8 of the biggest sitcom nerds of all-time
Tormented for their odd behavior and rejected for their over sized IQs, sitcom nerds have it pretty rough sometimes. Their foibles can often yield some of the best laughs in a series and bring a touch of vulnerability to a shows cast. Here are eight pocket protector carrying nerds from today and yesterday who brought the funny.
Photo credit: YouTube/CBS
8 Willy Gilligan
The iconic red shirted klutz played by Bob Denver was responsible for shipwrecking the S.S. Minnow in the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. That right there is grounds for being offered as human sacrifice to any island savages. Unlike most of the other nerds on the list, Gilligan is not known for being brainy and often thwarts any attempts to get off the island throughout the series. Given the choice of voting anyone off the island — Gilligan, you’re out. Mary Ann can stay in my hut.
7 Dwight Schrute
Dwight, of NBC’s The Office is a nerd who longs to be a badass. He possesses a vast, if not somewhat questionable knowledge of bears, martial arts and survival skills. He’s an effective salesperson and his lack of humor and hunger for authority often make him the butt of office pranks at the hand of rival Jim Halpert and secretary Pam. Although, he scores one for all nerd-kind and actually bags the second hottest girl in the office, Angela, only to lose her then get her back again. “Women are like wolves. If you want one you must trap it. Snare it. Tame it. Feed it.”
6 Warren “Potsie” Weber
Known for not being socially clumsy, a poor athlete and not the brightest bulb, Potsie was definitely the “square” in the Happy Days gang. Close friend of somewhat cooler, Richie Cunningham, Potsie was one of the few characters to make it through the show’s entire run. His attempts at crooning to impress the ladies at teen hangout Arnold’s, were often met with good-natured ridicule from his peers. Don’t sweat it, Pots. If the ladies don’t appreciate a good Perry Como song, the Fonz still loves ya!
5 Carlton Banks
Carlton played Will Smith’s annoying cousin for six seasons on the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The guy was the epitome of a rich, arrogant, preppy nerd. Nobody wore a sweater vest and plaid shorts better than Princeton hope-full, young Republican Carlton. His short stature and naivety provided for some of Will Smith’s best jokes in the series. Carlton was an expert at “cock-blocking” himself by busting out his signature “Carlton dance” to the tune of “It’s Not Unusual” at any social event.
4 Samuel “Screech” Powers
Actor Dustin Diamond milked the character of “Screech” for every penny possible, appearing in four different versions of Saved by the Bell. Awkward, skinny, and horrible with girls, yet somehow Screech still gets to hang out with the cool kids. Sitcom nerds never have much luck with the ladies and Screech was no exception. Constantly pursuing the only black girl in the school, “Lisa Turtle” he was rejected time and time again. Today, actor Dustin Diamond seems to be trying his hardest to shed his “nerdy” image, appearing in celebrity boxing matches, releasing a sex tape and tell all book.
3 Sheldon Cooper
Top honors for the brainiest nerd on the list go to The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. A child prodigy with a master’s degree in physics, two Ph. D.s and an IQ off the charts. But while Sheldon maybe be putting other nerds to shame in the smarts department he completely lacks any sense of humor or humility. He’s got a bad case of obsessive compulsive disorder and isn’t too good at giving hugs — even to hottie neighbor Penny. In a nutshell, the guy is straight up weird, thus making him a perfect fit for the show’s cast.
2 Milhouse Van Houten
The Simpsons cast is full of some great nerds, Professor Frink, Comic Book Guy, and Martin Prince. But this is my article and I like Milhouse the best. Named after President Richard Milhous Nixon, why Bart chose Milhouse for a best friend is anybody’s guess. Smooth with the ladies he is not, and he constantly fantasizes about a relationship with crush, Lisa Simpson. He’s the only character in Springfield with eyebrows and was once the proud owner of Bart Simpson’s soul. “I traded your soul for Alf pogs. Remember Alf? He’s back. In pog form.”
1 Steve Urkel
Probably no other character in TV history embodied the nerd stereotype more than Urkel on ABC’s Family Matters. Thick glasses, high-water pants, nasal laugh and bumbling klutz — Steve Urkel was born with a wedgie. Originally, penned as a single episode character, he became extremely popular and terrorized the Winslow family for nine seasons. A love for cheese and Laura Winslow, the popularity of his nerdy character spawned several spin-off characters. The equally nerdy cousin, Myrtle Urkel and slick alter ego Stefan Urquelle were both played by Jaleel White. Famous quote: “Did I do that?”