Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Ten Greatest Minor Characters In Movie History (part 1 of 2)

Eddie Murphy once made a series of films called Beverly Hills Cop.
The premise was simple Eddie would point at things and laugh like a duck with asthma. This worked for two films. By the time the third and forth Beverly Hills Cop (secretly released under the name 'Metro') rolled around people had tired of his schtick.
So for part 3, Murphy enlisted the help of, the one an only, George Lucas.
The scene was simple: Murphy addresses some tourists and then the camera reveals that one of the tourists was George Lucas! (Not sure why I put an exclamation point there, at this point in the paragraph that was pretty much a given.)
So Lucas stared at the camera and thousands of movie viewers shouted "Get back to work, Lucas! Quick making us wait for those other Star Wars films! We need our Jar Jar Binks!"

Man, this was great. If you haven't seen the Coen Brothers Ladykillers yet, hurry out and see it. Even if only for Laughing Guy. A portly happy laughing guy. We should all be so lucky.
If you haven't seen it yet, picture yourself tickling Reuben Studdard. Eh, wait don't do that.

We all get short changed in life at some time or other. Maybe you got a cheaper bike than your sister. Maybe she had a deeper voice than you. Maybe your shopping cart always has a loose wheel. Maybe your sister always had a loose wheel. Well, then you know how the What? Yeah! Guy felt.
He got a part in a movie where he only had two words, just two. Not powerful words like "Rose Bud" or "I'm Pregnant" or "Free Pizza!". His words were 'what' and 'yeah' and he made the most of them.
He stretched every letter out, making the words sound like they were 14 syllables long. He did so with a bizarre New York accent and the volume of an opera singer. Then he was shot dead. Rest in peace, What? Yeah! Guy.

Tommy Rosales. Even if you don't recognize the name, trust me, you know who he is. If you have ever seen a thug of Spanish descent get killed in an action film, that was Tommy Rosales.
The guy whose head blows up in the beginning of 'The Running Man' - Tommy Rosales.
The guy who gets sliced in half in 'Vampires' - Tommy Rosales
The guy who gets sucked out of a plane in 'U.S. Marshals' - Tommy Rosales
The guy whose car gets smashed in 'Good Burger' - Sinbad (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)
Well, this brings us to 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park', Dieter Stark gets up to pee and who does he tell to watch his back? Carter (Tommy Rosales). But Carter is to busy listening to a mariachi band on Walkman and eating nachos. So Dieter gets eaten. It's all Carter's fault! But who can blame him, a mariachi/nachos one two punch could make anyone oblivious to the world around them.
So Carter moves on, until... he wakes up to see a T-Rex in the camp. Tommy screams like a girl, causing havoc in the camp, moments later the T-Rex steps on him, and he sticks to the bottom of T-Rex's foot. Let me repeat that HE STICKS TO THE BOTTOM OF T-REX'S FOOT! Good God! To think Robin Williams won the academy award that year, instead of Tommy. Where is the justice!

Cool. Finally we get to the one and only Mr. T. I am excited!
At the conclusion of the otherwise mediocre 'Inspector Gadget' we got a plethora of awesome cameos. First Don Adams as the voice of Brain the dog, then we get a Minions Anonymous meeting.
This was a pretty funny concept, a group of henchmen together in an 'AA meeting' setting. One of them is dressed as Tonto, one as Tattoo, one as Odd Job etc.
Sitting in the front row is Richard Kiel, famous for his role as Eegah in the film 'Eegah'. You may also remember him as 'Jaws' from the James Bond films (or maybe he played James Bond in the 'Jaws' films) either way, he had metal teeth.
Next to Kiel is Mr. T. Mr. T is smiling and clapping along with the rest of the Minions. What makes his appearance so special (other than the fact that he is Mr. T, damnit!) is that he is not sporting his famous Mohawk (or Mandinka) haircut, nor is he wearing his trademark gold chains. No, Mr. T is sitting there with some grey hair in his beard and a sleeve-less denim jacket to show off his biceps. Mr. T looks surprisingly different in Inspector Gadget, and for that alone he makes the list.


  1. Great list. Lots of very memorable characters. Would have liked to have seen "What? Yeah! Guy" rank a little bit higher, but, hey, it's your list.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I hear ya Njcrc. The 'What? Yeah! Guy' will always rank higher in our hearts than he does on the list. I feel bad for 'Naked Guy' from PCU and every actress who ever appeared on film, for they did not make the list. Suckers.

  4. I think the "I don't know I just work here" lady from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure has a place here. In case you forgot, it is when our heroes are sitiing in front of the Circle K and they ask the lady "Do you know when the Mongols ruled China?"

  5. Ten Greatest Minor Characters in Movie History: A Companion List

    10: "I'd buy that for a dollar," guy from RoboCop ('87). One of my favorite films features this guy a handful of times on TV in what appears to be a "Benny Hill" style program

    9: Steven Spielberg in Vanilla Sky ('01). Steve's cameo is at the birthday party scene. He damn near steals the movie!

    8: "He's dead" girl from Pulp Fiction ('94). Another favorite of mine. "He's dead" girl makes her appearance right after Buth hits Marsellus Wallace with the Honda.

    7: Camal in The Scorpion King ('02). Explaining camals performance would not do him justice.

    6: "You got it" guy in Rusmore ('98). Is all he can say when Max Fisher solves an impossible math problem.

    5: Reggie Jackson guy in The Man with the Golden Gun ('74). Still one of my favorite Bond movies, Reggie guy is Christopher Lee's main henchman. When he makes eyes at Bond's girl, he really doesn't seem to be acting.

    4: Renny Harlin in Deep Blue Sea ('99). Blink and you'll miss this great director's cameo.

    3: "What? Yeah!" guy from the Punisher ('89). See Sweeties comments.

    2: Burt Reynolds guy in Dawn of the Dead ('04). Any and all things Burt rule!

    1: Ripped shirt guy in Cobra ('86). This is what happens when you talk smack to Stallone!

  6. Good calls on all of them. I love Ripped Shirt in Cobra.

    One person I have exculded is The Ugliest Man Alive. He appeared in Mission Impossible 2, Vanilla Sky and others. I plan to do a feature on him soon.