I’ve been re-watching old episodes of Chuck, which only has four seasons, no matter what anyone else might tell you. And as much as I love Chuck Bartowski and the Nerd Herders and John Casey and Sarah Walker, the character I’m missing the most is Devon “Captain Awesome” Woodcomb. And also the lovely Ryan McPartlin, who portrayed him. Awesomely.
So what is Ryan McPartlin up to nowadays? And is it awesome? I hope it’s awesome!
Anyway, Mssr. McPartlin was born in Chicago, and became an actor. According to IMDb, his Trade Mark (seriously, IMDb, this drives me nuts; trademark is ONE WORD) is his Towering Height. He is 6’4″, which explains why I love him.
Anyhoo, he broke onto the acting scene in 1999 with a role in The Nanny as Performer #3. The thing I remember about The Nanny is that Fran Drescher had an irritating voice, and then I changed the channel. After that, he had more one-and-dones in TV shows I didn’t even know existed, like Odd Man Out, Three Sisters and S Club 7 in L.A., which IMDb swears really exists, but I think had to be part of someone’s fever dream, because who names a TV show S Club 7 in L.A.? Also in something called North Shore and something called Model Family (which has to be about a family of models, right? Right?) and, most intriguingly, in an episode of Pepper Dennis entitled “Charlie Babcock’s Homosexual Encounter: Film at Eleven.”
Then it was on to bigger and better things, or at least bigger, with a recurring (or possibly starring) role in Living with Fran, which I’m just going to go ahead and assume also starred Fran Drescher because 1) it’s funnier that way; and 2) I’m actually too lazy to check.
From 2007 to 2012 (I’m not sure what 2012 is doing in there, because Chuck ONLY HAD FOUR SEASONS), he starred as Captain Awesome on Chuck, and he was awesome, and we loved him.
Also, he had a role on an episode of Mad Men in 2008, wherein he played Gentleman, which means that Mad Men has been on TV far, far longer than I realized. In 2010, he voiced Clutch Powers for Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers, which isn’t as awesome a name as Max Power.
He had a busy 2012, with roles in Hot in Cleveland, CSI: Miami, Necessary Roughness, Rizolli and Isles, and Daybreak, which I only just now remembered existed.
2013 was another busy year, with roles in stuff I don’t feel like mentioning, except Hart of Dixie, which I watched one time when I had a cold, and he wasn’t even in that episode, and also his character’s name was Carter Covington, which is, of course, the phoniest name ever that Dickens didn’t make up.
It looks like 2014 was another busy year for McPartlin, which means, I guess, that I’m not watching enough television, or he’s not guest-starring on The Americans or Brooklyn 99 enough, but he was on Bad Judge (with whatsisname from Veronica Mars!) and Mystery Girls, which I’m going to refuse to watch on principle, because IT STARS TORI SPELLING. Gah.
So, it looks like Ryan McPartlin is absolutely staying busy (he’s got several projects in the works). When he’s not acting, he’s a personal trainer and enjoys outdoor activities, and hangs out with his wife and their two kids. So that’s awesome, I guess, but … well, whatever, it’s not like they’re going to bring Chuck back for a fifth season or something.
Lately, it’s been hard to find the time to screw around at work, and even harder to convince myself to use the computer at home in the basement, which is 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house. Which is why this Muppets-related madness is so late!
Anyway, ladies? You think you’re dating a muppet, maybe? Let’s find out.
1. You asked your dad about your new boyfriend, and his response was: “Well, it’s not quite a mop, not quite a puppet, but man … So, to answer your question, I don’t know.”
2. Your boyfriend often sings about being green, and he’s not just talking about his hybrid vehicle. Also, he sings it.
3. You’ve noticed that his movements are often jerky, as if, perhaps, he is being pulled along by strings.
4. Also, your main competition for his affections is livestock.
5. Plus, he seems kind of … felt-y.
6. And he hasn’t got, you know, internal organs and all that stuff.
7. He lives on Sesame Street.
8. Possibly he’s not humanoid, but more like, I don’t know, a talking frog or maybe some sort of hairy red thing that … what the hell is that, anyway?
