In the real world, landlords are a relatively unassuming group of people. They appear when you sign your lease, then when the sink is stopped, or the heater breaks, but for the majority of the time, landlords are nowhere to be found. Television and film, however, often paint a different picture of the landlord. The following property managers are some of the most entertaining and unique of all time.
1. Mr. Shickadanc
ACTOR: Mark Margolis
MOVIE: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Aside from the fact that he is sporting one of the least euphonious names of all time (say it out loud and prove me wrong), Mr. Shickadance is our favorite because he represents the quintessential landlord stereotype.
A hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners stickler for the rules, Mr. Shickadance is ultimately a pushover, despite the fact he may actually be related to Satan. We like him for his ability to consistently remind us of the rules, without ever being able to enforce them.
2. Eugene Mirman
ACTOR: Eugene Mirman
SHOW: Flight of the Conchords
Unbeknownst to the world, the Flight of the Conchords universe is actually comprised of stand-up comics and veteran improvisers. Eugene, the landlord, is no exception, and his dry, often poorly-timed advice is enough to make anyone want to move in.
Not only does Eugene seem to be present for most of Jemaine and Bret’s intimate conversations, but he always willing throws in his two cents out of love and concern for his tenants. Although his advice is rarely worth taking, it is the gesture that counts.
3. Mr. Heckles
ACTOR: Larry Hankin
Perhaps better known for his roles in The Terminator, and Laverne & Shirley (another show with a well-known landlord), Mr. Heckles made his debut on Friends in a bathrobe.
A cantankerous curmudgeon with the pointiest face most people have ever seen, Mr. Heckles enjoyed harassing the girls about their New York City apartment. Whether in bathrobe or stained sweats, he did a great job of getting his apathy and disillusionment across to viewers. Though viewers seemed indifferent to his character while he was on the show, when his character died, there was an outpouring of interest in him.
4. C.C. Baxter
ACTOR: Jack Lemmon
MOVIE: The Apartment
C.C. Baxter is more of an entrepreneur than a landlord, except for the fact that he doesn’t profit nearly as much as he could from his independent business.
Basically agreeing to sublet his apartment on a night-to-night basis to a slew of his unfaithful bosses, Baxter runs a cheap motel. We like him for his forward thinking and small business wizardry, but we sympathize for him, as he never seems to have a night to himself. Nevertheless, C.C. always puts his tenants first, which makes him the best sub-letter of all time.
5. Fred and Ethel Mertz
ACTORS: William Frawley and Vivian Vance
SHOW: I Love Lucy
Many landlords are husband and wife teams, as managing a property can be a daunting task. No pair does it better (or at least more enjoyably) than Fred and Ethel Mertz.
The perfect catalyst for hilarity, Fred and Ethel always seemed to fuel Lucy and Ricky’s fire. While they were also neighbors and friends, they were landlords first, which makes them two of the most endearing property managers in television history. Even when they fight, the outcome is always hilarity.
6. Ralph Furley
ACTOR: Don Knotts
SHOW: Three’s Company
Although he wasn’t the first landlord to Jack Tripper and the girls, Ralph Furley was certainly one of the most memorable of all time, a fact that was only enhanced by the fact that he was played by the legendary Don Knotts.
There are few things more perfect than renting from Barney Fife, to which the crowd of Three’s Company can easily attest. While the only thing louder than his voice was his shirts, Ralph was a cute and flamboyant landlord who made living in his building an over-the-top fun time.
7. Pearl McKay
ACTOR: Pearl McKay
FILM: The Landlord
Although she rules her building with an iron fist, there is no landlord more beloved in the history of film than Pearl McKay. She is belligerent, witty, and a borderline alcoholic. Best of all, she’s only two years old.
The viral video that has dominated the Internet for the last two years, The Landlord features Will Ferrell explaining to Pearl (played by the two-year-old daughter of Director, and former SNL writer Adam McKay) why he is short on the rent. The video is priceless, the concept is hysterical, and the outtakes are just as entertaining as the finished product.
Although real life property managers tend to be nowhere near as entertaining, legendary, or young as those portrayed on the big screen, there are no characters more fun to lampoon than landlords. They are a figure everyone has had in their lives at some point, meaning their brand of humor is relatable and specific, even when the characters are individualized and unique. While these landlords don’t actually exist, they would be far more fun to rent from than those who do.