Worlds filled with fictional characters require people to fulfil every role. While we may follow the riveting adventures of school children and taxi drivers, they remain fascinated by popular characters that are only popular to them. You’ll never see a film starring these actors, nor read the works of the authors listed here, but to someone who doesn’t exist they’re very, very real.
If that made any sense, plough on gentle reader, through our Top 10 Fictional Celebrities.
10) The Cast of Tropic Thunder
Never has a film so brilliantly set up the notion of actors playing actors. The cast of parodies, inflated stereotypes of Hollywood’s biggest clichés features washed action hero Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), comedy laughing stock Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), Oscar winner in decline Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr), and rap star with a merchandising deal Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson).
The film about a film starts with a series of trailers that introduce the actors’ careers, each one of which would have made a… really bad film, but it’s one hell of an opening to a much better film, a story about a production in trouble, a special effects budget gone out of control, and a director almost as crazy as the guy playing him (almost). And actually it’s a damn good film, you ever watch Tropic Thunder? These dudes give their best performances when they’re playing other dudes.
9) Johnny Gat – Saints Row 3
The Third Street Saints are a criminal gang who own the streets and are raking in some serious cash, through merchandise and a media empire so big that it makes Hollywood look like a small fry. But the Saints are deep down still a bunch of criminals, led by a trio of talented thugs, who know how to make the cities fear them and end up adoring them in the process. But there’s one that is head and shoulders above them all.
Johnny Gat, one of the trio, is infamous across the world. He’s so famous, that people wear his head as a mask. So if you’re looking for an impromptu mascot, then why not consider buying one of the Saints Johnny Gat masks? After all, who wouldn’t want to look like one of the Saints? It’s safer than saying you don’t like them, that’s for sure.
8) Three Dog – Fallout 3
That’s right, from Megaton to Girdershade, Paradise Falls to the Republic of Dave, we’re coming to you loud and proud in a special live report.
As you take your first blinking steps from the vault that has been home for you and generations that came before you, the Pip Boy at your side kindly informs you that not everything is lost. Stumbling through the shells of buildings and scavenging what you need to survive your first fumbling days, you pick up a signal called Galaxy Radio, and an enthusiastic voice howls cheerfully across the airways!
For many of us who switched on the radio so as not to explore in silence, Three Dog’s sarcastic take on the half-dead wasteland world was the first indication that life had not only endured, but civilization was rising from the ashes, strong enough to support a radio show. And sarcasm, one of the essentials for life.
7) Basil Karlo – Batman
Basil Karlo is an actor; but this isn’t the whole story for this Batman villain. Although one of the lesser known members of Batman’s rather extensive list of villains, Basil is a man who was not to be trifled with. He turned on the cast of a horror movie, when he found out that they were remaking the classic horror film he starred in. He donned the mask and likeness of the villain, Clayface and went about killing the cast, before he was finally stopped by Batman and Robin.
It’s worth mentioning Basil isn’t one of the most popular Batman villains, but he’s probably one of the most versatile. He’s able to mould his body into various shapes and he’s got some pretty strange powers such as being able to absorb clay-like substances, where he tried to absorb Wonder Woman. Although he’s changed a lot in physical appearance, he was once a famous actor. It’s an absolute shame how power can get to the head.
6) Terrance and Phillip – South Park
Canadian comedy superstars who brought in more natural gas than any major energy company. The stylings of Terrance and Phillip may seem formulaic and tired but they still bring joy to the fictionalised version of America portrayed in South Park. They have a line of merchandise to their name, a spin-off, a feature-length film, and a full-scale America/Canada war started by Sheila Broflovski.
The lords of toilet humour are nimble, acrobatic, masters of wordplay, prolific songsmiths and have the muscle control of rectal demigods, it’s little wonder they’re famous worldwide. Nor should it surprise anyone that their deaths are the final portent of one of the many end-of-world scenarios throughout South Park. In amongst the fictitious versions of thousands of celebrities, turns out the best are the completely made up ones.
5) Mr Satan – Dragonball Z
Mr Satan, or Hercule as the western audiences have grown to know him, is a world-famous martial artist who has won many tournaments across the world. You know, he beat the powerful and immensely dangerous Cell? That’s right, good old Hercule is happy to take the credit for the work of the Z warriors. As bad as the credit taking sounds, it actually isn’t a bad thing at all – It’s easier for a human champion to be credited as taking down an alien than a bunch of… Aliens and friends with energy powers.
Still, Hercule is actually all around an incredibly brave character who cares deeply for his friends and family. He might be a little brash, but his very presence is an inspiration to many Earthlings. When Goku needed the energy of Earth, guess who was able to rally the troops as it were? That’s right: not Goku, not Vegeta, but Hercule. Without this silly, glory seeking man, it’s possible that the universe might literally have been doomed after all.
4) Jason Nesmith – Galaxy Quest
This film is so meta, that Jason Nesmith is the name of an actor who plays in a very famous Sci-Fi series, ‘Galaxy Quest’… But yet, the name of the film is also Galaxy Quest and Jason Nesmith is the name of an actor, who is played by Tim Allen… Oh my god this is making my head spin. But with names such as Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shalhoub behind it, you can bet this is a great film.
