Surprise! Neither George Costanza or Barney Fife are on this list. Stop it, I love them both but neither were secondary characters. The show might have been called Seinfeld, but the show was about George Costanza. I won’t knock Andy Griffith, who was as likable as they come, but Don Knotts won five Emmys for a reason.
So on to my list. Some of these people had jobs. None of them deserved them or did them well. Most of them were incredibly stupid and the ones that were smart used their intelligence to avoid hard work. Collectively, these ten guys couldn’t run a McDonalds. They’d eat all the food and then take a nap. I like to think of most of them as role models.
10. Harry “The Hat” Gittes (Harry Anderson - Cheers)
Norm and Cliff would fit well on this list, but this guy owned them. Con man Harry would walk into the bar and Norm would just hand over his money without a fight. Cliff is still trying to figure out how he wound up buying Harry those two drinks after Harry bet him he could put his hat over a shot and drink it without touching said hat. The episode where he wins Coach’s poker money back is as well written as the Sting.
Anderson is pretty indicative of what a drag (sort of drag - he got paid) it is to be the main character on a show. Night Court was built around him, but crazy Judge Harry was soon forced to be the sanest person on the show. Only Larry David has ever really been able to center a show around a truly unlikable, psychotic character and he’s now done it twice. The difference between Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm is sort of similar to how they used to make Eddie Murphy co-star with white comedians.
9. Dan Fielding (John Larroquette - Night Court)
Four Emmys. The only question here is how he wound up a prosecutor and not a defense attorney. Lazy, morally corrupt, ruled by his greed and his penis. What’s not to love? Played a stupider version in Stripes. His own show was criminally underrated and has one of my favorite one liners of all time.
A bum asks diner owner Daryll “Chill” Mitchell for a dollar. Mitchell says “The last time I gave you a dollar you went to that pay phone over there and called me four times!” Bum says, “Everyone says they like irony, but no one is willing to pay for it.”