Top Ten Greatest Sitcom OddballsThey are the weirdos who lurk in the backgrounds of the finest TV comedies ever made. These are the funniest, strangest, craziest crackpot supporting characters to have ever graced the small screen.
The Top Ten
Famously identified as a 'hipster doofus', the resident of the apartment opposite Jerry Seinfeld's in undoubtedly the goofiest, most off-the-wall sitcom character of all time.
Kramer is a mass of contradictions, a vintage store cartoon enigma wrapped inside a workshy accident waiting to happen.
Unmistakably left field, relentlessly optimistic, strangely accusational, cowardly, ambitious, defensive and always looking for food, he is the ultimate piece of string in a world of elastic bands.
Gibberish-talking freak from somewhere called nowhere, Andy Kaufman's loveable multi-personality mechanic lifted up the hood of the seventies sitcom genre and threw a spanner of absurdity inside.
Imagine an Eastern European Marx brother or a dadaist clown and you aren't too far away from Latka.
Kaufman was the subject of an R.E.M song in 1992 and a big budget biopic in 1999.
"I'm just an ordinary towel, really," sighs South Park's downward spiraling bathroom boho. "Except... I'm addicted to marijuana. And crystal meth...aaand crack."
There aren't too many sitcom characters played by a towel but that is exactly what this degenerate cotton accessory is. The tragic decline of this once highly absorbent bathroom staple is one of the funniest things to have ever made it onto T.V..
As far as dismembered pink heads with tentacles are concerned, Noel Fielding's hedonistic carpet surfer is in a gang all of his own.
Often dismissed because of a taste in music that takes in the likes of Foreigner and Fleetwood Mac, his digesting of all things pharmaceutical is punctured by the line: "This is an outrage! "
He most certainly is.
Another fantastic sitcom freakazoid, Klinger was the deadpan crossdressing orderly desperate to prove that he was mentally unfit for service in the army and the war in Korea.
Was he faking it? Or was he genuinely one flowery summer dress short of a wardrobe? It was impossible to tell, especially as he developed his own expertise in ladies fashion.
Eventually, marriage saw him lose the frocks and accept his army role. Genius characterisation.
It is a real shame that the lanky, Einstein-haired eccentric downstairs only featured in a few episodes of the legendary New York sitcom. He could or maybe should have been a permanent fixture, Cosmo Kramer thirty years further down the road to insanity.
"My cats can't sleep," he complains sourly at Rachael and Monica's door.
"You don't even have cats," they respond. "I could have cats."
"You can't pause toast. It loses it's essence."
Actor J. B. Smoove takes the stereotypical image of a young black man in a sitcom and explodes it into a million pieces as the scattershot-tongued womaniser who overstays his welcome by a few years at Larry's.
In doing this, he has created one of the most memorable comic creations in television history.
A gentleman, a scholar of sorts, probably an acrobat.
The weary, long suffering husband of Gladys Kravitz, the curtain twitching neighbour who is certain that she has seen something very weird going on at the Stephens' house.
"Leave me alone. I'm retired," snarls Abner as his tiresome wife relays yet another far-fetched incident involving all things supernatural.
Never has a man's skepticism been so defiant. Or, indeed, so misplaced.
"Father, I killed a man."
Sitting on a wall in a 'I Shot JR' T-shirt that hasn't been washed since 1986, Tom is Craggy Island's very own friendly yet scarily unstable psychotic lunatic. Despite his maniacal leanings, he is treated as just another member of the community. Sewage treatment driver job included.
He arrives with all the charisma of a threadbare blanket that hasn't slept for two days. Phoebe Buffay's seriously disheveled half-brother isn't really your average long-lost sibling.
He likes to melt things, he's been arrested for stealing birds eggs and he's in love with his dowdy high school teacher who is twice his age.
"Yeah, you can burn art."