Film & TV

Staff Scrapbook – Best Supporting Sitcom Characters

Troy McClure – The Simpsons

Hi, I’m writing about Troy McClure. You may remember him from such films as The Seven Year Bitch, Give My Remains to Broadway, and Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp. Voiced by the late Saturday Night Live regular, Phil Hartman, Troy McClure is arguably the greatest of all The Simpsons’ characters, which considering the diversity and strength of the cast is a difficult claim to make, but I’m going to go out on a limb. He stands out because every second McClure is on screen is hilarious. The jokes are many, yet not forcefully delivered. Dotted throughout the golden era of The Simpsons, his educational films may be the best comedy vignettes of the show.

Ben James

Jean-Ralphio – Parks and Recreation

K-d-d-d-d-d-bang (this is one of his onomatopaeic lines): It’s Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. Played by comedian and improviser extraordinaire Ben Schwartz, Jean-Ralphio is far and away my favourite of Pawnee, Indiana’s colourful and eccentric inhabitants. Much like many of the townsfolk he lives in his personal bubble of ignorance, styling himself as a pickup artist, entrepreneur and Pawnee’s biggest baller – perhaps second only to his best friend and business partner, Tom “Tommy Timberlake” Haverford (Aziz Ansari). Together, they have conquered the multimedia entertainment world with their company Entertainment 720, only for it to come crashing down when they realised they couldn’t maintain a business by printing their own money. Be it his unique approach to rapping, his fashion sense, his improbably coiffed hair, his job at Lady Foot Locker or his outrageous attempts to flirt with Pawnee’s women, Jean-Ralphio’s infrequent appearances are brief but always scene-stealing.

Josh Franks

Creed Bratton – The Office

Of all the weird employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, there is one man who remains something of a mystery: Quality Insurance Director and Spider Solitaire maestro, Creed Bratton (a fictionalised version of the real Creed Bratton). Any narrative of his life remains purely speculative based on the brief interviews with the documentary crew. I am of the belief that his senility and naivety is a smokescreen to cover up his true dark nature. So what do we know for sure about Creed Bratton? We know he has a history of drug use during his days as a rock star; he has been both a member and leader of a religious cult, and that his favourite James McAvoy movie is Wanted. The more we learn of Creed, the more convoluted his past becomes. At over 80, he may not be long for the fast-paced world of paper distribution, but until then, let’s hope for more hilarious insights into the mind of Creed Bratton.

Sam Todd

Barry Zuckerkorn – Arrested Development

Arrested Development is rife with great supporting characters: From the master of disguise, Gene Parmesan, to G.O.B’s racially insensitive puppet, Franklin. Nonetheless, one character clearly stands out for one simple reason: “Barry’s very good”. Henry Winkler’s inspired turn as the Bluth family’s incompetent, sexual deviant defence attorney, Barry Zuckerkorn, is pitch perfect. This might provide one of the most hilarious comic performances in recent years. Even when the inept lawyer is fired at the start of Season 3, jokes are still to be had at the character’s expense: in a show that relishes in throwbacks to the cast’s past, Winkler once again finds himself replaced by Scott Baio in a subtle reference to their time on Happy Days. With Season Four on the way and him having literally jumped over a shark, I find it hard to believe we’ve seen the last of Barry Zuckerkorn.

Malcolm Remedios

And who could forget…

Magnitude – Community

“Pop, pop!”


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