Oldies, but Goodies
We’re supposed to honour and respect our elders, but the funniest ones are incoherent, maniacal, and out of touch with today’s world. That’s just the way we like them, though. From animation, to live action, to even puppets, here are the best angry octogenarians:
Grandpa Simpson – The Simpsons
Grandpa “Abe” Simpson is senile and irritable, but always lovable. In flashbacks, we learn that Abe was never really in touch with the world around him. In his senior years and angry that his family never wants to visit him, he has been known to write ranting letters to any business with an address and even yell at a cloud. I can’t really blame him though as I hate clouds with a passion, too.
Statler & Waldorf – The Muppet Show
These two curmudgeons spend all their time attending shows they intend to pan. When they attack, they rip into their prey with such veteran venom that it’s a modern science miracle that said victim can walk away after the lashing he or she has received. An antidote has yet to be formulated, but using the DNA of one Fozzy Bear, we hope to have a vaccine ready for distribution by 2015.
Frank Costanza/Arthur Spooner – Seinfeld/King of Queens
Jerry Stiller has proven over the years that his old man act is pure comedy gold. From the cantankerous Frank Costanza, to the petulant ever-scheming Arthur Spooner, Stiller has thrived as an old age performer. Perhaps his greatest moments came in the episode of Seinfeld “The Strike”, where Frank Costanza brings back the holiday of Festivus; including the feats of strength, airing of grievances, and let’s not forget those Festivus miracles!
Mayor Adam West – Family Guy
Mayor West is the perfect candidate to lead Quahog. He erected a statue of cereal mascot Dig Em’, sent the town’s police force across the world to search for a fictional character, and legalized then quickly illegalized marijuana, as his many works in office. Sounds like your typical politician to me.
Pierce Hawthorne & Leonard Briggs – Community
Pierce Hawthorne is a sexist, racist, homophobic psychopath – all the ingredients for a wonderful character! He spends most of his time disrupting the activities of his study group, who often want him gone from the gang. Leonard Briggs is a reoccurring character on the show, who heads up a crew of other oldies-but-baddies called The Hipsters (because each member has had hip replacement surgery). Briggs also ran for student body president, changing his last name to Rodriguez to capitalize on the Latino voters.
Ken Titus – Titus
Ken Titus is as nasty as they come, with his penchant for alcohol, tobacco, women, gambling and mean-spirited fun. He’s the furthest from having a heart of gold – in fact he’s had numerous heart attacks and other health issues, thus making his core as black as his soul – but that doesn’t make him any less funny. In reality, Papa Titus was just trying to raise his kids right and hoping they didn’t turn out to be ‘wussies’, as he often called them when they weren’t living up to his expectations.
Professor Farnsworth – Futurama
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth is as dementia-ridden as they come. The owner and operator of Planet Express, he sends his crew off on missions that are doomed to fail, while inventing the most insane and useless items known to future-kind. And you can’t really blame him for losing all his marbles. At the age of 29, I feel like I’m slowly starting to lose mine and Farnsworth is somewhere between 150 and 170 years old.
John Gustafson & Max Goldman – Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men
Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau have appeared in numerous movies together, but nothing compares to their two entries as Grumpy Old Men. As they compete with one another and often prank each other, the laughs pile up. Along with Burgess Meredith (playing Grandpa Gustafson), the amount of old man comedy in these flicks is high and hilarious. The gag reel for these movies, shown at the end of the films are hysterical, particularly when Meredith tries a number of different lines to relay various sexual euphemisms.
Mr. Burns – The Simpsons
Monty Burns has done nearly every horrible act listed in the How to be Dastardly Handbook. He’s so evil, he even tried to block out the sun so the town would have to rely solely on his nuclear power. Nearly every person in Springfield has had a run-in with Mr. Burns, whose love of power and money come before any other feelings he may have. I still think there’s a softy buried underneath all that audacity though.
Drink #98: Grumpy Old Man
- 2 oz Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon
- Splash of Lime Juice
- Top with Ginger Ale or Sweet & Sour Mix
- Garnish with Lime Twist
The original recipe calls for plain Bourbon, but I used Black Cherry and must admit the result was quite fantastic (if I don’t say so myself). We must learn from those who have come before us. Unfortunately, these folks aren’t the best example of people you’d want to take notes on. Meh, we drink in their honour, anyway!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
A great drink that I wasn’t able to completely enjoy as I battled a bad flu. I ask the rhetorical question: Is there anything Black Cherry Bourbon can’t do? The combo of Ginger Ale and Sour Mix may quickly become a favourite of mine.