9. He knows Amy Adams.
10. Seriously. He’s not a mop and he’s not a puppet, so to answer your question …
One thing that everyone knows about clowns is that they are the minions of the devil. Sure, you might laugh at them when you see them, but deep down, you know you’re laughing at the devil.
Speaking of clowns, Krusty is a clown and the Joker kind of looks like a clown.
(I’m just assuming you know who these guys are, because, Christ!, my granny knows who these guys are.)
Anyway, they’re both tools of Satan, but which one do we like better?
Let’s find out.
Physicality. Both these guys have the traditional clown makeup going for them, except in the Joker’s case he’s also horribly disfigured. Normally, in a battle of clowns, everybody loses, but being horribly disfigured is an extra strike against you. Winner? Krusty.
Shows a marked lack of morals? The Joker is always doing stuff like murdering people in really horrible ways and plotting to murder people in really horrible ways, and probably killing their pets too, because he is really, really evil. Krusty, however, is a compulsive gambler, faked his own death, then faked his alter ego’s death, and sells such dangerous toys to the little childrens. Winner? Man, these guys both have the moral sensibilities of a dead squid. It’s a tie.
Better sidekick? The Joker has his legion of henchmen willing to play to his every evil whim, which seems kind of stupid of them, because he’s always killing his henchmen, but maybe they’re all somewhat suicidal or something? Krusty the Clown has had two sidekicks (that I know of, since I quit watching The Simpsons years ago): Sideshow Bob and Sideshow Mel. Heh. Those guys are awesome. Winner? Krusty.
More effective nemesis? The Joker’s nemesis is Batman, or The Goddamned Batman, as he is known in some circles. The Goddamned Batman is a master detective, proficient in, like, 872 forms of martial arts and 457 ways to kill you (he won’t use them, though, because he’s, deep down, a nice guy). Krusty the Clown’s most faithful adversary is Sideshow Bob, who keeps getting arrested and can’t even kill a 10-year-old boy. Winner? The Joker.
Better origin? The Joker’s origins are either that he fell into a vat of acid and was permanently disfigured and went insane, or maybe that his daddy cut the sides of his face up, or maybe that he is “super-sane,” because Grant Morrison likes to be contrary, but the point of the Joker is that he has no fixed origin and could be anybody, really. Krusty the Clown was born as Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski, the son of a rabbi, and worked his way up to become a somewhat successful comedian. Who dresses like a clown. Winner? Hey, Krusty’s father was a rabbi. What makes a better origin story than having a rabbi in it? Krusty for the win.
More likely to kill you stone dead? Are we talking on purpose or through sheer negligence? Because, really, you’re better off just avoiding these two like the plague. The Joker will murder you straight to hell and Krusty will either pratfall you to death or give you a lead- and arsenic-based toy to play with. Winner? A tie.
Overall winner? Krusty the Clown, because Two-Face is my favorite Batman villain. He’s so tortured!
Alfred Pennyworth is a butler.
Waylon Smithers is a butler.
So what we have here, folks, is a battle of butlers. A butler battle, if you will.
Butlers butt heads! we could say, but we won’t , because why pick the low-hanging fruit?
In a battle of buttling, which of these two gents will reign triumphant? Will it be Batman’s butler? Will it be Burns’ butler? Will it be alliteration, which is just having a field day here?
Let’s find out!
Physicality. Smithers is a character in The Simpsons universe, and thus has four fingers and bug eyes. Alfred has the appearance of a distinguished butler, usually with a thin moustache, and has been portrayed in recent filmes by Michael Caine. Michael Caine is so awesome. Winner? Michael Caine. And, by default, Alfred.
Has a more butler-y name? Don’t you love how adding -y to a noun totally makes it an adjective, absolutely breaking no rules of grammar at all? (What do you mean it doesn’t? Shut up! You’re wrong! Wrong!) Alfred Pennyworth’s name is Alfred Pennyworth, which makes him sound like the proper-est British butler that ever lived, coming from a family of butlers who were named things like Jeeves Pennyworth and Butler Pennyworth. Waylon Smithers’ name is Waylon Smithers, and I think the only reason I think of Smithers as a butler’s name is because of him. Winner? Alfred Pennyworth.
