How Many Obscure Classic Sitcom Characters Can You Name?

By: Monica Lee

The coffee shop was called The Central Perk, and Gunther was the manager. James Michael Tyler is the actor who portrayed the sarcastic and unfazed Gunther.

Yev Kassem is the name of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Larry Thomas portrayed this role for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Harry Anderson appeared as the local flim-flam man/magician Harry “The Hat” Gitties, in Cheers. His character was also instrumental in a memorable sting episode in the TV series.

The name of the malt shop owner on "Happy Days" was Al Delvecchio who was portrayed by Al Molinaro. Al also portrayed the cop on the "Odd Couple".

Mrs. MacGillicuddy was the name of Lucy's mother on "I Love Lucy". Kathryn Card portrayed the mother-in-law perfectly!

Earle Hyman portrayed Cliff's father, Russell Huxtable on the "The Cosby Show". Earle Hyman was also an excellent stage and film actor.

In a particularly funny episode, Ray and Debra have their friends over, but Ray finds their friend's son, Spencer, incredibly annoying, and for good reasons. The mean-looking kid is portrayed by Brett Buford.

Lawrence Lavon Linville portrayed the self-righteous surgeon, Major Frank Burns, on the television series "M*A*S*H". He was the victim of many pranks.

Betty Garrett won Best Supporting Actress in 1974 for the role of Irene Lorenzo in the television series "All in the Family".

Johnny Galecki played David Healy in the original "Roseanne" then skyrocketed into fame on "The Big Bang Theory".

Howard McNear is best remembered as Floyd Lawson, the barber in "The Andy Griffith Show" although he was also an accomplished stage, screen and radio actor.

The money-grabbing billionaire owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is Mr. Burns. He is portrayed by Harry Julius Shearer, an actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, musician, radio host, director and producer.

Brian Baumgartner portrays Kevin Malone in "The Office". Malone is not given much responsibility by his supervisor, Angela Martin, but he is allowed to shred company documents and says that is all he really needs.

Tobias Fünke is portrayed by David cross in "Arrested Development". David Cross is a stand-up comedian, actor, director, and writer.

Eddie always added to the laughs on "Fraiser". Eddie's real name is Moose and he is a Parson Russell Terrier.

Georgia Bright Engel is an American actress and comedian who is best known for her role as Georgette Franklin Baxter on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show".

Milk toast producer of the "The Alan Brady Show" was Mel Cooley. Rob Petrie worked as a writer for "The Alan Brady Show".

Harry Bently was the Jeffersons' eccentric English next-door neighbor. Bentley worked as a Russian-language interpreter at the United Nations.

Lindsay Lohan portrayed Danielle, the love interest of both Fez and Kelso in season seven.

The stoic and sarcastic Geoffrey provided enormous entertainment as the Butler. Geoffrey was portrayed by Joseph Marcell, a British actor and comedian.

Although there was more than one person who played Gladys Kravitz, there was just one nosy neighbor that constantly spied on the Stephens.

Ann has the habit of picking up the personality tics of whomever she's dating. Ann Perkins is portrayed by Rashida Jones.

Tommy Strawn was the affable best friend who was often the straight man to Martin's jokes. He was portrayed by Tommy Ford.

John Ross Bowie, an actor and comedian portrays Barry Kripke on "The Big Bang Theory". He is a nemesis to Sheldon.

Jack McBrayer, an actor and comedian, portrays Kenneth Parcell. His small town innocence is endearing and hysterical at the same time

Stanley Zbornak was the ex-husband of Dorothy Zbornak. Stanley was portrayed by Herbert Edelman who was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for his television work.

Sam the Butcher was Alice the housekeeper's boyfriend on "The Brady Bunch". Sam was portrayed by Allan Melville.

Carol had to deal with the wacky patients, and even wackier coworkers as secretary/receptionist to Robert Hartley.

Ginger was the movie star who got stranded on the island when the S.S. Minnow lost its way in a storm.

Carol Kane portrayed Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman), on the series Taxi, from 1981–83.

Fred’s absent-minded friend and Lamont’s godfather is Grady Wilson, portrayed by Whitman Mayo.

Ralph Furley is the flamboyantly dressed landlord in "Three's Company". Portrayed by Don Knotts, he fancies himself a ladies' man. Although he wasn't the original landlord, Ralph plays the part just as well.

David Hornsby has a recurring role as defrocked priest Matthew "Rickety Cricket" Mara on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" in which he also writes and co-produces.

Playing cool jazz in the evening and early night-time, Venus Fly Trap has a sexy low voice, perfect for a D. J.

Before Matt LeBlanc was Joey on "Friends" he was Vinnie Verducci on "Married...with Children". He was also cast for both of the spinoff series called Top of the Heap, and Vinnie and Bobby. However, both shows were short-lived.

Wilson had a fence that is too tall and he peers out from on top of it, no one saw the lower half of his face on "Home Improvement".

When Jessie finally settles down on "Full House" he decides to marry Rebecca. She is a host alongside Danny on "Wake Up, San Francisco".

On "Night Court" the well meaning but dumber than cotton Bull Shannon is the towering bailiff. He is portrayed by Richard Moll.

Skippy provided lots of laughs on Family Ties. Skippy was portrayed by Marc Price, an actor and comedian.

Ted meets Stella after he drunkenly gets a butterfly tattoo on his lower back and gets it removed by Dr. Stella Zinman.

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Image: NBC, Fox

About This Quiz

Constantin Stanislavski had it right when he said, "there are no small parts, only small actors." If that echoes your beliefs, then you'll love this quiz. It focuses on those characters who steal the scene even though they have a small role. People like the Soup Nazi in "Seinfeld" or Gunther from "Friends" even Eddie, the dog, from "Fraiser" steal the spotlight! So although they have small, albeit obscure roles, these actors have made them into memorable characters. This is where their true talent lies. Did you know that Larry Thomas, who portrayed the Soup Nazi, was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance?

We can all name our favorite character actors, those who have the high-pitched laughs, the hysterical facial expressions, or play the stereotypical role with a twist, like Geoffrey the Butler, in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." We look forward to their appearance in each scene when we're guaranteed a laugh.  

Take this quiz now and recall all your favorite characters -- who were not the leads -- in some of the most popular sitcoms of the times. You'll be surprised at how many you can easily identify. Try it now. Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor from Bewitched, promises not to tell anyone your score. 


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