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Two-bit carnie acts

Unlike those beloved one-night stands (a pox upon thee, Sam, for killing my Casey. Jerk.), these lesser (in screen time only, of course) lights, quickies, if you will, generally have little-to-nothing to do with advancing the plot. Their raison d’être? A memorable chuckle, chuckles. There are exceptions of course, which is why this list has shifted its criterion within my brain not once, not thrice, but twice. Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch, should I be conservative (ha!) and limit it to one-scene, one-vote, thereby eliminating the man inferred surreptitiously in this article’s title, or be a flaming liberal commie pinko? In either case, this eliminates such memorable small screen glimmers as Sin City’s Richie (fuhgeddaboutit) and Monster Movie’s aptly named Ed Brewer. The night (or day, if that’s when you’re reading this) is mine (and yours), so let’s take a stroll down memory lane and smell the sulfur.

13. The Museum Guide, Long-Distance Call. Enthusiastically creepy much? Thanks for making learning not so fun. This is why guided tours are the pits; check out those long, forlorn faces ready to pass out or engage in a little CIA-approved assassination.  (From Alice - You gotta love the "quoting fingers.") 

12. The Burger Joint Kids, Hell House. Yes, yes, I know that, technically speaking, they appeared in both the teaser and the scene immediately following the title, but don’t blame me for such hypocrisy, it was those damn Pentecostals.

11. Joe Whitetree, Bugs. Speaking of blame, don’t lay any at the feet of Jimmy Herman for the stench of this episode, and though he had a more substantial part in the underrated Shapes from season one of The X-Files, the man got to impart a crucial piece of information while cutting Dean down a few pegs, always worth a laugh.

10. Joseph Welch, Pilot. Duane Barry, it’s Duane Barry, er, no, just veteran actor Steve Railsback. Enough already with The X-Files references, you say? [insert evil laugh here] Kripke the Magnificent Bastard said on the commentary (correct me if my paraphrase is way off) that they wanted to get strong, often veteran actors for the smaller roles in order to keep the quality seamless across the episode board. Good call.

9. Dr. Ellicott the Younger, Asylum. Not to be confused with his father nor the Plinys (boo, hiss, groan, etc.), the good doctor convinces Stoic Sam (there's another action figure idea) to open up a bit. Sadly for us fans, this psychologically pointed, yet thoroughly professional needling gets results off camera.

8. Hungry Hungry Couple, My Bloody Valentine. I’ve heard of being hungry for love, but yowza. Guess a Shakespearean sonnet or 154 wouldn't have curbed their appetite. Next time, try the mini Philly cheesesteaks. They're delicious.

7. The Gas Station Attendant, Born Under a Bad Sign. A perfect storm of blood-stained amnesia (or so we thought), brotherly concern sprinkled with the usual ill-timed smart-alecky commentary and a wonderfully annoying meatsuit of dead-end-job, twenty-something hipster sarcasm.

6. The Astronaut, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. If you don’t think that before-and-after isn’t one of the funniest comedy bits in the entire series, I don’t want to know you. Hell, I can’t even look at a brand new cosmic shot from Hubble anymore without “astronaut!” popping in my head.

5. Cooper, Everybody Loves a Clown. This where I fudged a bit once again but cut me some slack, his second scene lasted all of five seconds, time enough to cock a shotgun and utter a word or three. Now, finish reading this list, find a girl (or guy), have 2.5 kids and LIVE REGULAR.

4. George Darrow, Crossroad Blues. Now this scene carried some gravitas, and major kudos to John Lafayette for this acting four-bagger. Would we ever say yes, and if so, how would we react when our bill came due? Money comes and goes, but art, even the beautifully tenebrous kind, lives forever. Not that that’s any great consolation when you’re getting your intestines torn out, your fingers chopped off for all eternity.

3. The Landlady, Shadow. The late, great Lorena Gale has a history of an edgy air and sharp one-liners, most notably (to me) in select episodes of Millennium and a show that dare not speak its name, and she doesn’t disappoint here. I, too, agree that boobs are useless on a man.

