Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Other Guys

I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of the movie “The Other Guys” and when it did open on August 6, Jim and I were the first on line for the first show. The movie had everything I enjoy in a film experience: things that blow up, a storyline that is being held together by CrazyGlue and duct tape, bathroom jokes, cops, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who I would love to have play Fred Wyatt in the film version of any one of the Murder 101 books). Oh, and Will Ferrell. And did I mention bathroom humor?

So basically, the story surrounds a precinct in Manhattan where there are the cool cops and the “other guys”—or those guys who do the paperwork, or take on cases that none of the other cops really want to get involved with. Hilarity ensues.

That got me thinking about all of the other guys and girls that exist in the world and to whom no one pays attention. In every family, there is always someone who will cry “Mom always liked you better!” and some for whom that statement is true. Then there are the kids who Mom didn’t know even existed (especially in those huge Irish-Catholic families where everyone is named Mikey, Jimmy, Patty, Matty, Luke, and Meg, or some combination of shortened saint names). In the world today, and especially the world of entertainment, there exists a whole culture of “other guys” and this post is designed to pay homage to those forgotten people.

Who are these people? Let’s find out:

1) The two who aren’t Bono or the Edge: We all know that my favorite band, U2, has four members. I dare you to name the other two. (Answer: Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton) Good. Now what instruments do they play? (Here’s a hint: Bono doesn’t play anything and the Edge plays guitar. Figure it out.) I wonder how Larry and Adam feel, playing the shadows—literally! look at their videos—behind charismatic Bono and enigmatic The Edge. Must be hard. At least when they’re not cashing their paychecks.

2) The one who isn’t Harpo, Chico, or Groucho: My husband is a huge Marx Brothers’ fan and can probably answer this question. Like all families, there’s always a forgotten child, the one that Mom didn’t like best. So you’ve got the guy who won’t shut up and the guy who never opens his mouth, and the other one. There’s one beyond that. Who the heck is he and what role did he play? I can never remember.

3) The one who isn’t Zsa Zsa or Ava: I love the Gabor sisters. With wild abandon, they wear diamonds, marry princes, speak with indecipherable accents, and act badly in television shows and movies. They are famous for hardly anything, kind of like retro-Kardashians. There were three of them, but only two are remembered. Oh, poor Magda Gabor, the lost Gabor sister. Did she not wear enough diamonds? Did she bypass roles alongside Eddie Albert? Will we never know the talent and beauty that was Magda Gabor?

4) Jan Brady: And of course, no list of “other guys” would be complete without middle Brady sister, Jan. She’s the one who cried “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” at the thought of all of the attention her flat-ironed haired sister received. Jan was the original other guy. Everyone remembered popular Marcia and adorable Cindy, but Jan was often forgotten. Even George Glass—her imaginary boyfriend, had a tendency to forget Jan and the things that were important to her.

Who did I miss, Stiletto faithful? Are there “other guys” who you remember that I’ve forgotten? Weigh in, please.

Oh, and is it really September? How the heck did that happen?

Maggie Barbieri


  1. Great blog!

    There was an interesting study by researchers at Cornell and Lousiana State that found that while mothers often did have favorites among their children -- the kids rarely got right who was the favorite (link:


  2. LOL! Funny. What about poor, misunderstood Ringo Starr? And if you wanna go waaaayyyy back, Pete Best, the forgotten Beatle.

  3. Zeppo, wasn't it? (The other Marx brother.)

    Does the person who gets picked last for sports teams in middle school count as "the other guy/gal?"

  4. Yes, Misa! Ringo and Pete Best...those are two great "other guys." And Laura, Zeppo was the forgotten Marx brother. See? I couldn't even remember his name. Thanks for the research link, Marian. I'm going to say that the oldest is always the favorite. Hmmm...could that be because I'm the oldest? Maggie

  5. Maggie, in our family, the favorite was/is "the baby boy" (my brother, now in his 40s with babies of his own!). But I always felt like each of us was favored in a different way (or is that just what my mother always told us, and I bought the party line? Hmmm!). I think if you're not the lead singer or guitarist in a band, you're always "the other guys." ;-)

  6. Everyone says the "baby boy" in our family is my favorite--not true. He drive me crazy, though of course I do love him. He's in his 40s too. Of course it's the girls who say this.


    By the way, the The Other Guys movie had it's funny moments, it could've been better. All the coarse jokes weren't really necessary. They could have been just as funny in other ways.