Jason Nesmith plays as Peter Quincey Taggart, the captain of the ship. He’s also very self-aware of how famous he is; and he loves the limelight. That’s all you really need to know about him – He’s such a celebrity that he knows it!
3) Gilderoy Lockhart – Harry Potter
Penmanship is a hell of a skill, even in the magical world of Harry Potter. Gilderoy Lockhart is a much celebrated author who writes tales of his many encounters with dangerous beasts. Just because he wrote about these encounters though, doesn’t mean he actually partook in said encounters, for he’s a fraud; deceitful, but very tactical. He would speak to people who had encountered these dangerous beasts, get the full story, then wipe their memories with memory charms, such as Obliviate.
This former Ravenclaw student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a worldwide literary success. Eventually he became the professor of defense against the dark arts, during the events of the Chamber of Secrets. Although he was exceptionally good with memory charms, his actual use as a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was questionable at best. It turned out that his potent memory spells would have been his undoing, but it’s okay – He managed to write another book, even after he cast Obliviate on himself (accidentally).
2) Ruby Rhod – Fifth Element
Chris Tucker plays the overbearing, egocentric, fast talking, supersexual, interstellar DJ broadcasting to the whole of the Federated Territories and fifty billion human beings throughout the stars. Little wonder that he’s so huge, his infectious personality could probably pass from system to system without the need of faster-than-light audio broadcasting, passing from entourage member to enchanted stewardess.
DJ Ruby Rhod fills his little bubble of a world with fire, sparkles, energy, and beautiful women. Watching that bubble get burst as the megastar is thrust into action is simply amazing, because all of that energy suddenly has nowhere to go, so it dives fully into unbridled panic. Somehow Tucker manages to make The Fifth Element’s most annoying character something gloriously memorable and super-green.
EDIT: This has been changed due to a surge of interest in Ruby Rhod on this list. We couldn’t give Ruby the top spot, due to overall franchise popularity; to which Simpsons wins… But trust me: We seriously thought about it! Thanks for the fantastic feedback on Twitter and Facebook!
1) Rainier Wolfcastle – Simpsons
Greatest of the great, introducing one of the most consistent parodies in all of The Simpson’s long… long history. Infamous star of the McBain action film series, Rainier Wolfcastle brought life to the deadpan cop on a mission of revenge as he emotionlessly guns down his enemies with his oversized arsenal. He was a must-have name for the live-action Radioactive Man motion picture, despite the difficulties of word-play.
If you need any further proof of Wolfcastle’s parallels to Arnold Schwarzenegger, look at his occasional questionable choices like My Baby is an Ugly Man or Mrs. Mom, his political aspirations, his humvee, or the fact that President Schwarzenegger (from the Simpsons Movie) is a Wolfcastle clone!
Some manage to stretch their fifteen minutes into a lifelong career, while others simply fade into obscurity. While I ponder the fact that no one specifies whether that fifteen minutes is consecutive, or the extent of the fame, come remember those whose quarter hour has been, but not quite gone. A few more fading stars deserving of honourable mention:
Leeroy Jenkins – World of Warcraft
LEEROY JENKINS! Now there’s a name that instills confidence in a party going into a dungeon; but what is Leeroy Jenkins? It’s a name that people call out, but they do so because they know what this man represents. A true legacy was left behind, when one man got back with his chicken dinner. One man was ready for a fight, even if his team were sure there was a 33% chance of winning.
Oh my god, he just ran in.
Leeroy Jenkins was the name of this fantastic Paladin in World of Warcraft, who simply wanted to get on with the instance. In Upper Blackrock Spire, this 10 man raid was infamous for these whelps… Entirely because of Leeroy Jenkins. He became such an icon, that he was added as a card in Hearthstone and he was also made into an achievement, called Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!
So, all of the muppets have a celebrity status all of their own, one that has outlived their creator, outreached their own properties and out into the world at large. Kermit has had regular appearances on late-night television, Cookie Monster has co-hosted Last Week Tonight, but none of them embrace celebrity quite like the porcine matron and greatest “living” diva, Miss Piggy.
Piggy is a drama queen amongst drama queens. She seems to view the muppets as little more than a vehicle for her ultimate stardom, but despite the rolling decades she keeps coming back to stay with her family, and return to the man she loves. That said, I have no idea what’s going on with that right now… is that new slice of bacon still on the scene, what’s going on?
The curtain is drawn, the red carpet rolled away and the paparazzi have gone home, nothing more to see here because in fact there never was. Celebrity’s fickle hand makes a mockery of plenty of innocent souls, so it is only right that our creations shine the spotlight right back at celebrity culture. As we conclude our star studded line-up be sure to vote on what Top 10 you want to see next.
Was your favourite fake-star on our shortlist? Who should have made the cut, and who’s old news? If you ever want to work in this town again, give us your thoughts in the comments, or on our Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.