The Five Best Television Neighbors

The Five Best Television Neighbors - Photo by John Atherton (wikipedia commons)

In honor of National Good Neighbor Day we’d like to give a shout out to our neighbors. Big ups to Interstate 35 for keeping things moving (usually? sometimes?) and University Medical Center Brackenridge for nursing people back to health. We’d also like to share with you some of our favorite neighbors from that magical box in your living room. Here are the five best television neighbors:

5. Winnie Cooper

Gwendolyn “Winnie” Cooper was Kevin Arnold’s first love and neighbor on “The Wonder Years.” Their on again, off again relationship spanned the show’s six season run and was the focus of many of the episodes. Interesting side note: There has been a long-running rumor that Kevin’s best friend Paul became Marilyn Manson, but this is not the case.

4. Ned Flanders

Nedward “Ned” Flanders, Jr. has been the poster child for lefties since opening The Leftorium way back in season three of “The Simpsons.” His trademark “Okely Dokely Do” even rivals Homer’s famous “D’oh!” in the world of catchphrases. Ned is truly a great neighbor, and Homer loathes him for no justifiable reason. Interesting side note: Series creator Matt Groening’s parents were named  Marge and Homer, and his sisters are named Lisa and Maggie.

3. The Fonz

Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli aka Fonzie, Fonz or The Fonz was a lovable high school dropout who lived in the Cunninghams’ garage apartment in “Happy Days.” He was known for his black leather jacket and for saying “Ayyyyyy.” Fonzie’s best trait was always sticking up for people who couldn’t stand up for themselves. Interesting side note: The term “Jumping the Shark” originated from a “Happy Days” episode in which Fonzie literally jumps a shark on waterskis (while wearing his leather jacket).

2. Cosmo Kramer

Cosmo Kramer was Jerry’s wacky neighbor on “Seinfeld” known for his ridiculous entrances into Jerry’s apartment and his lack of tact. He had no known means of support and randomly jumped around from crazy scheme to crazy scheme (see: beach-scented cologne, the bro/manssiere or his coffee table book about coffee tables). Interesting side note: Kramer was originally based on series co-creator Larry David’s neighbor Kenny Kramer.

1. Mister Rogers

Fred Rogers was the ultimate television neighbor and set a standard that will never be topped. He calmly taught valuable lessons and tackled various issues in the 31 seasons that “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was on the air. Any day that Mister Rogers was on, was truly a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Interesting side note: Being able to DVR your favorite shows may never have been an option if not for Fred Rogers’ support of the VCR. His testimony in 1979 helped convince the Supreme Court that the VCR did not infringe copyright laws.

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