The top ten greatest sidekicks

These guys know a thing or two about playing second fiddle

  • Batman and Robin
    Batman is never without his trusty partner Robin.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Batman and Robin
    Sean Astin plays the loyal Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings movies.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Batman and Robin
    Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr star in the most recent version of Sherlock Holmes.Image Credit: Supplied

Dr Watson (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)

Dr John H Watson’s calm, prosaic nature was the perfect foil for Sherlock Holmes’s eccentricities. But Watson was no mug either – he was a trained doctor and supposedly a crack shot. And he definitely had more luck with women than Holmes. In The Sign of Four, it is noted that “his experience of women extends over many nations and three separate continents”.

Spock (Star Trek)

The only humanoid on this list, Spock was the likeable of the first wave of extra-terrestrials that hit television. Of mixed human-Vulcan heritage, Spock served as the first officer and science officer aboard USS Enterprise and offered commander James T Kirk the ‘outsider’s perspective on human nature’.

Sancho Panza (Don Quixote)

Squire to Don Quixote in Miguel de Cervantes’s classic novel Don Quixote. While the mad titular character’s is on mission to revive knight-errantry in Spain, Sancho delights with his proverb-laden peasant wisdom.

Doc Holliday (The Gunfight at OK Corral)

The first of our two real-life entries in this list. Doc Holliday was US marshal Wyatt Earp’s friend and is best known for his involvement in the Wild West’s most famous shoot-out, ‘The Gunfight at OK Corral’. Though Holliday died young, such was his aura and mystique that his legend lives on in films and novels. Kirk Douglas, Val Kilmer and Dennis Quaid have famously portrayed him on screen. 

Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings)

One of literature’s greatest sidekicks, JRR Tolkien’s is said to have based Sam’s character on the batmen and privates that he had seen in the army. Sam is a constant and faithful companion to protagonist Frodo Baggins. Loyal and fiercely protective of his master, Sam is the archetypical sidekick. Click here to see more.

Kato (The Green Hornet)

Kato could have gone down as just another sidekick, the mask wearing driver of the Green Lantern. But when Bruce Lee played him in the 60s TV series, his popularity outshone the lead character’s and martial arts became popular in the US. Furthermore, Hollywood got a glimpse of Lee’s talent. Kato’s ancestry has changed over the years. He was initially supposed to be from Japan. During WW II, he was referred to as being from the Philippines. Jay Chou’s character in the recent film is from Shanghai.

Robin (from Batman)

How can you have a sidekicks list without including this guy?

Hobbes (Calvin and Hobbes)

His duality defines the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. To Calvin, he is the anthropomorphic pet tiger, while to others he is just a stuffed toy. Sardonic and even-tempered, Bill Watterson, the creator, named the character after the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who apparently had “a dim view of humanity”.

Obelix (The Adventures of Asterix)

Obelix is Asterix’s best friend from the comic book series and works as a menhir deliveryman. Sidekicks don’t come better than this guy – loyal, strong and completely opposite in character to Asterix.

Art Garfunkel (from Simon & Garfunkel)

As one-half of the 60s eminent pop-duo, Garfunkel was brilliant, falsetto notes, vocal harmonies and all. But one golden globe nomination (for Carnal Knowledge) as an actor doesn’t count as a career post the dizzy heights that Simon & Garfunkel reached.