Urgh, I was about to write a sentence just then that made me feel really bad about myself.  It involved the words ‘twitter’ ‘on’ and ‘conversation’.

Let’s just skate straight past that shall we?  Anyway, by some anonymous process of discussion I recently got onto the conversation of, ‘people who are in films or TV shows who completely MAKE said films and TV shows, even though they aren’t the main character’.  Not ‘best supporting actors’, which we all know is just leading actors with less lines, but the little bits of magic injected by the characters in the sidelines.  It’s usually in schmaltzy family films shown on Fi5e on a Saturday afternoon, or sitcoms that are set in the 80s.  Let me take you on a tour of those characters now.

(By the way I tried to think of a way to do this that wasn’t just a list of things and then a paragraph of writing, but just ended up composing a 5000 word essay on Martin Short that got quite political and turned into just a huge sketch of an apple kissing a block of cheese.  Mmm… cheddar and Granny Smiths).

Martin Short
So apparently Martin short is a huge Hollywood player, not with women but with fame, despite not being a leading man.  Once a year he holds these extravangant parties in his Beverley Hill’s home and everyone comes - the people who’ve been in hiding for 15 years, the guy out of Police Academy who does the noises, the iceberg from ‘Titanic’ etc.  In the midst of this decadence and success, Martin stands, as cool as Elvis riding an ice sculpture of a Cadillac (the iceberg got into a fight with a sculptor), sucking on a cigarette and surveying the scene.  He’s a legend.  But I will bet that many of you had to google his name, didn’t you?  Don’t lie*.  He’s the Canadian actor who, amongst countless other roles, was Franck in ‘Father of The Bride’ Parts 1 and 2, where he said the word ‘cake’ like ‘cack’, cried all the time, and sung, “every party needs a pooper that’s why we invited you, party pooper, you party pooper” at Steve Martin.  A song which is so brilliant I claimed to have made it up in front of my friends, and got away with it for 3 years, before one of them watched FOTB and outed me.  Who cares, REMEMBER MARTIN SHORT.


Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane’s face is constantly smug.  It’s like playdough that’s been squidged into a picture of rotund bliss, and then left in the sun to bake.  It’s clear to see why he was never going to steal the lead parts off the likes of Clive Owen (why do people like Clive Owen?)  However, that doesn’t stop him taking minor roles and completely burgling the crucial moments off his fellow actors.  In ‘The Birdcage’, which also stars Moe from ‘The Simpsons’ - AKA Hank Azaria - in cut-off denim shorts - AKA he’s a never-nude - Nathan Lane was a limped-wrist theif of laughs.  Completely upstaging Robin Williams and making tens of people wish they’d had a transvestite for a Dad.  In real life when Lane came out to his Mum apparently she said, “I’d rather you were dead” to which he replied, “I knew you’d understand”.  Hahah! (Is that actually a joke?  I couldn’t tell as it just seems really sad, but it makes me love him even more).

Christine Baranski
This woman is amazing.  I’ve loved her since the 90’s, and when she fell for that big green psychopath in ‘The Grinch’ I loved her even more.  She used to be on that show ‘Cybill’ as the kind of Joanna Lumley best friend character - always getting drunk and wearing leather trousers on dates with teenage boys.  (I tried to watch that show the other day and it was OK, but not great.  Although there was one amazing scene where Cybill freaked out because her red-haired monosyllabic daughter had completely lost it.  And the way they illustrated her insanity was through the act of her purchasing the new ‘Friends’ poster).  She’s also in the really awful Steve Martin film, ‘Bowfinger’ as a crazy actress, and was the peppy camp counsellor in ‘Addam’s Family Values’ so she’s got vats of ‘range’.  And don’t you forget it.  Mister.

That clip brings me to…

The Entire Cast of ‘Third Rock From The Sun’
Sally. Dick. Tommy and Harry. It doesn’t get any better than that.  Although the addition of Alex Mac as Harry’s girlfriend was a masterstroke.  Tangent:  I miss programmes about teenagers with special powers.  In 2007 I realised they were showing 3rdRFTS on Freeview for an hour from 7 o’clock, and would run home from work everyday and make my housemates eat dinner in silence so I could watch it.  That was a weird time, but I think even they understood why it was necessary.

Here’s why those characters were insanely amazing:

1. Dick - in 1984 John Lithgow, who played Dick, starred as Reverend Shaw Moore in ‘Footloose’, the story of a man desperate to save his town from the evils of dancing, so he made it illegal.  Well, that was until one plucky young buck (Kevin Smoky Bacon) stood up to him and danced his way to freedom.  Anyone who can carry off a story-line that ridiculous and still make it believable is a hero.  What are they going to ban next?  Pop socks and Kit Kats?

2. Sally - She was in ‘Sex and The City’ as this old coke head who falls out the window when it’s snowing, and makes the girls re-evalutate the sanctity of life and love.  Blah blah blah.  She was the best thing to ever be on that show ever.  They should have had her as the fourth character instead of that Miranda girl who just used to get baby poo on her head and eat brownies out the bin.

3. Tommy - Joseph Gordon Levitt who was really weedy and a bit wet, but still managed to get all the girls, and now has a pretty succesful film career.  Such as ‘Ten Things I Hate About You’, again with Alex Mac, and man-voice Julia Styles.  ”Oh my goooood Dad.  I only listen to really hardcore female-centric rock.  Like…Save Ferris, and I lovvve Sylvia Plath”  - say that like you’re slowing your voice down on a broken tape player and you’ll have Styles nailed.  His most recent success was ‘500 Days of Summer’ which everyone went crazy for because they mentioned Belle and Sebastian and it didn’t end up with the two protagonists getting together.  I liked it because Zooey Deschanel spells her name weird.

4.  Harry - he could never open his eyes, and his coat looked like a skinned mammoth lined with red felt.

I think that says it all.

People who should have just been good sideline characters but unjustly broke into mainstream:

Jim Carrey

Yeah… that’s it.

I drew that in ‘Paint’.  I’m a PC.