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Step Aside, Bruce McGill December 4, 2008

Posted by Mike in Stephen Root, top fives.

Your time has come and gone, and I’m declaring a new winner for Best That Guy Ever. Sure, much of this is due to the fact that in the space of an hour last night, I saw him guesting on Pushing Daisies as evil Dwight Dixon, then while flipping through channels saw him on HBO on TrueBlood as a gay vampire and get shot in the chest in “No Country for Old Men” and heard him voice Bill Dautrive on King of the Hill. Just by reading those roles, you know that today’s hero possesses one of the most overlooked qualities in today’s actor: the ability to act. Unlike the guys who basically play themselves in every movie (which we’ll get to in #3) below, our featured guest actually has the rare ability to create new characters for new roles. It’s almost… too simple, isn’t it?

Simply put, he’s unstoppable.

So we salute you, Stephen Root, the greatest That Guy of all time, with your five most memorable roles. Think I missed one? That’s adorable. Bite me.

5. Bonus fun fact: He was cut out of both “Anchorman” and “Kindergarten Cop”! What might have been. A true tragedy for American cinema.

hangmanjudge4. Judge Hank “the Hangman” BMW, “Idiocracy”
Say you haven’t seen this movie? Then your shit’s all retarded. Remember: it’s got electrolytes, and that’s what plants crave.

“You shut up! Now… I am fixin’ to commensurate this trial here. We gonna see if we can’t come up with a verdict up in here.”

gordondodgeball13. Gordon, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”
“Dodgeball” was a criminally underrated movie. You’ve got sports, a hot blonde girl, men beating up Girl Scouts, Vince Vaughn playing Double-Down Trent for the 40th time, and Ben Stiller playing one of the three characters he knows how to play – this being Evil Ben, in addition to “adorable dimwit” and “Derek Zoolander”. What more could you want? You take your “believable plot” and “realistic character development” – I’ll take Stephen Root portraying the mild-mannered obscure sports fan who has a murderous rage against his mail order bride. L for love!

“Since I’m here, I’m gonna go ahead and probably do some abs, gonna shock it up, gonna let it go.”

miltonofficespace2. Milton Waddams, “Office Space”
Thought this was a slam dunk number one, didn’t you? Didn’t you?! Don’t get me wrong, Milton’s a classic. The Red Stapler, the anger at not getting a piece of cake, the constant abuse of what appears to be a mentally disabled person by the general community. It’s really the American dream!

“Sir? I’ll take my traveler’s checks to a competing resort. I could write a letter to your board of tourism and I could have this place condemned. I could put… I could put… strychnine in the guacamole.”

At number one… the greatest character from the most sadly underrated comedy of all time.

1. Jimmy James, NewsRadio


Jimmy James. Billionare. Eccentric. Ladies’ man. Macho Business Donkey Wrestler. Need an example of the greatness of Jimmy James? Listen to him explain to you the concept of advertising:

Not yet convinced? How about listening to him read from his autobiography… which was translated into Japanese… and back into English.

You know what? If you haven’t already seen NewsRadio, you’re hopeless. I can’t help you.

“Hell, I haven’t read a comic strip ever since I realized Beetle Bailey wasn’t actually going to shoot anybody.”

“Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space. But Jimmy has fancy plans, and pants to match.”

Jimmy: I wanted a house just like Xanadu, but without a dorky name.
Lisa: So what did you call it?
Jimmy: Fort Awesome.



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