2. The Waiter, Wishful Thinking. Alright, awesome, take Jennifer Aniston’s Office Space coworker, subtract a few pieces of flair, add a pinch of ecstasy, et voilà, it’s extreme. We’ve all encountered these bizarre, overly extroverted strains of human at an Applebee’s or other permutations of faux mom and pops, which is why this scene makes us simultaneously guffaw and cringe.

1. The Sheriff, Bloodlust. Ralph J. Alderman’s (sorry, IMDB, fix your incorrect record) greatest asset is that Mark Twain ‘stache. Fantastic. Add in some vintage Samuel Clemens attitude, a healthy hunting of the snark and you’ve got one goddamn hilarious scene chock full of about 52 memorable lines from all parties.


# Jasminka 2010-02-28 06:40
Hey, Randal, don’t you go dissing Sam Winchester, the guy can take out demons, he’d have no problem swatting some librarian. In any case, I could send some killer rabbit after you. ;-)

This was great fun, just about surgical! Thanks Randal! My favourites here are absolutely the sheriff, I loved him!, George Darrow and, of course, the museum guide. I could hardly believe it, since I have had encounters with museum guides of this kind, there must be a company that produces them, Annoying Incorporated or the like…

More of this, please. Best, Jas
# JulieUK 2010-02-28 08:57
Randal, I loved this list. The only thing I dont know is how on earth you narrowed it down to 13, but I guess, 13 shall be the number thou shall count and the number thou shall count shall be 13. Ju
# MyMADWorld 2010-02-28 09:27
Fantastic list! The strength of this show has always been the acting and the writing -not so much the story as the dialogue - and the one scene guest actors always delight! My only addition, upon immediate reflection, would be the publisher's receptionist from The Monster at the ENd of this Book - the one who quizzed the boys on their own lives and showed off her tatoo. She was incredible. She also played the woman who died in The Usual Suspects - the one Dean was accused of killing. Her name is Keegan Connor Tracey according to Super-Wiki. I just noticed her again in the movie White Noise as a blind psychic.
Thanks Randal!
# Supernarttu 2010-02-28 11:56
As usual, Ran the Man delivers ;-)
This was so much fun, I had such flashbacks to these eppies when reading these. I too admire how you got these narrowed down to just 13 but some guests just stand out and carry with you...

I esp. love the BUABS gas station guy. He was so snarky and pissy and just had the coolest dialogue. That back and forth banter with his contemptuous and bored attitude and Deans' insisted "This guy?!?!" was a real classic. What am I speaking Urdu? I don't even know what that is yet it's funny :-)
And Duane Barry!! Man, that's the first thing that came to my mind when S.R. came on screen. I love the Duane Barry eppies on X-files!!
Also like George Darrow and Cooper. These guys truly sold me. Both worn and tired, yet accepting their weary lives.

I agree on your nro 1 naturally. That sheriff is just what the doctor ordered. His mustache and his laugh were just the perfect match for his grandfatherly, overtly patronizing speach. Just pure awesome.

My list would also have the bartender from Sin City, he was quite hilarious. First insulting Sam then, for a buck, hands down the info like it's nothing and adds a little "have fun" in the end. lol
Monster Movie had that girl with the big ass slurpy, or milkshake or whatever that was. Win :-)
Yellow fever had the snake guy who was funny. And one of the few who recognized the rock star aliases.
# Ardeospina 2010-02-28 16:04

I'm do glad you included him, Randal, because that kid cracked me up, and he caused Dean to shout one of my favorite Dean shouts ever. Plus, that was a pretty sweet costume he had.

Great list!
Robin Vogel
# Robin Vogel 2010-02-28 20:03
I agree with you on many of these. I adored Casey and Richie from "Sin City" even though they don't really fit the one-scene description, but when we discuss memorable guest stars, we have GOT to have a lengthy discourse on those two. I thought that one kiss Casey gave Dean a sizzler and Richie was so funny, endearing and didn't deserve to die in that skank's basement, damn it!

