Let the Wookiee Win
The LA Times once published a list of the top 10 sidekicks of all time. For the record, in The LA Times list, my vote for #1 would have gone to Tonto. Tells you a lot about how old I am. My real favorite wasn’t even on the list.
Here’s the thing: The “sidekick” is intrinsic to the plot of any story. My novels have one – and without him, my plot would get into a lot of trouble. The sidekick’s there to help the hero complete the task, solve the problem, or even save the world if that’s what needs to be done.
S/he can bail out the hero, keep their head when all about are losing theirs, make us laugh, be the one true friend when all others fail, go the extra mile, and even get killed off so the hero can survive. Often we know the hero best through the eyes of their sidekick. Here’re some more. How many of them do you know? How many more can you name?
Tommy Smothers, Little John, 99, Sancho Panza, Baldrick, Jiminy Cricket, Stan Laurel, Ethel Mertz, Friday, The Sundance Kid, Cher, Niles Crane, Trapper John, Clyde, Bob Hope, Ron Weasley, Ernie, Pierre Currie, Barney Rubble, Lothar, Hobbes, Cecil, Jonathan, Gabanna, Barnabas (or Silas), Mercutio, Delia Peabody, Jeeves, Judy, Linus, Bunter, Oscar Hammerstein, Bernie Taupin, Shirley, Dave Packard, Fonzi, Jughead, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Eddie Haskell, Andy, Roy, Charlie McCarthy, Fred Astaire, Ed McMahon, David Brinkley, Roger Ebert, The Tramp, The Edge, Jeff, Queequeg, Decker, Sergey Brin.
A sidekick is intrinsic to real life too. And I’d like to thank one of mine – which you can find @shelrev on twitter, for helping me compile this list. And, by the way, among celebrity/fictional sidekicks, my personal favorite is Trapper John. Who’s yours?