beginning with class in England and including the effects of World War I on everyone, but despite his occupation, Bellamy rarely does anything more political than dropping the names of Lloyd George and Churchill every once in a while.

7. Mayor Richard Wilkins of Sunnydale. An obvious choice; a wonderful character. I'm sure I'm not the only one still bitter because we didn't get to hear the end of the speech.

8. The Mayor of Townsville. The link is a picture of the Mayor with Mojo Jojo, but perhaps I should have found one with his awesome secretary. Sorry.

9. Betsy, the Campaign Worker. I'm a big Cybil Shepherd fan, and this is one of her early career highlights.

10. Presidential Candidate Jimmy James. Link is to "Goofy Ball." Jimmy may or may not be too smart to be president, but he's certainly a terrific character, and I'd say he qualifies for the list thanks to his impressive, albeit brief, campaign. Lose the song, though. And never mess with the man with the wayback machine; he can make it so you were never born.

1 comment:

  1. I love your selections, also being a fan of politics in entertainment.

    Richard Bellamy (David Langton) in Upstairs, Downstairs, though, did take some real political stands.

    He crossed the floor to vote for the Third Home Rule Bill in 1913, he spoke out against Asquith's conduct of the war in 1915, he criticized Sir Edward Carson's ability as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1917, he led a group of Conservative Peers (Birkenhead, Newton, Derby) in a debate on defense in 1922.

    Maybe I am an obsessive UD fan (and historian of the period), but thought I'd mention.

    Thanks again for the great political non-political media characters.

    Will Shannon, Madison, WI.


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