Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy St. Paddy's Day!: The 10 Best Green Guys & Gals

Well gang, it's that time of year again. The Shamrock Shake is out, Mardis Gras is over, Lent has begun, March has come in like a lion and is getting ready to go out like a lamb, and that greenest of holidays is just around the corner. That's right kids, it's almost St. Patrick's Day, and that means not only the greenest of holidays, but also the greenest of top ten lists. So that is exactly what I have done. It's time to learn who I think the ten best green movie, TV, and comic book characters just happen to be. But first, there are a-plenty of green guys and gals out there that did not make the grade. No offense to them, but alas, a top ten list is just that, a top ten list - or in this case a few added on as special mentions - and someone had to be cut. It's a tough world sometimes.

Among those cut are, in no particular order, The Jolly Green Giant (and his little pal, Sprout), The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as well as those second rate wannabes, The Battle Toads), Swamp Thing and Man-Thing both, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Yoshi, Cecil the Dragon, as well as Pete's Dragon, aka Elliott, Mr. Toad of Wind in the Willows fame, The Mask, Gumby (he juuust missed the cut), one-eyed Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc., and even that time that Charlie was dressed as The Green Man on It's Always Sunny Philadelphia. As for the comic book world, along with the aforementioned Swamp and Man Things, you have Martian Manhunter, Drax the Destroyer, Beast Boy, Gamora (aka, The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe), Green Goblin, Savage Dragon, and last but certainly not least, The Sensational She-Hulk. Hell, I even thought of putting Jax (the big green rabbit from Marvel Comics' old Star Wars series) on the list, but alas, he did not make the final cut. The two most notable absences from the list (and yeah, probably the two that will warrant the most outrage - if anyone is actually even reading this that is) are Frankenstein's Monster and the big guy himself, Godzilla, so-called King of the Monsters. I guess they just weren't the right shade of green for me. So be it. Anyway, enough of this - we have a countdown to start counting down. 

And awaaaaaaay we go...

Special Mention: The Green Girls from Star Trek

Yup, those lovely green ladies seem to be everywhere in Star Trek, but actually there were but only a few. The Orion slave girls, first appearing in the pilot episode, and most notably in the third season TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy," where Yvonne 'Batgirl' Craig played Marla (above center), one of Captain Kirk's oh so many space conquests. J.J. Abrams even put his own token green lady into his 2009 reboot. Why are these gals in the special mention category instead of the list proper? Basically it's just my way of adding an eleventh entry.

10. Lyle Lyle Crocodile

Sure, I could have gone with Wally Gator, or even the crocodile from Peter Pan, or maybe even King Croc from Batman's rogues gallery (maybe even the alligator logo on all those polo shirts?), but it is the classic Bernard Waber created character, the doubly special Lyle Lyle Crocodile, that makes this list. To be honest, I would have forgotten all about this old childhood friend of mine if it were not for my wife yelling out Lyle's name when I asked her just which green characters should be on my list. 

9. Slimer

Gooey, gross, and completely disgusting. That's Slimer from Ghostbusters. First appearing in the 1984 movie, where he is captured and locked away after sliming Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman, this ugly little spud. By the second film, Slimer had become sort of a pet to the gang, and later he would appear in cartoons and video games as well. During none of this time though, does the chubby bastard ever lose his appetite. Who ya gonna call? Well, probably not this guy, but he may tag along anyway.

8. Broom-Hilda

This funny page stalwart first popped onto the scene in 1970. Created by Russell Myers, this 1,500 year old witch, and ex-wife of Attila the Hun, was one of my favourite comic strips growing up.  I am guessing the old girl isn't all that well known these days, as she is found in less newspapers these days. Hell, there are less newspapers for her to be found in anyway. My local newspaper long ago stopped running poor old Broom-Hilda, but she can still be found in some of the more major newspapers' funny pages around the nation.

