Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Kind of Underdogs

For a long time, I’ve had a soft spot for Bert. And Rabbit. They’ve been joined by Fred Colon, Wally, Dr. Johnny Fever and others.

They’re the underdogs. Or at least the characters who see life happen to other people and do their darndest to make sure it doesn’t happen to them.

There’s Dr. Fever from WKRP in Cincinnati, who said he took the job from Mr. Carlson because he figured Mr. Carlson was just like him: “A guy who really doesn’t understand what’s going on and likes it that way.”

There’s Bert and Rabbit who have more popular cohorts – Ernie and Pooh Bear. Bert and Rabbit put up with a lot. Ernie’s always counting fire engines when he’s trying to sleep or trying to even out the amount of pizza and grape juice they both have for lunch by eating his lunch and all of Bert’s lunch. Rabbit has Pooh’s rump stuck in his door for weeks; nothing more need be said.

And Wally. He never disappoints in delivering the least amount of work required for basic employment or showing signs of life.

And Fred Colon, whose sensibilities on coppering are offended when one continues to investigate a crime even after a suspect has delivered a confession, and nearly confessed to every unsolved crime in the city.

And Jerry Colonna. He's a scallywag, yes -- always has a tea with a bit too much lemon with the night watchmen -- but I imagine he'd be fun to hang around with, as long as you had an alibi for his night watchman moments.

They’re all dependable, in a way. They’ll do what you expect them to do. They’re boring – especially Bert. But in a way, that’s comforting. You don’t have to ask them to know what they think about something. And occasionally, their stolidity pays dividends, like Fred Colon’s tenacity on investigating the theft of the Methodia Rascal painting TheBattle of Koom Valley from the art museum (in Thud!; if you haven’t read the book, please do so) despite the fact he and Nobby Nobbs have no idea what they’re doing.

No comments: