Nerdy Monday 16: The Sitcom Wisemen.

There’s a formula to the cast of any given sitcom.  There has to be a star who is somehow naive.  It’s up to the supporting cast to guide and direct him/her on their journey.  In the supporting cast, there has to be a wealthy person, a best friend, a girlfriend who post often proves to be the voice of reason, and of course there has to be a wise man, or a mentor.  I’ve picked 3 of my favorite wise men, and dons some research on them.  This is my tribute to the sitcom wise men!

Wilson, from Home Improvement.

In the world of the sitcom wise men, Wilson was in a class all his own.  He was in the popular show based on Tim Allen’s stand up comedy that ran all the way through the 1990’s.  Literally, the show ran from 1991 to 1999.  And I’m pretty sure Wilson was in every episode at least once.  Wilson, or known by his full name:  Wilson Wilson, Jr. played the extremely intelligent best friend and next door neighbor to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.  And whenever Tim follied up in his every day life, he ended up chatting across that infamous fence with Wilson.  Time after time, Wilson had the best possible answer for Tim.  One of the running gags in the show (if you remember) is that Tim would take that advice that Wilson gave him (that was usually most noted by Wilson’s historical points, or famous philosophical works made to drive the point home) and he would turn around and try to tell them to his wife in the show, or his audience on Tool Time.  Every single time, he would misquote Wilson, or the name of the person who made the famous work, or the historical event.  He would mispronounce Wilson’s long words, on a few occasions, and those were my favorite ones.

If you isolate the persona of Wilson, and look back on the show, that was the 1990’s way of trying to give your children (namely my generation) a moral compass.  Exactly the same way The Animaniacs were allowed on the WB Network because of the last 40 second segment entitled “The Wheel of Morality”.  You can’t blame them.  They were the ’90’s, they always had some awkward way of trying to teach kids the right thing to do.

Wilson, we thank you for all that you gave to us (and our kids) growing up, and wish you were still around to impart your wisdom.

And here’s what he looks like in real life:

He was also the creepy old guy in the horror-cult-classic Pet Sematary.

Dr. Cox, from Scrubs.

What can I say about this guy?  Dr. Percival Cox, M.D. has been a mentor to me since I started watching the show Scrubs in its 3rd season.  I’ve been a closet fan of John C. McGinly (the actor who plays Dr. Cox) for a long time.  He’s one of those guys who has been in every movie ever made.  Some of you may remember him from Platoon, or Wall Street. The younger kids probably first saw him as “one of the Bob’s” in Office Space. Any ways you slice it, he is awesome.  He is the epitome of awesome.  Back during my last few years of college, my friends and I would party on Friday & Saturday nights while watching DVDs of this show.  Each one of us had a character that we most related our personalities to.  I got elected Dr. Cox.  One of my friends was the Janitor, our friend “Turk” automatically was Turk.  And the list went on.

When word of that little game got around campus a little bit, some people looked down on me because I was “A Dr. Cox”.  I didn’t care though, I took it as a huge compliment, he is the smartest person on the show.  I mean, who else could give out little nuggets of wisdom like these?  Haha, I love it.  And if anyone disagrees with me, I think this video clip of Dr. Cox’ top 5 rants will change your mind about him.

Also, another thing about Dr. Cox is how he delivers his wisdom.  He runs the entire gambit of wisdom-giving.  He can be hateful and sarcastic, he can be downright arrogant and a little rude.  He can be completely angry, and he can also be nice, gentle, kind, and sincere.  If you’ve ever watched the show, you know what I’m talking about and you can see the compassion in his eyes when he’s talking about something he truly cares about.  He has taught me to refrain from “biting” someone (figuratively, of course) when a simple “growl” will suffice.  And I guarantee you will learn a lot and have a few very good laughs if you scroll through that Coxism website I linked to up there.  Thank you Perry Cox for coming onto the scene and being a supporting cast member that steals the show!

Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.

George Hamilton Feeny.  Who doesn’t remember this character?  The way I think about this role, played by veteran actor William Daniels, is that it progressed throughout the entire series to envelope relationships with all of the other characters.  There wouldn’t have been a Boy Meets World, at least as we know it, had this character not been involved.  Think about this seriously, for a minute!  He started out in the series as Cory & Shawn’s (or “Sean’s”, whatever) 6th grade teacher.  Fast forward to the end of the series, and he helped out every single character through various troubling and sometimes even tragic circumstances.  I would go so far as to say he was the sole person to advance everyone elses character to the next phase of life.  He helped Shawn out when his mom ran off and his dad went to look for her.  He helped Cory out pretty much every episode.  He was a “Wilson” to the Matthews’ (the parents), and was basically a foundation for the older brother Eric.  In so many ways he helped character development, while doling out good advice and being a moral compass, simultaneously.   And he did it all without being maniacal, egocentric, aggressive, or manipulative.  And rarely did he ever raise his voice.  He was a true role model that kids my age were lucky enough to aspire to.  Thank you George Feeny for everything!

Check out this video that is very memorable to me, and was probably one of the more funny Feeny moments:

That’s my rundown for Nerdy Monday this week.  See you by the T.V.

The Jester.

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.  All videos obtained through Youtube.*

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3 Responses to “Nerdy Monday 16: The Sitcom Wisemen.”

  1. can someone translate this article to Portuguese? I will appreciate so much. I will come back and check.

  2. Wilson was not in pet cemetery. That was the guy from car 54 and the judge from my cousin Vinnie.

  3. Fred Gwynne played the old creepy guy in Pet Cemetery. Widely known for his role as Herman Munster on The Munsters tv show.

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