Think of TV and your mind may instantly remember your favourite show or even character(s). Now if you are one of those who has thought of a specific character or a group of your favourite TV characters then ask yourself, are any of them strange in any way?
If they are then don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with that. TV polls have revealed that many of the most popular television characters to have ever graced our screens are in fact some of the strangest. Here is a list of ten of those popular (some not so popular) yet strange TV characters.
1. Papa Lazarou
Any of the characters from The League of Gentlemen could have been included in this list but strangest of all hands down is Papa Lazarou. Black and white minstrel face, dressed as a circus ring-master, and collecting wives…he is the stuff of comedic nightmares! Despite his scary features and disturbing traits the British public regard him as one of their most loved TV characters. Lazarou, who has a habit of calling everyone Dave, finished 8th and 14th in polls led by The Radio Times and Channel 4 respectively. There is so much more to this strange character, like the fact he gargles with industrial strength cleaning products, or that he’s a door-to-door peg salesman, or that he can speak a gibberish language (Gippog)…need I go on?
2. Richmond Avenal
Noel Fielding is famed for his imaginative humour, indie trend and The Mighty Boosh. But it’s his portrayal of the gothic Richmond Avenal in The IT Crowd that gets included on this list. Avenal was a promising young businessman at Reynholm Industries (where the show is based) before discovering Cradle of Filth (heavy metal group) and becoming a goth. He now lives in the server room in the IT Department, popping out on certain episodes to bewilder the viewers with his mysterious appearance and tales of woe.
3. Avid Merrion
Played by comedian Leigh Francis, Avid Merrion was a ginger, neck-brace wearing Romanian who stalked celebrities. In the style of Ali G he would interview the unknowing celebrities with cringe-worthy tactics and demonstrate his obsession of them, to them! The priceless expressions on the faces of the celebs who didn’t know whether to run away, laugh it off or sack their agents on the spot led to Merrion’s/Francis’ career to propel into a television series of even more bizarreness with his surreal take on celebs in Bo’Selecta, rubber masks and more!
4. Naboo the Enigma
The whole cast of The Mighty Boosh could be in this list but Michael Fielding’s (Noel Fielding’s brother) Naboo the Enigma, the freelance shaman from the planet Xooberon, gets the nod. Sporting a purple robe and turban, he is also the central character’s house-mate and drug dealer. Random as hell fact of the day: Naboo has no genitals. His nether regions are said to be “as smooth as a Porsche’s bonnet”.
5. Pee Wee Herman
Camp man-child Pee Wee Herman, complete with high pitched voice and annoying, is certainly an oddball character. Played by American comedian Paul Reubens, Pee Wee sings and dances with the talking furniture in his house, naively finds himself in dangerous situations, and lives in the same grey suit with red bow tie. Despite being a children’s entertainer his humour is ripe with innuendo…dodgy.
6. Ed Grimley
Played by Martin Short, Ed Grimley was an over-the-top, hyperactive nerd with an obsession for popular culture. His look, let’s say, was special. He wore black trousers with the waist pulled up to his nipples (think Simon Cowell), a short sleeved mustard yellow shirt, and most striking of all – his trademark hairstyle; excessive use of hair gel with a high rising cow lick at the front.
7. Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo
Who would have thought that festive faeces would prove to be so popular? South Park introduced the all-singing, all-dancing Christmas poo to their legion of fans in the first series. Young Jewish character Kyle felt excluded from the festive celebrations so Mr Hankey made an appearance to console him.
8. Cousin Itt
Has to be the strangest member of The Addams, his body was made entirely of hair. To add some more character to this small hairy being though, Cousin Itt often donned a derby hat, sunglasses and gloves. His voice is a high-pitched, fast-paced spiel of gibberish, with a slight British twang. If you ever wondered what was under all that hair, Gomez did actually ask Cousin Itt once. The response was “roots”. That clears that then.
9. Latka Gravas
Taxi boasted a cast that consisted of Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Tony Danza and Judd Hirsch, but none were as hilarious or strange as Andy Kaufman’s “foreign man” – Latka Gravas. With his haphazard humour, Kaufman brought Latka to life with his simplistic yet erratic behaviour. Working as a mechanic, Gravas often spoke in an invented language. When Kaufman grew tired of this gag the writers gave his character multiple personality disorder, giving him freedom to invent other random (and equally bizarre) characters through Latka, such as the smooth-talking Vic Ferrari.
10. Father Jack
Appearing in the popular Irish comedy Father Ted, Father Jack was a foul-mouthed drunk who hardly ever got up from his seat. He would often be found unconscious and when stirred would be overcome by a bout of tourette’s. Words that sprouted from his mouth included drink, arse, girls, and his catchphrase – feck. Despite his crusty skin, rotten teeth and abusive nature, Father Jack was one of the most popular characters.