Has a better boss? Alfred’s boss is Batman who, by day, is disguised as Bruce Wayne, ladykilling playboy extraordinaire. At night, he fights crime and often comes home with internal injuries and stuff, which Alfred has to treat. That seems like a lot of work above and beyond your traditional description of “butler.” Smithers’ boss is Mr. Burns who, by day, is disguised as Mr. Burns. Whatever, he’s totally evil, and has even tried taking candy from a baby! It’s got to be hard working for someone that evil, don’t you think? Winner? Nobody. They both have terrible, terrible bosses.
Isn’t actually a butler at all? Smithers is actually an executive assistant to Mr. Burns, but I think butler sounds better. (Alliteration for the win!) Winner? Smithers.
Has a big fat man-crush on his boss? Why, yes, I’m sure they do.
Suffers from a deathly allergy? Waylon Smithers is deathly allergic to bee stings. Alfred is deathly allergic to, I don’t know, the Joker’s poison gas or something. But everyone is, so that hardly counts. Winner? Smithers.
Fights a greater evil? Alongside Batman, Alfred fights the supervillains that populate Gotham City. And by “alongside Batman,” I actually mean “from the relative safety of the Batcave.” Still, that’s more than you and I do. There’s a lot of supervillains in Gotham City, which is totally a magnet for crazy. Or Batman is a magnet for crazy. Whichever. Either way? Lots and lots of evil. Smithers, at Mr. Burns’ side, actually perpetuates a lot of acts of evil himself. On the other hand, he has to deal with Homer Simpson on a daily basis. Winner? It’s a tie.
Speaking of ties, let’s go to the tie-breaker, shall we? Yes, let’s do.
Has better toys to play with when the boss isn’t around? Now, as we all know, Mr. Burns has loads and loads of money. He even once made a thing that blocked out the sun. (Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the proper term for that thing, why do you ask?) So we know that Smithers would have access to all sorts of toys when the boss isn’t around. Except we also know this: the boss never isn’t around. Where Smithers is, Burns is. Also vice versa. Then we have Alfred. And Batman. And the Batmobile. And the Bat-shark repellant. And the Batarangs. And the Batman brand condoms or whatever. Winner? Alfred, because holy bat-toys, Batman!
Overall winner? Alfred Pennyworth, but only just.
Well, Christmas is almost here and, to celebrate, we’re having a battle of Ralphs.
One is Ralphie Parker, the hero of A Christmas Story and desirer of “an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.”
The other is Chief Wiggum’s boy.
Which Ralph will come out triumphant? And what does this have to do with Christmas? Find out now!
Phsyicality. Ralphie Parker is a blonde, glasses-wearing, blue-eyed cutie-pie.
Ralph Wiggum is yellow, four-fingered and appears to be balding at the age of 8.
Shows more taste in his unrequited crushes? Viewers of A Christmas Story will say, “What unrequited crush?” to which I say, “Exactly.” Ralph Wiggum, on the other hand, has loved Lisa Simpson from afar (and a-near) for years, and who doesn’t love Lisa Simpson? Winner? Ralph Wiggum.
More likely to shoot his eye out? Ralphie Parker, despite being warned more than once throughout the course of A Christmas Story, very nearly does shoot out his eye the very first time he uses his brand new BB gun. On the other hand, Ralph Wiggum. Winner? A tie in uncoordination and lack of firearm safety.
Makes you think of Christmas? Ralphie Parker stars in that holiday classic, A Christmas Story, which even has the word “Christmas” in the title. (Also the words “A” and “Story,” but those are less important right now.) When you think of Christmas, it’s hard not to think of Ralphie Parker. And vice versa, I guess. Ralph Wiggum is a tertiary character on the Simpsons, which has had a lot of Christmas episodes. While not as awesome as their Halloween, episodes, they’re still pretty damn good. Winner? I’m sorry, but Ralphie takes this one.
