When we stumbled across Entertainment Weekly's "Avatar"-inspired list of 17 blue characters from pop-culture history
yesterday, the first thing we did was cry.
Why? We had been slaving away on a similar list to run on Asylum today, pegged to the long-awaited release of what has been referred to as James Cameron
's "Waterworld." We wanted to be the ones to make the Tobias Fünke reference
But upon reflection, we realized that the admittedly excellent EW list left out as many awesome blue characters as Cameron did plausible plot points in "Avatar." Like, where's Watto
? Where are the Blue Meanies
? Where is David Bowie in the video for "Blue Jean"
And so, we've countered their list with one of our own, and given a geeky shout-out to 10 characters from pop culture that are every bit as blue as Cameron's Na'avi thingies.
1. Gleek from "Super Friends"
The DC universe's version of Jar Jar Binks
was nominally on hand to provide comic relief, but the Wonder Twins
' space monkey pet Gleek is as funny as a crowbar to the groin. All he ever did, really, was hold a bucket to transport Zan from place to place after that pointy-eared dude turned himself into water. Still, who wouldn't want to have a pet space monkey?
2. Lord Rama from "Slumdog Millionaire"
This future answer to a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" question appears to the movie's protagonist, Jamal, while he and his brother are running from a group of angry Hindus during a bloody riot. This brief but memorable appearance of the Hindu god was just one of many controversies the film sparked in India, and it even moved one conservative religious group to file a legal complaint that indie darling "hurt religious sentiments
." Lighten up!
3. The Trisolians from "Futurama"
Matt Groening's extremely underrated animated series featured more weird- and strange-looking people than a Renaissance faire that's been invaded by a "Star Trek" cosplay group
. One of the strangest were these hydrogen- and oxygen-based life-forms that live on a desert planet overlooked by three brutal suns and that glow a beautiful shade of blue during the few night-time hours they have. Naturally, our hero Fry becomes their king by drinking the Trisolian emperor.
4. Max Rebo from "Return of the Jedi"
The leader of Jabba the Hutt's house band (because all reptilian gangsters should have their own Kevin Eubanks to assure them that they are funny) gets a very short amount of screen time, but his story is actually quite deep and complex
. For instance, his extreme gluttony and excessive eating prevented him from finding work outside of Jabba's lair, making him the John Popper
of the "Star Wars" universe, which is ironic since John Popper is often mistaken for the Death Star.
5. Marty Wolf from "Big Fat Liar"
A 2002 film vehicle for the rapidly falling star of Frankie Muniz
features Paul Giamatti as a sleazy Hollywood producer who steals a film idea from a dorky kid. The kid and his friend, played by Amanda Bynes
, devise all sorts of overly elaborate schemes and unnecessary devices that could only be topped by the addition of a Halliburton contract, including pouring permanent blue dye in his swimming pool. He spends a good third of the film being mistaken for Max Rebo.
6. The Blue Team from "Red vs. Blue"
The Internet comedy hit that launched the Machinima filmmaking movement
featured an entire squad of blue guys, both in color and the occasional use of language. Created by Rooster Teeth Productions
, "Red vs. Blue" used the video game "Halo
" to explore deep philosophical questions about life and all of its mysteries. This is strange, seeing as how "Halo" found success by ensuring that its fans would have no life of any sort once they started playing it.
7. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega had a problem. The Japanese company was getting its ass kicked by rival Nintendo and its iconic character Mario worse than Steve Urkel
in the front row at Altamont. But in 1991, their team of designers trotted out the speedy blue blur that the world now knows as Sonic the Hedgehog. It gave Sega brand recognition and became the first video game character to have a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
8. Boo Berry
Breakfast was always the most important meal of the day in our house and no nutritious breakfast was complete without this General Mills staple from the four food groups (assuming the other three were Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Fruity Yummy Mummy). This ghostly specter of sugary goodness first materialized on cereal boxes across the nation in 1973. It jumped in and out of circulation on grocery store shelves for many years, until it became a recurring fixture at Halloween -- and a permanent fixture in children's colons year-round.
9. Inky from "Pac-Man"
Undoubtedly the most misunderstood member of Pac-Man's enemies, Inky has a very "bashful" and almost sullen personality -- which may account for his blueness. But that doesn't mean he is any less vicious or afraid of Pac-Man. If Pac-Man rears his giant yellow-head towards Inky's gaze, the ghost will chase him with the tenacity of a shark following the sonar of some innocent splashing, the kind that would either be a school of tasty seabass or a group of swimming Cub Scout badge earners, each equally tasty.
10. Jay Maynard, The Tron Guy
It takes a huge set of balls to don a homemade Tron costume for all the Internet to see and we can tell "The Tron Guy
" has them, mainly because the spandex suit is about two sizes too short in "certain areas." Using nothing more than a form-fitting suit, a hockey helmet, some blue-glow paint, and a dream, Maynard turned the fantasy world of Disney's cyber-epic
into a reality and made himself a hero in households that desperately needed someone to pity.