I loved that crazy waiter who offered Dean and Sam the extreme whatever (was it dessert)? Can't quite recall now. HILARIOUS!

Astronaut? Priceless!

I was a big fan of the nutty gal with the two-tone hair who quizzed Sam and Dean in "The Monster at the End of This Book," who asked the brothers all the questions about themselves and showed off the tat I assume was on her bum. She was outrageous!

I have to start paying more attention to these, because they ARE amazing, important, and quirky.

Great article!

Love, Robin
# Narcissus 2010-02-28 21:49
Alright, awesome! Great list Randal...I would never have been able to narrow it down to 13 hahah. I second the publisher from TMATEOTB, Monster Movie girl, and the bartender from Sin City. And I add Mr. Okie Dokie (security guy from Nightshifter).. but I'm not sure if he appeared again in the ep or not.

Thanks Randal..I absolutely love this list. The show is so full of these quirky little makes the show so much more rich and fun.
# Karen 2010-03-01 05:35
Hi Randal
Great list idea. I also liked the museum guide and the kid serving at the restaurant. All those buttons on his suspenders. Ha!

There are two more that stand out for me that I would of added to the list.
The kid in Phantom Traveler who signs himself into the Psychiatric ward because of what he witnessed.

The other was the professor in ‘What is and What Should Never Be’. Dean asking about Djinns and if they can really grant wishes.
“Have you been drinking son?”
‘Everyone keeps asking me that, but no’.

Oh btw Congrats on the Silver…Fantas tic Game.
# Suze 2010-03-01 06:06
Good list, love the Astronaut, Sarky Mustache ( and its' sheriff ) and Frighteningly Keen Flashing Braces Waiter but feel the lack of Know It All Snake Bloke and Tattoo Bum Super Fan Publisher Lady ... ( Bit out of sorts as Being Human just finished and I've got to wait til next year for my next fix. :cry:: )
# Sablegreen 2010-03-01 10:16
Great article, Randal. I love the waiter too...I don’t know where they got all those buttons, but it was just hilarious. I don't know how they come up with these guys, but they really make an episode shine. Loved Dean’s reaction too.

I also liked the lawyer Maya in ‘Folsum Street Blues’. She had class. Always hoped she would show up again. Boys could always use a lawyer on their side.

Thanks for sharing!
# Randal 2010-03-02 09:19
Thanks all!

Jas, did we not learn from another series that knowledge is the ultimate weapon? Super Librarian! 8-)

JulieUK, that's the problem with lists like this, there's always someone that's inadvertently left out, but a piece is like is mainly to get the brain juices flowing. Always cool to get everyone else's take on things.

MMW, thanks for proving my point. :D She did a great job in both of her SPN roles, but I'll always remember her from Omerta, the season three Xmas episode of Millennium.

Supernarttu, I thought about the bartender, but he had too much screen time. The milkshake girl! A fine addition to the list, though no Urdu. I'm more a fan of Tocharian A.

Ardeospina, astronaut! That's one of those gags that will never ever get tiresome.

Robin, oh, I could go on at length about my precious Casey, damn you to hell, Sam. Ice Cream Extreme. It's extreme! Alright, awesome. Yikes, what is the thought process in such a brain?

Narcissus, Okie Dokie guard did in fact appear again (was having that, I presume, a mild heart attack). But you're right, in addition to having two fantastic leads and great stories, there are all these little bits. I wanted to include Gerard St. James (peppersteak) but agian, too much screen time. Damn myself!

Karen, yeah, great game, grumble. Freaking 20 seconds left and then to lose in OT. At least it was to you guys. ;-) Those are two great choices, and I loved the prof because he asked that question so matter-of-fact.

Suze, you're giving up being human? Or is this some Brit program that I have no idea existed?

Sablegreen, oh yeah, she was a great character, and like you said, it was nice to have a civilian on their side for once. Can't blame the populace for thinking their nuts even though we know better. :D