I was thinking about a list of the coolest cartoon characters- the smooth, suave, the hero unnoticed from our (read: my) childhood. Who is the coolest of the cool, the guy you loved to watch? Feel free to add your choices in the comments, but here are the dude's I picked.
10 (tie)- Inspector Gadget
10 (tie)- Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters
Though Meadowlark was the leader and the star of the show, it was Curly that always had to do the "crap" jobs for him. He took the cocky edge off Meadowlark and stood out doing it.
9- Hong Kong Phooey
Come on, how do you get cooler than being voiced by Scatman Crothers? And he sung his own theme song!
8- Brian from Family Guy
How do we love Brian, let me count the ways: 1- A dog named Brian? Really? 2- A martini-drinking dog... 3- An INTELLIGENT, martini-drinking dog; and 4- A dog with an Oedipus complex. And he still fetches!
Not only one of the last Saturday morning cartoons, but one of the best. Each character on the show had some level of deep character development, despite the utter silliness of the premise, and none more so than the star of the show, field leader of the X Middle School Safety Patrol. The last cartoon I made a concerted effort to watch every week. And that was as a 40-year-old.
6- Roger "Race" Bannon
Sidekick of Dr. Benton Quest on the old Johnny Quest cartoon, Race did the heavy lifting for the team and had the coolest name on Saturday Morning. Johnny and Hadji would no doubt have lived a dull life if not for him.
5- Baloo the Bear
He stole the show in The Jungle Book movie. Every child's dream of the perfect adult- ready to fight if needed, but content to let life roll happily by.
4- Riff Raff
The only bad guy on the list, and how not? With little more than a flower in his lapel and a cigar in his mouth (and a bunch of guys with tommy guns behind him), he stood toe to toe against the super powered Underdog- and looked dapper doing it. You could see Danny DeVito playing him.
3- Mr Peabody
Did you really think an intelligent dog with a time machine wasn't gonna make my list? What I loved best about him was the unflappable, dry sense of humour.
2- Sugar Bear
And yes, he had his own cartoon show with other cereal mascot characters, from 1964 until the government decided in 1969 that somehow having a cereal mascot star in a show for kids in which his cereal was advertised was a horrible thing. It was like having Bing Crosby save the day every Saturday.
And who could possibly be the coolest of the cool except....
1- Bugs Bunny
The snarkiest of the snarky, the master of breaking the fourth wall, I cannot imagine that Bugs isn't the ultimate cartoon character. Think about it. Name one quote that you can remember from Mickey Mouse. I use Bugs' quotes all the time (my favorite being, "Well, if it's the 'Captain's Mess', let HIM clean it up!"). And there's a zillion of 'em, like:
-I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque!
-Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricaseeing rabbit without a fricaseeing rabbit license?
-I wonder what the poor bunnies are doing this season?
-Of course you realize this means war!
-Ah, your brother blows bubble gum!
-Gee, ain't I a stinker?
-It's shameful, but...ehhh, it's a living.
And of course- Eh, what's up, doc?