Pop Culture Famous Duos

June 9, 2020 · CLASSMATES FUN

Do you remember who your best friend was in school? Whether you were eating together at lunch, hanging out on weekends, or going on double dates, were you joined at the hip, feeling unstoppable and ready to take on the world together?

There are many famous friendships throughout pop culture, both real and fiction. From cartoon characters and comedians to bank robbers and songwriters, here are some of the most well-known dynamic duos of all time.

Bert and Ernie

Muppet roommates and best friends Bert and Ernie are the centerpiece to “Sesame Street,” their storylines made up of Bert constantly suffering the consequences of Ernie’s naïve troublemaking. Although complete opposites (Bert serious and introverted, Ernie silly and happy-go-lucky), they always work through their differences and come out the other side closer than ever.

Lucy and Ethel

Ethel (Vivan Vance) and Lucy (Lucille Ball) were loyal best friends on the show “I Love Lucy” (1951-1957), even if that loyalty meant Ethel getting dragged into some of Lucy’s schemes. Chaos always ensued, but Ethel followed Lucy down the rabbit hole every time, leaving the audience in hysterics each episode.

Laverne and Shirley

Much like Lucy and Ethel before them, roommates and friends Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams), who worked as bottle-cappers, found laughter through their physical comedy on their eponymous show “Laverne and Shirley” (1976-1983). The show proved highly successful, its third season being the most-watched American television program that year. It was also nominated for two Golden Globes and a Primetime Emmy.

Ren and Stimpy

Ren, an unstable chihuahua who was short-tempered, and Stimpy, a dimwitted but happy cat, starred in the slapstick cartoon dark comedy “The Ren and Stimpy Show,” which found cult status in the 1990’s. The two characters always ended up on many misadventures, usually leaving Ren angered by Stimpy for the situations they found themselves in. Even still, they remained best friends.

Andy Taylor and Barney Fife

“The Andy Griffith Show,” starring Andy Griffith as the widowed father Andy Taylor and his well-meaning cousin Barney (played by Don Knotts), debuted in 1960 and ran for eight seasons. Andy was a sheriff in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina who constantly had to deal with the gaffes of Barney, his inept deputy. After every mishap was a lesson learned, even though the audience knew Barney would make another mistake in the next episode, leaving Andy to once again clean up the mess.

Abbott and Costello

Comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were the most popular comedy team of the 1940’s and early 1950’s, and their comedy bit “Who’s on First?” is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time. They were frequently referenced in Looney Tunes cartoons, especially their famous lines “I’m only three and a half years old!” and “Ain’t I stinker?” (Bugs Bunny’s signature catchphrase). Unfortunately, their popularity waned in the 1950’s and they soon parted ways. But this famous duo will always be remembered in pop culture history.

Laurel and Hardy

Another comedy team, although Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy got their start during the silent movie era so relied more on slapstick than Abbott and Costello did. They appeared together in 107 films, starring in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films. Their bits often revolved around them accidentally damaging somebody’s property and then that person damaging something of theirs in return. Sadly, Hardy died of a stroke in 1957, and Laurel, ever faithful, declined to be on screen after his friend’s death.

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble

Cartoon cavemen Fred and Barney were best friends and neighbors living in Bedrock during the Stone Age on the show “The Flintstones.” Although animated, the show’s target audience was adults, and it held a prime time slot on television from 1960 to 1966. The two of them often fought due to Fred’s short temper, but their deep bond always remained.

Bonnie and Clyde

Arguably the most controversial duo on this list, real-life couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were robbers who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression, until they were killed by officers in an ambush in 1934. Their story captivated the press, even though it didn’t always portray them correctly. The 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde” revived interest in their story but glamorized them, and their names have since become synonymous with the image of a romantic couple who broke from convention, living a luxurious life on the run.

The Odd Couple Movie on the left, The Odd Couple TV show on the right. © clickamericana.com and thedissolve.com

Felix and Oscar – The Odd Couple

First a Broadway play, then a movie (starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthaw), then a television show spinoff (with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman,) “The Odd Couple” has forever been cemented in pop culture as the archetype of two roommates with polarizing personalities – one a neurotic neat-freak and the other a flighty slob. The film garnered critical acclaim and box-office success, and the tv series was nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes. In 1998, “The Odd Couple 2” premiered, significant because all leads returned, even after one of the longest gaps between an original movie release and a sequel (20 years).

Batman and Robin

Perhaps two of the most popular comic superheroes of all time, Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, and Robin, his greatest vigilante sidekick, have been partnering on adventures since 1940. We’ve seen them in various forms throughout pop culture, including the original comic books, the 1960’s television series, the 1966 film (both starring Adam West and Burt Ward,) the 1990’s cartoon show, and the 1997 movie remake. As strong and fierce as Batman is, he can’t save Gotham City on his own – he needs the balance of Robin, who acts as his guiding light.

Rocky and Bullwinkle

“The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends” (1959-1964) mixed puns, satire, and self-referential humor, appealing to both children and adults. Heroes Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose were best friends living in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, and the villains of the show, who were always after them, were spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Bullwinkle wasn’t the smartest of moose, but when he worked with his squirrel buddy, the two of them were always able to escape from the bad guys.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

What’s there to say about The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times over the past sixty years? They’re still considered one of the greatest and most influential songwriting teams of all time. Although lead guitarist George Harrison deserves credit for the songs he began to experiment with in the last few years of the group, it was Lennon and McCartney who were churning out hundreds of hit songs, dominating the music charts and shocking the world, for almost a decade.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

Sherlock Holmes is a private detective invented by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. The novels are mostly narrated by the character of Dr. John H. Watson, who accompanies Holmes on his investigations. The two protagonists live together at 221B Baker Street in London, and although Holmes often complains that Watson’s depictions of his cases are sensationalized and not true to science, their relationship is still the most significant out of any other characters who appear in the stories.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet

Author A.A. Milne wrote the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books starting in 1926, which featured a myriad of creatures in the Hundred Acre Wood, but the two most popular characters are Pooh and Piglet. Even though the pudgy bear can be naïve (in fact, he says that he is “a bear of very little brain”), Piglet, who is often timid and scared, is his closest friend and accompanies his buddy on his adventures. The two pals, along with the rest of the animals of the forest, can be found in movies, television, toys, games, stuffed animals and more, even almost one hundred years later.

 

There are countless other dynamic duos in pop culture. Who are others that have influenced you?

 

Source: wikipedia

 

Featured Image: © Rex

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