Friday, January 27, 2017

Most Famous Fictional Character from Each State


The recent death of Mary Tyler Moore, and the identification of her with her eponymous show, set in Minneapolis, led me to wonder who was the most famous fictional character from each State.

Alabama: Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird. Sorry, Forrest Gump.

Alaska: Commander William T. Riker of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ahead of Colonel Maurice Minnifield of Northern Exposure.

Arizona: John Rambo of the Rambo films. Sylvester Stallone will show up again.

Arkansas: Coach Wood Newton of Evening Shade.

California: Charlie Brown of Peanuts. Yes, ol' Chuck, Snoopy and the rest live in Sebastopol, a suburb of San Francisco while their creator, Charles M. Schulz, lived most of his adult life after leaving St. Paul, Minnesota to fight in World War II.

Colorado: Mork of Mork & Mindy. No, not Eric Cartman of South Park. Weirder than Mork, maybe. More foul-smelling, certainly. More foul-mouthed, definitely. But more famous? No chance.

Connecticut: Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones. Although born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, where his father, Dr. Henry Walton Jones Sr., was teaching at Princeton University, Indy taught at fictional Marshall College, somewhere in Connecticut.

Delaware: Lois Lane of the Superman stories. While not definitive, DC Comics has, on occasion, shown a map of the Northeastern United States, with their 2 most famous fictional cities on opposite sides of Delaware Bay: Metropolis, home of Superman and his supporting characters, in Delaware; and Gotham City, home of Batman and his friends and foes, in southern New Jersey.

District of Columbia: Alex Cross of James Patterson's novels. Although the 1975-79 TV version of Wonder Woman placed her first in Washington, then in Los Angeles, the comic books never give her a permanent base of operations, other than Paradise Island/Themiscyra, which is not under U.S. jurisdiction.

Florida: Detective James "Sonny" Crockett of Miami Vice. His partner, Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, was from New York.

Georgia: Scarlett O'Hara of Gone With the Wind.

Hawaii: Special Agent Steve McGarrett of Hawaii Five-O.

Idaho: Napoleon Dynamite of the film of the same name.

Illinois: Jake & Elwood Blues of The Blues Brothers. Well ahead of Studs Lonigan.

Indiana: Dr. Richard Kimble of The Fugitive.

Iowa: Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek.

Kansas: Clark Kent. Sorry, Wizard of Oz and Gunsmoke fans, but Superman, who grew up in fictional Smallville before moving to Metropolis (whose State has never been definitively pinned down), is ahead of both Dorothy Gale and Marshal Matt Dillon.

Kentucky: Sheriff Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead. The show takes place in Georgia, but the Grimes family is from Kentucky.

Louisiana: Johnnie B. Goode of the Chuck Berry song of the same title.

Maine: Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce of M*A*S*H. No, not Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows.

Maryland: Flash Gordon from the comic strip and film franchise of the same name. Although the 1980 film has him introduce himself as the quarterback of the New York Jets, and a comic book series that began in 1995 made him a former Boston Celtic, the original version, a polo player at Yale University, was from Maryland.

Massachusetts: Sam Malone of Cheers.

Michigan: Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor of Home Improvement.

Minnesota: Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Sorry, Coach Hayden Fox.

Mississippi: Quentin Compson of William Faulkner's novels.

Missouri: Huckleberry Finn of Mark Twain's novels.

Montana: Catherine Willows of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Nebraska: Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, of The X-Men.

Nevada: Ben Cartwright of Bonanza.

New Hampshire: President Josiah Edward "Jed" Bartlet of The West Wing.

New Jersey: Bruce Wayne of the Batman stories, if you believe that DC Comics map I mentioned earlier. Ahead of Tony Soprano of The Sopranos. Batman would appreciate beating (out) a crime boss.

New Mexico: Walter White of Breaking Bad.

New York: Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man.

North Carolina: Andy Taylor of The Andy Griffith Show.

North Dakota: James Gatz, a.k.a. Jay Gatsby, of The Great Gatsby.

Ohio: Freddy Kreuger of the Nightmare On Elm Street movies. I didn't say "best" or "most virtuous," I said "most famous."

Oklahoma: Mike Doonesbury of Doonesbury.

Oregon: Ramona Quimby of Beverly Clearly's novels.

Pennsylvania: Rocky Balboa of the Rocky films.

Rhode Island: Peter Griffin of Family Guy.

South Carolina: Frank Underwood of House of Cards.

South Dakota: Desmond Miles of Assassin's Creed.

Tennessee: Miley Stewart of Hannah Montana. It is a sad state of affairs that a State with such a rich history of real people hasn't produced a character with a higher profile. Granted, most of the stories about Davy Crockett were were baloney, but he was a real person.

Texas: J.R. Ewing of Dallas.

Utah: Dean Moriarty of On the Road.

Vermont: Jack Torrance of The Shining. No, not Larry, his brother Darrell, or his other brother Darrell from Newhart.

Virginia: John Carter of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels of Mars. Don't even think about putting John-Boy Walton, Thomas Magnum or Nicholas Brody ahead of him.

Washington: Frasier Crane of Cheers and Frasier.

West Virginia: Clarice Starling of the Hannibal Lecter films.

Wisconsin: Arthur Fonzarelli of Happy Days.

Wyoming: Yogi Bear of the cartoon of the same name. His home of Jellystone Park is considered an analogue of Yellowstone National Park, most of which is in Wyoming.

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