Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to take a break from the various Science Fiction Hall of Fame lists I’ve been posting to talk about Ricks. You know, those cool guys that happen to have that particular great first name. They can be real people, or fictional characters. Either way, they made an impact on my imagination or gave me great sources of entertainment. And so, I’d like to present my Top 12 favorite Ricks of all time.
Warning: Some small spoilers and great Rick Goodness ahead….
#12. Rick Jones(Marvel Comics character. Best friend of Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk in the first incarnation of the superhero)
Some of you won’t know this one. Rick Jones was a typical teenager from the late 50’s-a juvenile delinquent who tresspassed on a military test site and was spotted by Dr. Banner who went out to save him from the detonation of the “G” bomb. While Banner got him down in the safety trench, he suffered the full power of the Gamma Radiation and…well, you know what happened next. However, in those first 6 Hulk stories, Rick was there to help Bruce deal with his physical dilemma and became a really great character in his own right. Rick Jones, a young man with a “Hulking” situation, and #12 on my list.
#11. Rick Shrimpton(R. J. Parnell-fictional current drummer for the fictitious legendary rock group Spinal Tap)
Now, anyone who’s seen “This is Spinal Tap” knows that the band has the worst luck with their drummers-essentially, they’ve a long list of these poor musicians who’ve met the most bizarre and inexplicable deaths while being members of the group. As a matter of fact, when they were promoting their new tour, “Break like the Wind,” and were auditioning new drummers, Mick Fleetwood came to the audition in a full asbestos suit to prevent spontaneous combustion like had killed 2 of the previous drummers. Rick won the audition and, so far, hasn’t died. That counts for a lot. Rick Shrimpton, a very brave heavy metal drummer in an uncertain future, and #11 on my list.
#10. Ricky Scaggs(Bluegrass Mandolin player and Country singing superstar)
This one was a recent discovery for me, but a happy one. One of the finest country pickers with a good ol’ boy personality, Ricky Scaggs really brings a joy to his performances that are infectious and charming.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVhWx36GFpI Copy/paste that to your browser to see him in action.
I’d love to jam with him sometime, but give him #10 on my list.
#9. Rick Wakeman(Rock keyboardist extraordinaire for the band “Yes”)
With the recent death of Keith Emmerson, Rick attained the rank of greatest living rock keyboardist. He’s incredible. The virtuosity, the raw power and the expressiveness of his rock solos are legendary. Words won’t do him justice…have a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05k8DgEXZXM Yeah, the drafter is giving me trouble posting clips….copy/paste that to see an amazing keyboard solo.
Rick Wakeman, Rock Keyboardist God, and #9 on my list.
#8. Rick Astley(1980’s Pop Rock Star)
While his voice strangely doesn’t match his face, his songs are poppy and hard to forget once you’ve heard them. Also, his song “Never gonna give you up,” has attained legendary meme status as one of the longest running Youtube pranks for a poster to promise an awesome video in the description, only to have it flash to the video of Rick Astley doing that song. Known as “Rick Rolling,” this source of cyberspace amusement has insured his immortality. Plus, I’ve made a lot of tips money performing his songs. For that, I give him #8 on my list.
#7. Rick Sylvester(Hollywood Stuntman)
Sure, stuntmen are a dime a dozen in an industry that now can do most of it as CGI, but back in the day, this man was doing some amazing work without wires or safety nets. He makes my list for 2 very specific James Bond stunts: The face diving escape on skis for the pre-credit scene of “The Spy who Loved Me,” and the rock climbing falls as the bad guy hammers out Bond’s safety pitons in “For your eyes only.” Here, take a look:
While Willie Bogner did the backwards skiing into the back flip with a half twist, Rick Sylvester did what might be the first recorded face jump in history.
The rock climbing falls scene was deleted on Youtube, so I’ll describe it, instead. Bond is scaling a cliff face to gain back door access to the villain’s lair and is discovered by a henchman who gleefully kicks Bond off the top of the mountain to fall about 70 feet before his safety rope stops his descent. No tricks, no extra safety wires. Rick Sylvester literally let go of the mountain and plummeted down not sure if the rope would save his life or not…now that takes balls, my friends.
Rick Sylvester. Nobody did it better, and #7 on my list.
#6, Rick Grimes(Fictional survivor during the zombie apocalypse played by Andrew Lincoln in “AMC’s The Walking Dead”)
Here’s a hero who consistently proves he’s a total bad-ass who finds new levels of desperation to fuel his survival instinct. A police Sherrif with a son(and eventually a daughter) wakes up in a deserted hospital after being shot to find that the zombie apocalypse has occurred and he has to track down his family and survive against zombies and the worst a zombie apocalypse brings out of humanity when all the rules get thrown out the window. He’s amazingly resourceful and tough. For crying out loud, he defeated a redneck survivalist by ripping out his juglar vein with his teeth! That’s hardcore! Rick Grimes: Surviving zombies and making my list at #6.
#5. Rick Blaine(Fictitious club owner in WWII Casablanca played by Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”
Until Sean Connery debuted James Bond in “Dr. No,” this was the coolest cinema hero to come along. An ex-pat who winds up owning the premier nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco, Rick is a no-nonsense tough guy with a nonchalant air about him and a great one liner for any situation. Rick Blaine: Cool in black and white, and #5 on my list.
#4. Rick O’Connell(Brendan Fraser”The Mummy”(1999))
While not as cool as Rick Blaine, O’Connell is still no-nonsense tough and has a funny quip to make in almost any situation. And, he really needs to be as he’s facing the Mummy Imhotep(Arnold Vosloo) and librarian Evie(Rachel Weisz) and her reckless brother, Jonathan(John Hannah). Rick O’Connell: Handy with guns and tombs and #4 on my list.
#3. Ricky Ricardo(Fictitious nightclub performer portrayed by Desi Arnaz in the “I Love Lucy” TV show)
While he’s hilarious enough just trying to be married to Lucy(Lucille Ball), Ricky is, legitimately, a really good cabaret singer/bandleader. “BABALOOOOOOOOO!” Lucy’s gonna have some ‘splaining to do to my #3 on the list.
#2. Rick Riordan(Author of “Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus,” “Kane Chronicles” and “Magnus Chase” book series)
The next great fantasy author to come by after JK Rowling, Rick writes great fantasy stories involving Greek/Roman demigod/gods/monsters, Egyptian magicians/gods/monsters and Norse gods/monsters/heroes, etc. With supreme knowlege of mythology, he incorporates the myth into modern times and places in a way that is just as compelling as Rowling’s Witches and Wizards were amongst us muggles. Seriously, give him a read if you haven’t. Rick Riordan. A great fantasy author and #2 on my list.
And my #1 Rick of all time is…..
#1. Rick Sanchez(Justin Rolland”Rick and Morty”)
Rick C-137, or as he puts it “The Rickest Rick,” is a character clearly inspired by “Doc” Brown(Christopher Lloyd) from “Back to the Future.” However, he’s also alcoholic, anti-establishment and out to use his grandchildren to further his scientific experiments in an endless attempt to combat the boredom of being the smartest man in the multiverse. He’s unpredictable and funny as hell to watch. Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Rick Sanchez, I salute you as #1 on my list. You really ARE the Rickest Rick.
And those are my top 12 favorite Ricks. Did I miss any of your favorites? I’d love to hear what Ricks made an impression with you, my friends. Peace.