Has more interesting friends? Ralphie’s best friends are Flick, the kid who stuck his tongue to a flagpole after being triple-dog-dared, and Schwartz, the kid who triple-dog-dared him. I’m not sure that Ralph Wiggum has any friends that aren’t make-believe. I mean, that’s interesting, but more in a “poor Ralph Wiggum” way. Winner? Ralphie Parker.
Faces indignity after indignity? Ralpie, in the course of A Christmas Story, gets a low grade on his theme paper, learns that his Little Orphan Annie decoder is actually an advertising tool, gets soap put in his mouth and faces the school bully. That’s a lot of indignities for one 9-year-old to bear. On the other hand, Ralph Wiggum. Winner? Ralph Wiggum.
Has a cooler dad? Ralph Wiggum’s dad is Police Chief Wiggum. It’s pretty cool to have a police chief for a dad, even if he is slightly corrupt and mostly stupid.
But Ralphie Parker’s dad is Darren McGavin. That’s right. The Night Stalker. Winner? Ralphie Parker.
Overall winner? Ralphie Parker, because Christmas comes once a year for us all.
It’s a battle of guys named (descriptor) Bob! Which automatically eliminates Bob the Builder, but he sucks anyway, so it’s OK.
For those of you not in the know, Sideshow Bob is a character on The Simpsons. Killer BOB is part of the Twin Peaks mythos, and is the part that always makes me scream in terror a little bit, because the actor is terrifying.
On to the battle!
Physicality. Sideshow Bob is an animated character with really, really big feet. He played second fiddle to a clown (a Klown?) for many years. From that alone, I think we can infer that he’s none too attractive. Killer BOB, with apologies to the actor who plays him, has scraggly hair and is all sorts of evil/fugly. Winner? Nobody. Gods. They’re both hideous.
Is the physical embodiment of evil? Sideshow Bob is a criminal mastermind (?) who has terrorized Bart Simpson for years, in addition to framing Krusty the Clown for bank robbery and various other feats of evil-ty that I 1) can’t be bothered to list now; and 2) that’s because I can’t remember what they are specifically. Killer BOB is an evil entity that possesses people and makes them commit evil acts, like (spoiler alert!) murdering their very own precious daughter. Winner? You think this is a gimme for Killer BOB, don’t you? Well, you forgot that Sideshow Bob is a clown. It’s a tie.
Actually committed evil-er acts, then. Fine, since The Simpsons is a family show and hardly ever kills anybody, except for all those people that they have killed, this category goes to Killer BOB. Winner? Killer BOB.
Has a strange relationship to shoes somehow. Sideshow Bob has freaky big feet. Like, the kind of feet that make ladies sit up and take notice. Yeah. So it goes without saying that it’s pretty hard for Sideshow Bob to find shoes that fit. Actually, it doesn’t go without saying, because I said it. Killer BOB roomed with a guy above a gas station, and that one-armed man named Mike eventually became a shoe salesman. Twin Peaks doesn’t make sense sometimes. Winner? It’s another tie!
Why is Killer BOB’s name capitalized? I don’t know.
Provokes a deep, almost inadvertent, emotional response? When I see Sideshow Bob, I laugh like a little girl, because I know that Kelsey Grammer is doing the voice acting, and for some reason, that slays me. When I see Killer BOB, I scream like a little girl, because I’m afraid he will slay me for real. Those are both deep emotional responses. Winner? It’s a tie!
Has crazier hair? Killer BOB has scraggly gray hair, which we covered already. But it’s no match for Sideshow Bob’s mop, which doesn’t have gravity to deal with. Winner? Sideshow Bob.
Who’d’ve thought these guys were so evenly matched up? Nobody! Nobody would’ve thunk it.
The tie-breaking question? Is coming up.
Has a better cohort in crime? Sideshow Bob has Sideshow Cecil, who will live on forever via the immortal line: “And now to kill you. There may be a slight ringing in your ears. Fortunately, you’ll be nowhere near them.” Sideshow Cecil is so cool. Killer BOB has Mike, the one-armed man who has turned into a shoe salesman. Twin Peaks is so godsdamned weird. Winner? The guy whose brother is voiced by one of my heroes, David Hyde Pierce. Sideshow Bob.
