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April 17, 2014

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Ten super sitcom sidekicks

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 4th 2008 11:04AM
tenAOL Television has compiled a list of the 50 Best TV Comedies -- Ever, this week revealing numbers 50-41. Inspired by what they did, I've decided to list my favorite sitcom sidekicks, those funny foils that oftentimes make the star shine even brighter than you might have thought. Coming up with just a ten-pack hasn't been so easy. Many times, I'd look at a show and think, "No, it's more of an ensemble. There isn't one sidekick." Falling into that category were B.J. and Trapper John on M*A*S*H. Neither were Hawkeye's sidekick, really (any more than Radar was). Same thing with Friends -- they were all each other's sidekicks. Also, on The Odd Couple, Oscar and Felix were equal; neither was a sidekick. Ditto Two and a Half Men and Laverne & Shirley. Also, because it's my list, I decided not to include married couples -- sorry Rob and Laura, Ricky and Lucy, Archie and Edith.

Whew, after all that, here, in alphabetical order, are the ten I love -- within my own parameters! Feel free to comment with your choices, if your favorite isn't on my list.

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TV Obits: Letts, Baer, Kenwith

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 4th 2008 2:23PM

Dennis Letts and son TracyA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Dennis Letts: He was a teacher who taught at universities for 30 years and then decided to get into acting. He appeared in several TV shows, including Walker, Texas Ranger, Once and Again, and The CBS Summer Playhouse, as well as the TV movies Dallas: The Early Years, Challenger, and The Last Prostitute. On the big screen he was in Cast Away, Infamous, Passenger 57, A Perfect World, and many others. He died of cancer at age 73.

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Allan Melvin dead at 84

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 19th 2008 8:25PM

Andy Griffith ShowAllan Melvin had so many roles on so many TV shows over the years that it's hard to know where to begin, but I guess the most logical spot would be The Brady Bunch, where he played Sam The Butcher, the guy Alice dated. He was also a regular on The Phil Silvers Show, played Archie Bunker's friend Barney on All in the Family, and also played Rob's army buddy on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He appeared on dozens of other shows over the years, from the Andy Griffith Show (he always played a crook - that's him on the right in the pic) and Gomer Pyle, USMC to Kung Fu and The Banana Splits (he was Drooper).

You would probably also recognize his voice in many cartoons, including Magilla Gorilla, The Flintstones, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, The Smurfs, Spider-Man and Friends, Foofur, Ducktales, Talespin, and others.

He died of cancer in Los Angeles.

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Andy Griffith wants to be sheriff in Wisconsin

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 18th 2006 6:28PM

Andy GriffithThis guy is running for sheriff in Platteville, Wisconsin, and he has an unusual gimmick to get attention.

He's legally changing his name to Andy Griffith.

And before you say that I'm being too hard on the guy by implying that he's doing it to get attention, he admits to doing it for that reason. His real name is William Fenrick, and he's sick of how the politics game is played nowadays and wants to get things back to the way they were in Mayberry. His opponent has been sheriff for the past 10 years.

But wait a second. If this guy is running for sheriff, shouldn't he change his name to "Andy Taylor?" After all, that was the name of the character on the show. Seems odd to run for sheriff and change your name to an actor's name and not the sheriff character he played.

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Barney Fife gets serious

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 3rd 2006 7:51PM

Don Knotts gets seriousWhen you hear the name of Barney Fife, deputy sheriff on the classic The Andy Griffith Show, what comes to mind? Well, he was smug and self-confident, over-analytical, overzealous, and a bit of a blowhard. But how about eloquent, intense and heartwarming? No, you say? Well, you'd be wrong, because there was one particular episode where he was just that, all in defense of his partner Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Jump ahead and I'll tell you all about it.

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The Five: Comfort shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 18th 2006 8:59AM

West Wing DVDsWe've all heard of "comfort foods," those foods that we always return to, the ones that we love and make us feel good and maybe even bring back good memories. But TV shows can be the same way. They might not be our "favorite" shows (though they very well could be), but they certainly make us feel so good we want to keep watching them (and now with DVDs, it's even easier). Here are mine:

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show: My favorite TV show of all time, but it's also a feel-good show: a positive family show and a clever showbiz show at the same time. A childhood favorite that never lost any appeal for me, even as I became an adult.

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