Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 10 Guest Stars who became Regulars

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Ever watch a show and realize that a character just comes along and steals the show... over and over? It happens, and while it's not incredibly common, it's far from a rare occurrence. Today I'm going to give some examples of this character type, and feel free to suggest others that I might not have thought of.  

10. Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. Although I have only seen a couple episodes of this show, I am familiar with the character Mimi. I think that she is kinda synonymous with the show, and I was amused to find out that she wasn't originally intended to be a main character.

9. Spock from Star Trek. He was the only character carried over from the first pilot to the second for the television shows, and ended up becoming one of the most-identifiable characters in all of the Star Trek saga.

8. Elmo on Sesame Street. He was originally a background Muppet without a name, but has really become a mainstay fixture since the 90s. Who knew that a preschool speaks-in-the-third-person red monster would end up taking popularity from Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and the rest of the crowd?

7. Slimer from Ghostbusters. Yes, he's originally from the movie, but he was so popular in it that he became a major character in the television series. A one-hit ghost that even ended up with a flavor of HiC named for him... cool. Ecto Cool.

6. Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls. Originally, she was intended to be a supporting character... but tested so well that the writers included her as one of the main characters. Kinda funny when you think about how they eliminated Coco the housekeeper after a single episode... perhaps partially to give Sophia more of a role.

5. Butters Stotch from South Park. He fought so well with Cartman that he ended up a regular, and even got his own episode to give the audience more background on this nerdy, strives-to-please kid. Butters is unlike the other main characters in so many ways, yet he fits right in.

4. Carol Hathaway from ER. The well-known retcon that a suicide became just a coma. Carol went on to have an interesting run on the show, and everyone seemed to be rooting for her and Doug Ross (George Clooney's character) by the time she left the show. The final season revealing that they were still together was heartwarming.

3. Fonzie from Happy Days. Probably the best example of this idea, since they were considering renaming the show because of his popularity. Again, Fonzie was different from the main cast of characters on this show, but he managed to fit in and add a new angle on the retro show.

2. Maxwell Klinger on M*A*S*H. He was originally written just to get a laugh out of crowds at the crazy things that people did to try to get a Section 8 discharge from the armed forces. He ended up becoming a regular, continuing to fight for a discharge up until his time in the service was about over.

1. Urkel from Family Matters. This instance is my favorite. I can't really imagine how this show would've played out without Steve. And, when I was a kid, my family referred to this sitcom as "The Urkel Show." Oh, and were there toys made of any of the other characters? Because I had a friend who had that talking Urkel doll... and he was so dorky he was cool!  

so... who else fits this description?
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