Ok let’s get right back to the list. These are characters I don’t just love, but admire so much I would like to be just like them. The cream of the crop:
#10. LADY JAYE (G.I.Joe)
SIGH! You can keep April O’Neil and Rogue from The X-Men,this was the animated female I loved! Lady Jaye was freaking awesome, and I loved every second she was on the screen. Granted she was getting knocked out a lot, but so what she kicked ass! She could use all sorts of weapons including her signature weapon, a variety of specialized throwing javelins. I also liked her relationship with Flint which was hinted at often. Not much else to say here, I always like strong women and she may have been one of my first exposures to one especially in a cartoon. And yes I know she was a main character in the latest G.I.Joe movie, played by Adrienne Palicki. I haven’t seen it yet but saw some clips and she looked cool!

#9. Mary Poppins
 
You may notice a lack of Disney overall, but here is a big one. God bless Julie Andrews and what she did with this character! In the original novel, Mary Poppins is not that nice. Julie Andrews was able to give her just enough humanity so that she is more likable than she is in the book but it still the same character. Her best trait is the way she lets everyone figure things out for themselves. She guides the way, or sings about it, but there are no lectures or drawn out speeches. She makes her points subtly and effectively because she knows that the family just needs a little nudge in the right direction. Is it magic? Is she an angel? It’s never made clear but it doesn’t have to be. Mary Poppins has always been one of my favorite Disney movies.  My favorite scene is the “A Man Has Dreams” scene between Mr.Banks and Bert toward the end, the way Bert shows Mr.Banks the light is perfect. I should put Bert here too, but really it’s Mary Poppins who guides the way in that scene even if she isn’t even in it!
#8. Heathcliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
He is America’s favorite TV father for a reason! Cliff Huxtable is a great father because he knows how to mix humor with a serious side. His children all respect him; none of them look down at him. Oh sure they get embarrassed by him at times like all kids do, but they all love him. In fact several episodes have friends of the kids coming to Cliff for advice because they know how fair he can be. Does Cliff have flaws? Better believe it but in the end it’s his flaws that round him out to be a real person that everyone enjoyed watching for eight years. I think his best trait is his honesty. He never talks down to the kids or sugar coats anything, he tells it straight. He’s also a great husband, son, and doctor. He is what I think many people aspire to be, and what better role model can you get?
#7. Benson Dubois (Benson)
 
I have gone on and on about this show. But when all is said and done, it was this character that made the show. Robert Guillaume was so good on Soap that his character earned a spin-off which was on the air twice as long! Benson is very sarcastic, with a comment ready for any occasion. But what I love about him is that he really does care for people. When he lets his guard down and shows that side of him, people respect what a tremendous friend he is.It’s why the other characters on the show, even the ones that he mocked on a regular basis, keep coming back despite all the insults. They know if they need advice or a shoulder, he will be there. The governor relied on him to help him run the state, and the others all respected him in different ways. Not only that, but he is honest and tells it as it is, whether the other person wants to hear it or not. It’s also what made him such a good budget director and later lieutenant governor. Put simply, in real life I try to be the kind of friend he is on that show.
#6.Captain James Kirk (Star Trek)
 
Yeah you knew this was coming. Say what you want about Archer, Picard, Sisko, or Janeway-Kirk is THE BEST! William Shatner had said when he first got the role he tried to think of all the traits that make an effective leader. All that comes through, Kirk is someone who takes action rather than just standing by the sidelines hoping things will work out. Some may say, but what about Picard? I only really liked Picard when he got in on the action, rather than sit there doing nothing. Guess what? That’s what Kirk is all about! Kirk commands tremendous respect by his crew, and he doesn’t forget that for a second. It’s his ship and crew, and you can feel the weight of that responsibility he carries every time he beams down on another mission. His ship is the mos important thing to him and when he loses a crewmember, no matter who it is, he feels that loss because he is in command which means he is responsible.  is cheating at the Kobyashi Maru shows whatkind of person he is, someone who will never give up no matter what the odds are. While I loved the movies it’s the classic series where Kirk really shines.Watch any episode, even the bad ones, and he is always in charge. One of the things that get overlooked in “Turnabout Intruder” because of the hamminess is the way guest star Sandra Smith plays Kirk in Lester’s body. She really does the character a service and her performance, not Shatner’s, is what keeps me from saying that episode is the worst of them all.
#5.Chandler Bing (Friends)
This may be no surprise after talking about this show for the last five months. This was just one of the best marriages of character and actor, Matthew Perry is Chandler and vice versa. Why do I like Chandler? Because I can relate to this guy so much. The insecurities, the sarcasm as a defense mechanism, and the way he isn’t afraid to act downright goofy at times. Chandler comes from a real hard childhood and it’s no wonder he picked such bad habits as smoking and sarcasm, not to mention his inability to maintain a serious relationship. But as the series progressed, and his best friend Monica became the love of his life,   Chandler grew and evolved going from being very immature and afraid of commitment to ending up married and ready for kids. Chandler proves that a screwed up childhood doesn’t have to hold you back as long as you don’t let it. Besides, the guy is just funny. It’s not just what he says but the way he says them. Chandler was a hit on that show from day one, and I still laugh at his one liners.
#4. Spock/Data
 

 

