It is said that if writing a good book is hard, writing a good humerous character is impossible. It is certainly a rarity to come across good humour, all too often it just falls flat in a cringeworthy scene which somehow ends up with pity for the poor writer (or actor) who thought it would work. Yet sometimes it is pulled off in spectacular style, sometimes there are characters so fantastically funny that we cannot help a snort of laughter, or even a burst of laughter. And so, here is my list of the top 5 funniest fictional characters.
Number Five: William Brown
William (of Just William fame) is one of those iconic schoolboy miscreants, those timeless scamps whose exploits entertain people of all generations.
Number Four: Jennings
The perpetually well-meaning English schoolboy who is perpetually in trouble. Whatever Jennings gets up to it goes haywire, be it exercising a goldfish (where else but the swimming pool) or simply helping out in a fire drill, Jennings is always there with a wry quip (or at least the subject of one).
Number Three: Weasley Twins
Everyone’s favourite practical jokers and founders of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Be it puking pastilles or the infamous ‘boxing telescope’ which made its mark on Hermione, the Weasley twins are constantly scheming, joking, and having a good time.
Number Two: Paddington
I’ve spoken of my fondness for Paddington before, but I’m not going to neglect him of his rightful place on this list. He is unintentionally funny, witty, and charming all in one go, he always tries to do the right thing but all too often this goes awry.
Here are those who I thought of, but didn’t quite make the list for one reason or another:
- Everyone in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. No single character stuck in mind enough for this post though
- Everyone in Good Omens, though as above, no character sprung to mind
Number One: Thomson and Thompson
The comicbook detectives are always good for a chuckle, whether it be their stupendous blunders or their tendancy to mix words (“clear as day to us, eh Thompson?”/”To be precise: dear as clay. That’s my opinion and I’m stuck with it”), or even just their slapstick humour and notorious clumsiness. But on top of that they are loyal to Tintin and at least try and do their job (though often in ridiculously stereotyped disguises) and are especially good as a bit of comic relief.
Given that this is purely within literary fiction, I had to tragically miss out those worthy of mention, including (but not limited to) the Home Army division based in Warmington-on-Sea, the Peckham entrepreneurs, and more. Have I missed anyone who I shouldn’t have? Disagree completely? Please say!