Is it worth being a secondary role? Many of us think that these roles are completely necessary for raising a series or TV program up to a first rate show. This is my particular tribute to those people whose short and memorable interventions make our lives more gratifying. An example:
The importance of being Bob
Who’s Bob? Bob is an actor, a sideshow actor, with huge feet, red messy hair, and a wasted intelligence which makes him think this world is only for nerds. And we are not nerds, are we?
Sideshow Bob is one of those unforgettable characters from “The Simpsons”. Among all of the secondary roles, Bob is the best. He’s a perfect gentleman. Only he is able to build the Westminster abbey in miniature, put it inside a glass bottle, and finish his work by setting the clock in the bell tower with the exact Greenwich hour, with tweezers. That’s a focused commitment!
Bob was always put in the shade by Krusty the clown, but I think he deserves more. His culture is outrageous and many of his greatest gags demonstrate it. For example, Bob explains in court that when he writes “Die, Bart. Die” it’s neither a menace nor a proposal; it’s only German and it means “The, Bart. The”. Of course, his manners make him trustworthy, so he manages to escape from prison almost every year.
Like every magnificent secondary character, Sideshow Bob has a nemesis: Bart Simpson. That Simpson kid shatters all of Bob’s criminal plans. Since he tried to kill Bart’s aunt Selma after marrying her, he was absorbed by a spiral of vengeance with only one mission: killing Bart.
I think the greatest achievement was transforming Bob into Max Caddy, the resentful assassin from “Cape Fear”. Robert de Niro couldn’t do a better performance than Bob. The parody chapter of this film is probably one of the top ten episodes from the series. Please watch it. You won’t regret it.
Talented Bob looks for recognition, and this is his Achilles’ heel. He craves attention, but the world around him is mediocre. That’s the reason why he is disappointed with humankind. He is definitely not a nerd, but his methods are quite questionable.
Bob and all the criminal characters became memorable by virtue of their pathetic behaviour. We feel as though they wouldn’t hurt anyone; in fact, we feel as though we can be pathetic sometimes, too. That’s the reason why I enjoy Sideshow Bob and others, like Otto (the Academy-award winning character played by Kevin Kline in “A Fish Called Wanda”). Pure humour.