7. Greedo

I don't care how much George Lucas begs, I will never, never, NEVER think that Greedo shot first. Never!! Han shot first and that is all there is to it. End of story. But this doesn't mean that we can't still like Greedo. Yeah, he's a slimy bounty hunter (and not near as good at his job as someone like Boba Fett) but it is his job, and we can't fault him for trying to take Han in for the reward money. Jabba does pay well after all. But still, you will never convince me that Greedo shot first. I don't care how much computer manipulation you do to your movie. Han shot first. End of fucking story. I know this is a tired old rant by now, but it still pisses me the fuck off!! Han shot first!!! There endeth my rant.

6. The Great Gazoo

When one thinks of the Flintstones, one probably thinks about dinosaurs and bronto-burgers, baby mammoth dish washers, and riding with the family down the street, through the courtesy of Fred's two feet. One usually does not think of space aliens, but that is just what happened on October 29, 1965, when The Great Gazoo made his debut on the prime time animated sit-com.  This tiny, mischievous green alien (voiced by Harvey Korman btw) was banished to Earth due to creating a doomsday device, and becomes a short-lived foil for Fred & Barney. We'll just skip over the Alan Cumming portrayed live action version from Viva Rock Vegas.

5. Oscar the Grouch

Yeah, I suppose the easy (and safe) call here would be to place Kermit the Frog in as our Muppet entry, but it's Oscar the Grouch who is the go to Muppet for me. No offense to the Muppet Show leader of the pack, but he just ain't no Oscar. Mean, green, and fuzzy - and he lives in a freakin' trash can. Okay, I wouldn't want to live in a trash can, nor would I necessarily recommend such a homestead for anybody else, but Oscar makes it work, in his own rough and tumble way.

4. The Grinch

I have always loved the stories of Dr. Seuss. From the Lorax to the Sneetches to the South-going and North-going Zaxes. But when it comes to the nastiest wastiest, baddest banana with the greasiest black peel, the one with termites in his smile, and garlic in his soul, the one you dare not touch, even with a thirty-nine and-a-half foot pole, then there is no other choice than the Grinchiest of Grinches, the...er, um...the Grinch. Plus he's big, fuzzy, and most importantly for the purposes of this list, quite green indeed.

3. The Wicked Witch of the West

The Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favourite films, but I will never for the life of me understand why a woman who can be destroyed by water (and you can tell she knows she can be destroyed by water, just by watching the expression on her face when the water is being thrown on her) would allow a random bucket of water to be just sitting around her castle. Really!? You're the fucking Wicked Witch of the West, I think you could have laid down the law a little bit and ban water from your castle. And did no one else know this little fact? No one ever thought to spray the bitch down before. Hell, Glinda made it snow in that poppy field. She couldn't have whipped up a little spring squall!? Okay, another rant over now. I'll try not to let it happen again.

2. Yoda

First making the scene back in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back (and not Star Wars: Episode V, like everyone likes to say now, but just plain old The Empire Strikes Back), Yoda was the rather snarky Sensei to Luke Skywalker's brash and still kinda stupid padawan. Back in the day, Yoda was a puppet (or maybe even a Muppet) controlled and voiced by Frank Oz. Later on, in those supposed prequels (a trilogy of films I still may not officially believe actually exist - but that's just the start of yet another rant), Yoda got a CGI make-over, and became a rather kick-ass mofo. Kick your ass will he.

1. The Incredible Hulk

Bruce Banner has been through many an incarnation in his 50+ year existence, but his bad-ass alter ego, other than in his debut 1962 appearance, and for a brief time as the morally ambiguous mob enforcer known as Joe Fix-It, in the late 1980's, has always been the greenest of greens. The Jade Giant, indeed. The Hulk (The Strongest There Is!!!), whether he was a rampaging monster or a giant genius scientist or the ruler of his own planet, has always been a favourite character of mine, which is why this Green Scar, this Eye of Anger, this Green Goliath is at the top of my greenest of green list. Well that, and the fact that I was scared to not put him there. After all, I wouldn't like him when he was angry.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I think of myself as a human version of that sexy green M&M. Happy St. Patrick's Day dear boy.

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