We recently wrote about 7 guys who put the “man” back in TV because people love to watch men at their best and manliest. But not every character on TV can be a stud; that wouldn’t make for very interesting television watching, after all.
So TV show writers have had to create characters that are interesting for attributes other than manliness. This is how the weirder characters end up on our television screens. You know what we’re talking about: it seems that nowadays pretty much every show has one of those characters who takes bizarre to a whole new level. Sometimes these characters hover in the background, doing odd deeds that pass by so quickly that we almost don’t notice. Other times, these characters have a role that puts them front and center. Either way, they keep us wondering what weird things they’ll end up doing next.
Note that we’re not listing just any weirdoes on TV here. We’ve noticed that people tend to find characters annoying if they’re at all insecure, or if they don’t accept their weirdness. On the other hand, people love characters who wear their weirdness like a badge, appearing all the more outside of the norm because they never let their armor of quirk crack and reveal that they’re just normal people underneath. Read on to find out how there’s just layer upon layer upon delicious layer of weird to be found in these TV personalities:
Ben Chang from Community
Funnily enough, this isn’t actually his crazy face.
Ben Chang from Community starts out as Senor Chang, the Spanish teacher who constantly takes offense when someone thinks it’s weird that he’s the Spanish teacher. He rules his classroom with an iron fist, and is an irrational dictator who sometimes forces his students to do weird and inane tasks, and who performs stunts like faking his own death and then nonchalantly striding into the classroom to the student’s mixed relief and horror.
But once he loses his job because the Community Spanish study group outs him for not having the proper teaching credentials, all crazy breaks loose. It all starts out innocently enough as he stalks the study group, trying desperately to become one of them. Later, he possibly knocks Shirley (a main character) up at a Halloween party, oils himself up to slip into a vent to chase after a pen-stealing monkey, and crashes at Jeff (another main character) Winger’s house, ending up sleeping down a trash chute after a particularly wild night. He’s a bit like a clingy, needy, psychotic child, who will laugh and light your hair on fire when you turn your back and then make up a reason why it’s really your own fault when you confront him. So it’s interesting that, despite being disliked by pretty much everyone, he somehow manages to turn up in episode after episode.
Creed from The Office (American Version)
He’s probably considering whether or not he wants to cook and eat you. Or whether you have a spare pen he could borrow.
Creed’s weirdness started early on during his stint as quality assurance director on the American version of The Office. We don’t often get long, lingering looks into his psyche, and honestly we feel better because of it.
Instead, we get odd little glances that make us shake our heads and wonder just what exactly he’s up to. We find out at one point that Creed has participated in more than one religious cult; he states, “you have more fun as a follower, but you make more money as a leader.” When Michael Scott’s picture is put up on the wall of a restaurant for dining and dashing, we see Creed’s picture on the wall nearby. Creed’s “old man smell” actually emanates from the mung beans that he sprouts in his desk drawer. He carries a three-dollar bill around in his pocket that he once pulled out to contribute to a party fund. He forgets things all the time, such as the names of the other employees and whether or not he’s had sex with Meredith. Plus he’s a kleptomaniac. And possibly a murderer.
In case you’ve somehow missed out on his craziness, check out some of his best moments here.
Kramer from Seinfeld
Words! And stuff.
Sure, there are plenty of weird and kooky characters on Seinfeld. In fact, the show is known for giving its characters tons of quirks. But for pure, unadulterated weirdness, Cosmo Kramer is your guy.
Just watching Kramer’s signature entrance into Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment is enough to give you a feel for the kind of weird character Kramer embodies. He always throws open the door, usually without knocking, and often wearing some weird kind of outfit, such as half a pair of pants or a Hawaiian shirt. After that, he slides through the opening without being invited in and usually does a double-take when he realizes there are people inside. This method of entrance is so ingrained that he actually hurts himself trying to barge in when Jerry locks his door. Add to this the weird variety of half-baked plots and schemes that he manages to get himself tied up in, such as committing mail fraud and trying to hire an assassin to kill a dog, and you’ve got the quintessential kooky character.
Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory
Regular fumigations are necessary to maintain a hygienic living environment.
We could write an entire article just based on weird things about Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory, but we only have so much space, so we’ll have to stick to some of the juicier – and weirder – tidbits.
A good example of his strangeness happened in a recent episode: when the defeat of his roommate agreement means that his friends order Greek food, he valiantly tries to chew down a lamb for about a minute before spitting it out and declaring it tastes “sweaty.” The closest he ever came to a kiss was when he once gave mouth-to-mouth to an elderly nun who passed out on a bus from heat exhaustion. He was raised traditionally in the Southern US, including being forced into dance lessons. And let’s not forget that he’s also an honorary graduate of the Star Fleet Academy.
The relationship between Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler by itself brings a whole new definition to the word “weird.” They rarely physically touch one another; a forced dance is about all the lovin’ Amy can get from her nerdy boyfriend. They spend most of their time “together” video conferencing, instead of, you know, being in a room together. And they communicate almost exclusively in the language of scientific enquiry.
Kenneth Parcell in 30 Rock
This look is a combination of confusion, sheer terror, and possibly constipation.
Kenneth Parcell is the weird character who plays an NBC page on 30 Rock. He’s loyal and cheerful, but he often seems to not be the brightest light bulb in the bunch, if you know what we mean.
For example, he convinces let Tracy Jordan to shoot him at one point in order to get his career back. True, they’re both under the effect of gas leaking in the building, but it still seems like an odd choice of ways to help his friend. He was born to a pig farmer, and attended a Bible college where he studied, among other things, bible sexuality. He is of uncertain age, appearing to be in his 20’s but possibly being more than a hundred years old. He’s a member of an extremist church called Eighth Day Resurrected Covenant of the Holy Trinity. The reason that he’s a good poker player is that no one can read his thoughts – after all, he supposedly doesn’t have any. He’s a study in contradictions, and that’s what makes him so weird – and so interesting!
Paula Abdul in American Idol
Even Simon Cowell doesn’t know how to respond to this level of crazy.
Paula Abdul’s performance on American Idol just goes to show that you don’t need a team of writers to create a weird character; some people can think up crazy all on their own.
The first seasons of this reality show perfectly showcased Paula’s ability to turn just about anything into a reason for people to scratch their heads and wonder if they’d really seen what they thought they’d seen. From her statement to David Archuleta that she “wanted to squish [him], squeeze [his] head off, and dangle [him] from my rear-view mirror” and other, similar statements that just plain didn’t make any sense, to her constant flare-ups with Simon Cowell, she showed us that when it came to her character there was plenty of crazy to go around. And that’s probably what kept us coming back for more.
- – Ben Chang from Community: http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090925220741/community-sitcom/images/thumb/c/c9/S1-Ben_Chang.jpg/284px-S1-Ben_Chang.jpg
- – Creed from The Office (American Version): http://images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/The-Office-tv-16.jpg
- – Kramer from Seinfeld: http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kramer-seinfeld.jpg
- – Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory: http://sinestecias.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/sheldon2.jpg
- – Kenneth Parcell in 30 Rock: http://static.tvguide.com/MediaBin/Galleries/Shows/Numbers/30rock/season2/30-rock70.jpg
- – Paula Abdul in American Idol: http://tonicgossip.com/wp-content/paula-abdul-leaves-american-idol-1.jpg