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October 8, 2015

The Five: You can't see me

by Adam Finley, posted May 24th 2006 8:08AM

voice boxSome of the most memorable characters in television were never actually seen. They were talked about, and their presence, even if it was always offscreen, was often crucial to the plot. I've come up with five awesome (but unseen) TV characters. Here they are:

Vera: From what I recall, Vera, the wife of beer-lover Norm Peterson on Cheers, made only one appearance on the show, and that was just her legs. According to both Wikipedia and IMDb, she was played by George Wendt's real-life wife, Bernadette Birkette.

Maris: When Fraiser spun off from Cheers, they must have liked the idea of an unseen wife, because that's exactly what they gave Fraiser's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce). There's a great in-joke in the "The Brother from Another Series" episode of The Simpsons in which David Hyde Pierce plays Cecil, the brother of Kelsey Grammer's Sideshow Bob. When Bart leaps on him, covers his eyes, and says, "Guess who?" Cecil replies with, "Maris?"

Carlton the Doorman: This was the first one I thought of. Carlton was the doorman on Rhoda, and while his distinctive voice could always be heard on the intercom, he was never actually seen. He was played by the late Lorenzo Music, who would later become the voice of Garfield.

Scooter's Uncle: Okay, let me preface this by saying that while I was a huge fan of The Muppet Show, it's not as if I have every episode memorized. However, I don't think Scooter's uncle, who owned the theater, ever made an appearance. He was the reason, however, that Kermit sometimes had to unwittingly let Scooter have his way, or risk losing the theater.

Bart Furley: Ralph Furley (the late Don Knotts) knew when to put his foot down as a landlord on Three's Company, but he could also be kind of a pushover. That wasn't the case for his brother Bart though, who seemed to instill a deep fear in his younger, nerdier brother. Bart was never seen, save for one episode, "Furley vs. Furley" when Ralph finally decides to face his brother head on. He was played by actor Hamilton Camp, who passed away last year.

And before anyone says it, yes, I just realized I forgot about Charlie from Charlie's Angels. That's what happens when you limit yourself to only five.

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The nanny from Muppet Babies. So what if she was animated, all we ever got to see were her striped-stockinged legs.

June 09 2006 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Robin Masters on "Magnum,PI"

May 29 2006 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From Keeping Up Appearances, Hyancith+Richard's son Sheridan

May 29 2006 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They're cartoons, but the teacher from Charlie Brown and the Nanny in Muppet Babies.

May 25 2006 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Radio's Joe

Good find, TV's Kynan. On the same Muppet Wiki there's a whole category for unseen characters: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Unseen_Characters

May 25 2006 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seinfeld also had Kramer's friends Bob Sacamano and Lomez and Jerry's cousin Cousin Jeffery.

May 24 2006 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Television's Kynan Barker

Nice blog!

Word from a Muppet fan: Scooter's-Uncle-Who-Owns-The-Theater did show up on screen, but only three times during the Muppet Show's five-year-run (all during season 2). His name was J.P. Grosse and he was performed by Jerry Nelson.

And if THAT'S not way too much information, you can visit http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/J.P._Grosse.

But the Muppet Show did feature several never-seen characters, including Miss Piggy's agent "Bernie" and, of course, Fozzie's joke writer, the legendary "Gags" Beasley (who wrote the famous Banana Sketch).

May 24 2006 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From Seinfeld, Kramer's friend Bob Sacamano

May 24 2006 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Binni from Just Shoot Me was Nina's imaginary friend.

But how come everyone's forgotten about Peggy's Mom on Married...with Children. This should be #1 on the list.

May 24 2006 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget the cartoon. Only saw his hand I think that is the top character that was never shown. It always made me wonder and still wonder what he would look like.

May 24 2006 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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