Overall winner? Sideshow Bob. I’d say by a hair, but we all know it was the big feet.
As much as I hate having two fictional character battles in a row, I have to do this. You see, last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, a tiny voice in my head said: “Homer Simpson vs. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man,” and then I was bathed in a radiant light and there was an angelic chorus going “AHHHHHHHHH,” because this is my best idea EVER.
Which is kind of sad, when you think about it.
Moving on, Homer Simpson is the star of Fox’s television show The Simpsons, which is still on the air after 20 years or so, and will probably outlive us all. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is the physical embodiment of the ancient Sumerian god Gozer, come to destroy humanity. In the movie Ghostbusters, that is. As far as I’m aware, when Gozer comes for us, it won’t be in the form of a smiling marshmallow man, but what do I know? (That it will be the most delicious death of all!)
On to the battle!
Physicality. Homer Simpson is a bald, fat, yellow, four-fingered middle-aged man. He must have something going for him, though, because he’s somehow still married to the much more attractive Marge. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is 100 feet of pure marshmallow awesome destructivity. He wears a cute little sailor’s cap. Winner? The guy made of marshmallows, natch.
Wreaks more destruction? Sumerian god Gozer has been summoned to destroy the world, and assumes the form of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. (Thanks a lot, Ray.) Coincidentally, the word “destroy” is the verb form of the noun “destruction.” (I know, you’d think it would be destruct, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a verb.) Until he is stopped by the Ghostbusters, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man wreaks havoc on New York City. In fact, even after his defeat, he manages to cover the city in a delicious layer of marshmallow-y evil. That’s a lot of destruction. But have you seen an episode of The Simpsons? Homer’s always wrecking stuff: his marriage, the town, cars, Barney’s sobriety. Hell, there’s even an episode where he kills James Bond. OK, he doesn’t do the actual murdering, but he sure as hell is responsible for the super-spy’s death. Can the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man make such a claim? No. No, he cannot. Winner? Homer Simpson.
Higher blood sugar level? This seems like a gimme for the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, a creature made of marshmallows, which is basically sugar in pillow form. However, does he have blood? If he does, how would you test it? Homer Simpson, on the other hand, eats a lot of doughnuts. If he doesn’t have diabetes by now, then he is the luckiest cartoon character in the history of ever. Winner? Homer Simpson.
Better battle cry? Homer Simpson says “D’oh!” a lot. That’s not exactly inspiring. Unfortunately, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is mute, so our winner by default? Homer Simpson.
Met the Ghostbusters? Though an episode of The Simpsons references the Ghostbusters, the yellow folk of Springfield have never met the spirit-fighting team in person. That seems a shame, really, but I hope no one bothers to write that episode now, because I quit watching a few years back. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, however, has met the Ghostbusters. That lucky bastard. Winner? The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
Is a better person on the inside? On the inside, Homer Simpson is a big fat stupid lucky moron. Sure, he’s got a good heart, but that doesn’t prevent him from committing acts of evil on occasion. On the delicious, delicious inside, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is the ancient Sumerian god Gozer, who wants to destroy humanity. Winner? Eh, it’s a toss-up.
But in a head-to-head battle to the death? In one corner, we have the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the physical embodiment of the Sumerian god Gozer who has come to destroy humanity. (As a matter of fact, I do enjoy saying “Sumerian god Gozer who has come to destroy humanity.” How did you know?) In the other corner, we have Homer Simpson. He just said “marshmallows” and drooled a bit. Actually, he drooled a lot. Now if you’re not sure that Homer Simpson could devour a 100-plus-foot Marshmallow Man, I want you to think back to that Halloween episode of The Simpsons, where Homer goes to the hell of ironic tortures, and eats doughnuts until Satan gives up. That’s just one of many instances that leads me to believe Homer Simpson would have no problem finishing up the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in one sitting. Winner? Homer Simpson.
Overall winner? Sorry, Stay-Puft, but Homer Simpson takes this one. Even without a cute sailor’s cap.