An editorial series sponsored by Pizza Hut Wingstreet.
The concept of the wingman dates back to fighter-jet pilots in WWII, but the wingman as we know him entered pop culture through film — thank you, Top Gun and Swingers — and was perfected on television. Here, some of the finest right- (and left-)hand guys in TV history.
Saved by the Bell: Screech Powers to Zack Morris
Over the years, Screech performs a steady stream of wingman solids, whether he’s doing Zack’s homework or creating a well-timed diversion for Mr. Belding. While you might argue Screech is more doormat than wingman, the playing field does get evened: Who can forget the envy-inducing chemistry that sparked between him and Kelly, as Zack took off to a George Michael concert leaving his buddy to tutor his gal?
Entourage: Eric Murphy to Vincent Chase
E always has Vince’s best interest at heart — both professionally and personally. He constantly goes to battle for Vinnie, whether he’s convincing Gus Van Sant to cast him or scoring a date with Scarlett Johansson. Equally important, E knows when to challenge the over-indulged Vince, setting the star in his place when he needs to.
The Simpsons: Waylon Smithers to Montgomery Burns
Smithers’ devotion is unquestionable. If anything, it borders on creepy; he has fantasies about Mr. Burns; he turns to alcoholism after he’s fired; and he happily agrees to be buried alive with his boss. No doubt, Smithers veers toward yes-man, but he wins many points for loyalty; no matter the circumstances, Smithers has always got Monty’s old, curved back.
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Image courtesy of Maple Pictures.