My favorite part of the Pajiba Favorite Five is that it’s five and that makes it almost impossible. Especially with this crowd. But the restriction really forces you to kill some of your darlings as you try to winnow down the candidates and stack a lifetime of characters on the head of a pin.
In doing so, we left some floaters in our wake, people. This is a little misleading, because. like the ‘Top 20’ books, I’m sure the results would be different if we picked our five favorite actors. Nevertheless, some interesting omissions occurred.
Not a single Leonardo Di Caprio character made the list. That doesn’t bode well as an early feeler for his legacy.
A lot of old TV shows have apparently been out of circulation long enough that they’re not really part of the public consciousness anymore. No votes for anyone on Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue or Simon and Simon or Cheers, though ‘Dr. Fraser Crane’ did net one for Fraser. No Freaks and Geeks characters.
No Mike Myers characters. I thought maybe we’d get an ‘Austin Powers’ or a ‘Wayne.’ Nope.
No Will Ferrell characters. No ‘Ricky Bobby,’ no ‘Buddy the Elf,’ no ‘Mustafa,’ no ‘Craig the Cheerleader,’ no ‘Ron Burgundy,’ and no ‘Mugatu.’
No Michelle Pfeiffer characters. No Julia Roberts characters.
No iconic 80’s movie votes except for ‘Dr. Peter Venkman.’ But no ‘Austin Milbarge’ or ‘Emmitt Fitz-Hume’ from Spies Like Us or Stripes or Caddyshack. Maybe that’s not the Pajiba core, or maybe people decided to take the top five more seriously than adding a breezy character like ‘Ferris Bueller.’
Two votes for Real Genius, though. None for Weird Science.
Tom Cruise snuck in the back door with two votes for ‘Vincent’ in Collateral but none of his other characters got any votes. ‘Iceman’ snuck a vote. ‘Mav’ however? Negative, ghostrider, the pattern is full. ‘Rita’ the ‘Full Metal Bitch’ from Edge of Tomorrow got two votes, but Cruise’s ‘Cage’ couldn’t muster a single one. No Frank T.J. Mackey from Magnolia. No Ethan Hunt. No Ron Kovic. No ‘Cadet Captain David Shawn’ from Taps. Hell, no one from Taps.
George C. Scott isn’t on this list at all. Neither is Timothy Hutton.
No Eddie Murphy characters got any votes. I mean, no ‘Billy Ray Valentine’? No quarter pint of blood technique? There’s no new sheriff in town and his name isn’t Reggie Hammond. That’s tough to swallow.
One of my friends snuck a ‘Crash Davis’ vote in at the last second or Kevin Costner wouldn’t have had any votes.
No Rat Pack. Heck, no Brat Pack.
No Thelma and Louise. Wow.
I didn’t see a Susan Sarandon character or a Geena Davis character anywhere.
No Glenn Close characters.
I’m having a tough time with this, and I have to keep looking because this can’t be right, but no Denzel Washington characters. No Hurricane. No ‘Creasy’ from Man on Fire. No ‘Steven Biko’ from Cry Freedom. No Pvt. Trip from Glory, no Alonso from Training Day. No Malcolm X. No Denzel is absolutely horrifying. Is there a more dominant, more powerful, more versatile, more constantly notable film actor in our lifetime? In any lifetime?
Okay, Meryl Streep. She can go toe to toe with Denzel. She made it on twice, thank god. Once for The Devil Wears Prada and once for Into the Woods.
No Jim Carrey. No Mel Gibson. No Johnny Depp.
No Holly Hunter. No Rachel McAdams. No Annette Bening. No Juliette Lewis. No Diane Weist. No Claire Danes. No Sarah Jessica Parker. No Kathy Bates.
A boatload of Star Wars votes and none for Natalie Portman.
No Will Smith.
No Ralph Fiennes? That can’t possibly be right. One blessed, evolved soul was kind enough to vote a ‘Ken’ from In Bruges, but no one voted a ‘Harry.’
‘Red’ from Shawshank got two, but ‘Andy Dufresne’ from Shawshank got zero.
No Dave Chapelle characters.
No original Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau.
No Blues Brothers. It’s not late and no one is wearing sunglasses. No Breakfast Club. No one on the list is wearing the required uniform…tights.
No Steve Martin characters. Not even Harris K. Telemacher from L.A. Story.
Not one Ron Weasley. That was a surprise, especially considering how many votes the Harry Potter series received.
Whew. That’s already a heck of a list, which shows just how infuriatingly difficult limiting your favorite characters to five is.
So as I was sorting spreadsheets I just pulled a few images off the web of a few more characters that came away with their vote satchel empty. Some of them might just surprise you…
…If there’s anyone you didn’t recognize, ask the Pajiban next to you for an assist.