Yes, this is the last Star Trek one. I decided to make this one a tie because I basically love them for the same reason. Of course Spock is from the classic Star Trek and Data from The Next Generation. The difference between the two is that where Spock tries to disregard his humanity, Data is trying to discover his. As strange as it may sound, I really enjoy watching these characters discover humanity and what is so special about being human. It’s their struggles that really make us take notice, because we learn about ourselves as they learn about humanity. One of the things they did right in the episode “Unification” was get the two into a room. Their scene together is a highlight, not just of the episode but the series. They did ruin Data in the movies,no question, and to be fair Zachary Quinto in the new movies seems to have the essence of the character down. But it’s the classic version I will always love.The best Spock episode is Journey to Babel, when we see the angst he goes through in deciding the logical option over the emotional, even if it costs hisfather his life. Leonard Nimoy plays that perfectly. The best Data episode is “Data’s Day” where we see everythingthrough Data’s eyes. I just love that one and only Brent Spiner could have played that role, he was perfect.
#3.Marty McFly (Back to the Future)
 
My friend Moviefan12 had Marty on his list and I was afraid of being accused of just copying him. But I am not, how could I not include him? I LOVED this movie and there are many reasons why. The cool special effects, the beyond awesome music, an amazing supporting cast. But really it comes down to the main character. If Eric Stolz had played Marty as was originally intended I think this movie would be looked down on a lot more. Originally the intent was just that Marty was to be our guide, and that was supposed to be it. Michael J Fox gave Marty enough heart and flaws to make him a full-fledged character, one we really wanted to see win the day. I could go on and on about this movie all day, I just love it! The second and third films were good, and this time rather than just be a participant Marty gets an actual character arc with the whole“chicken” thing. I was happy to see him overcome that particular demon at the end of Part III. But what  I really like in Part III is the role reversal, seeing Marty become the voice of reason for Doc which felt perfectly natural and showed just how all the time travelling as matured that character.
#2.Superman and Batman
 
This actually isn’t a tie. I think these characters are awesome separately, but together they are just amazing! They are really two opposite sides of the coin, one being the bright light of hope and the other being the dark shadow of truth. Life can be dark and bad things do happen, and Batman’s job is try to take some of that away. Superman shines light onto the world, he is a symbol for everyone to look up to and admire. Superman does what he does because he wants to help. That’s all. He could use his powers to rule and conquer, but he would never do that. Batman took a tragedy and channeled into a method of helping others in need. He is a skilled detective and all theother heroes (in the comics I have read) respect him whether they agree with his methods or not. They are amazing separately but when they are together,well, they really are The World’s Finest. My first exposure to Batman was the Adam West TV show, and I think West did a great job despite the format. It was Michael Keaton who really sold me on that character. As for Superman, Christopher Reeve will always be the personification of that character but it was the John Byrne version in the comics that really won me over. Superman and Batman have been around for many years and unless DC ruins them, they will always be around.
#1.GARFIELD
 
I LOVE GARFIELD! Ever wonder why Garfield is my avatar? Well let me explain it to you. I have loved Garfield for as long as I can remember.I read his comic strip, bought his books (and still have many of them), watched his cartoon show, owned his merchandise, and yes I did see that horrible movie. What is it about Garfield I love so much? I love his sarcastic personality. I love that he really does care for Jon and OdIe, he just hides that behind a tough exterior. But most of all,I love his attitude. He has so much self confidence that you can’t help but admire it. He never doubts himself or wonders if he is making a mistake. Yeah he can be to self-absorbed, true. When I was trying to pick an avatar nothing seemed right. I found that Garfield pic, and it just clicked. Garfield, as odd as it may sounds, is a character I respect and I wish I had just an ounce of his confidence. He hates Monday’s, loves Italian food, and sleeps for hours at a time. He was written almost to be a human wearing a cat suit, and that comes right through. Of course he does have positive traits to. He has an active imagination, hates chasing mice for some reason though he will kill spiders,and his soft side comes out with his interaction with his teddy bear Pooky. Now is Garfield the most complex character ever? Heck no, he’s a cat! But I haveenjoyed his antics in print and on TV for pretty much my entire life. I grew up with him and still adore him to this day, with no end in sight. What’s not to love?
Before I go, a few quick Honorable Mentions:

 

Mickey Mouse
 
Some may wonder why Mickey is not here. I adore Mickey butmore as a symbol than a character. Don’t get me wrong, he is a good character but I don’t think of his cartoons as much as I do as the symbol for one of myfavorite places, Walt Disney World. He brings back so many good memories.
He-Man
You may notice Lady Jaye is the only cartoon TV character I have on my list; I guess that comes from growing up in an era of kid friendly cartoons. I loved He-Man but have to admit he didn’t have that complex acharacter. And when I look back at the cartoons I watched as a kid, nothing stands out.  Just compare Superfriends to the JLA cartoon and you’ll see what I mean. Cartoons then weren’t edgy like that. That kind of thing changed in the 90’s with Batman The Animated Series and The X-Men but I never watched.
And finally,
George Costanza (Seinfeld)
The lovable loser who we love to hate. And that’s kind of why I kept him off the main list. He is insecure and a million other things,and that works, but not enough good things to balance out the bad. So while Ilike George I just couldn’t keep on a list of characters I flat out love. This kind of goes for others like Karen Walker and Sheldon Cooper.
This was a hard list, a lot of others I could have put onhere.  A LOT!  But there you go my favorite characters. Now, I think I need a nap  ;)

By richb

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