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.