Dwight K. Schrute, The Office
Bosom buddies. Partners in crime. Best friends forever. No matter how you phrase it, a comedic foil is crucial to the success of most TV shows. Who else can you depend on to set the stars straight and stir up trouble along the way? Some sidekicks are so great, second-billing just won't do. Let's give these guys and gals a little credit.
On The Office
, bumbling boss Michael Scott can always depend on right-hand man, Dwight Schrute, as played by Rainn Wilson
, to support his crazy schemes. He may be a beet farmer, volunteer sheriff's deputy, top salesman and weapons expert, but all Dwight really wants to be is Michael's best friend.
Dwight is fiercely loyal to Michael, and even when his own job is at risk, he steps up and takes the fall. Plus, his martial arts skills deter those who wish Michael harm…and there have been quite a few over the years.
Balki Bartokomous, Perfect Strangers
Larry Appleton is just an average Joe from Wisconsin until his distant cousin and sidekick, Balki Bartokomous, moves in. Hailing from the fictional island of Mypos, Balki quickly becomes a thorn in Larry's side, as well as a dear friend.
These "perfect strangers" play off each other perfectly throughout the series, with Larry as the straight-laced, neurotic foil to Balki, a fun-loving, eccentric sheep herder.
Barney Fife, The Andy Griffith Show
Sure, Barney Fife has no business carrying a loaded weapon. But without this accident-prone deputy on duty, Mayberry sheriff Andy Griffith wouldn't have had enough shenanigans to keep him busy. Andy catches a criminal…Barney accidentally lets him out. Andy goes out for lunch…Barney locks himself inside a cell.
Outside the office, Barney also serves as Andy's "wing man." Watch out, single ladies of Mayberry…Barney and Andy are looking for love!
The Entourage, Entourage
When you become a fictional Hollywood hotshot like Vincent Chase, a sidekick just won't cut it. You need an entourage. On the HBO series Entourage, Vincent's childhood friends—Eric, Johnny "Drama" and Turtle—move to L.A. to assist Vincent and keep his ever-growing ego in check.
From doing menial tasks to helping Vincent choose movie roles, these guys are always there to lend a hand. They're loyal, but they're also not afraid to tell Vincent the cold, hard truth. This honesty and hilarity make them the true stars of the show.
Photo: Courtesy of MPTV.net
Ethel Mertz, I Love Lucy
Ethel Mertz is the girlfriend every woman needs in her corner. She loves to gossip, is always up for a scheme or doomed business venture and will stand by your side…even when chocolate balls come flying at you. Throughout the series, Ethel proves her unwavering devotion and loyalty to Lucy, despite a little friendly competition.
Jack McFarland, Will & Grace
Jazz hands, dance routines and Cher impersonations…can you ask anything more from a sidekick? On Will & Grace
, Jack McFarland may be a superficial mooch who makes fun of his friends' weight, but somehow you love him all the same.
Over the course of eight seasons, Jack helps Will embrace his homosexuality, laments with Grace about the men in their lives and gives pill-popping Karen the love she craves.
Paul Pfeiffer, The Wonder Years
Without Paul by his side, Kevin Arnold, the star and narrator of The Wonder Years, would never have conjured up the courage to talk to the love of his life, Winnie Cooper. Bespectacled and plagued by allergies, Paul is a steadfast friend who provides a voice of reason and caution when Kevin's teenage hormones get the best of him.
Though fans see Paul and Kevin grow apart during the series, we like to believe that they reconnected after college and went on to be lifelong friends.
Photo: Steve Granitz, WireImage.com
Six LeMeure, Blossom
From scoring fake IDs and learning to drive to losing their virginity, Blossom and her best friend, Six, go through a lot over the course of five seasons. Known for her rapid-fire rants, Six is a surrogate member of the Russo family. She sticks by Blossom's side and shares her passion for flower-adorned hats and bad '90s fashion. These teens show girls what it means to be a true friend.
George Costanza, Seinfeld
Billed as a "show about nothing," Seinfeld
is actually a show about friendship. Jerry Seinfeld, the title character, fills his life with eclectic counterparts, including his self-loathing best friend, George Costanza. By embracing each of the seven deadly sins, George gets everyone he knows into all kinds of awkward situations…much to our amusement.
While Jerry is unemotional and seemingly unaffected, George is selfish, insecure and neurotic. These opposites keep audiences laughing from opening to closing credits. Plus, every good sidekick has connections. Stick with George, and you'll get good seats at a Yankees game. Sign up for the Screening Room newsletter!