As you know, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. What’s that? You forgot? Ho boy, you’re gonna have some ‘splaining to do. Well, if you have someone to ‘splain to, that is. Now, I could go ahead and make a cutesy list of the best ‘ships on TV or the ten kinds of chocolate I’d eat off Sienna Miller’s ass, but today is Friday the 13th, and I thought it fitting to honor the truly unlucky people who’ve graced our TVs all these years. And what better number than a lucky seven of them?
Wile E. Coyote – Looney Tunes
It’s not often Mr. Coyote would have a lucky streak when it came to desperately hunting down his meal, a.k.a. Accelleratti Incredibus, a.k.a. Tastyus Supersonicus, a.k.a. the Road Runner. Contrary to what most people think, the Road Runner was not Wile E.’s most feared an dangerous enemy. No, his greatest enemy was something most of us rarely ever have the chance to escape: gravity.
George Costanza - Seinfeld
It seems that anytime George caught a lucky break, it was like a wish on the mythical monkey’s paw — each good thing would come with great consequences. One rare time George caught an incredibly lucky break, he was a hand model and being paid lots of dough for it. Even walking around with oven mitts on his hands wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable from happening. And for George, even an initial event of bad fortune simply brings on yet more. And more.
Hula-Hula, a.k.a. Bad Luck Hula – The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
I rarely caught this show when I was a kid, so friend Wil Wheaton had to remind me of this gem for the list. How could I not add a guy who can literally say his name is “Bad Luck?!” Just check out the video below to see a bit of him in action, toward the end of the clip.
Charlie Brown – Peanuts
“Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” That pretty much sets the tone for this kid, who never, ever seems to catch a break, especially when it comes to punting a football. Not only does the poor kid’s clothes not fit him, to the point they fly off when he misses a kick, but he’s … let’s just say “folically challenged.” That’s just not lucky at all.
Al Bundy – Married with Children
Of everyone on this list, I’d say Al Bundy is this most deserving of bad luck. Everything he’s been handed to him has been as a result of some idiotic scheme or desperate action done in the name of self pity. Again, a common theme with all of these characters is that, any time they seem to catch a decent break, it’s taken right back from them in spades.
Kenny – South Park
“They killed Kenny!” “You bastards!” … after nearly every episode for several seasons, though not all of them. But for those seasons when it was commonplace for Kenny to die some horrific death and have his corpse eaten by rats, we all waited eagerly to see what would be the next way he’d meet his maker … or Satan, or whomever.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes – Lost
Who wins a multi-million dollar lottery and considers that bad luck? That would be Hurley, since anything that’s happened to him in and around those familiar and haunting six numbers has done nothing but cause bad luck for this poor chubby dude. For some reason, though, all of the bad luck that’s come to him hasn’t caused him to be killed … yet (you never know on Lost). And who gets stranded on an island for months and doesn’t lose a pound? That’s some bad luck right there.
I thought of a couple of other characters that may have fit this list, like Jack Tripper of Three’s Company and Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy, but are they unlucky or just plain stupid or clumsy? Let me know if you’ve got some that really need to complete this list.