Ugly Naked Guy, “Friends”
Though his nickname tells you all you really need to know, “Friends” fans learned loads more about Ugly Naked Guy over the years. Peeping Tom commentary from Monica, Rachel and the gang fleshed out the show’s longest running joke. His love life (Ugly Naked Gal), his musical instrument of choice (the straddled cello), his near-death experience (well, a deep slumber interrupted by a sound chopstick poking) and his ironic quirk (loads of boxes labeled “clothes”) added up to a well-rounded off-screen Guy. By the time Ugly Naked Guy moved out (and sublet his apartment to a temporarily naked Ross), he was as familiar as any on-screen side character on the show.
Maris Crane, “Frasier”
The shrew behind the man is the stuff of sitcom gold (just look at Norm’s wife, Vera, from “Cheers,” who was seen and heard a little too much to make the list), but Maris, Niles first wife on “Frasier,” took the bad spouse act outside of the realm of possibility. She wasn’t simply cold; characters who had the misfortune of knowing her described her chilling reptilian terms. Maris couldn’t even cozy up to cuddly animals (as Niles said, “She distrusts anything that loves her unconditionally.”). Her hilarity came from her extremes. At her smallest she was mistaken for a hat rack; at her largest, she couldn’t fit through a doorway. There was no in-between with Maris.
Lars Lindstrom, “Mary Tyler Moore”
If “Mary Tyler Moore’s” unlovable Phyllis Lindstrom had any excuse for being a judgmental snoot, it was her unseen and overly indulgent husband, Lars. He could do no wrong as far as Phyllis was concerned, that is until he had an affair with “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens, aka Phyllis’ most worthy nemesis. That was the best of Lars. Not his behind-the-scenes actions — the man was a heel, after all — but the hilarious and sometimes soufflé-ruining antics he inspired among the regulars.
Juanita “from the diner” Beasley, “The Andy Griffith Show”
On “The Andy Griffith Show,” Barney Fife bounced between two loves. There was his ever-tolerant, long-time girlfriend Thelma Lou, and then there was the other woman, Juanita Beasley. Whenever Thelma Lou wasn’t around, Barn picked up the phone and asked Sara the operator (another off-screen gem) to connect him with “Juanita from the diner.” Barney forgot all about Thelma-what’s-her-name as soon as he heard Juanita’s voice. Of course, viewers never knew what Juanita thought of the bumbling lawman’s wooing ways (“From your head down to your feet / There’s nothing half so sweet / As Juanita, Juanita, Juan-eet”).
Diane, “Twin Peaks”
Having never been seen or heard from, Diane qualifies as the closest thing “Twin Peaks” ever had to a normal character. The only clues to Diane’s true identity came from Agent Dale Cooper, who addressed her each time he delivered his findings into his tape recorder. The obvious guess is that Diane was his ever-reliable assistant or secretary. Then again, there’s the just a likely chance that Diane was just what Cooper liked to call his Dictaphone.