Alcohol. Some of you may see it as a provider of confidence while others may look upon it as a ruiner of lives that has caused unthinkable pain since the dawn of man. Either way, its effects have been explored in every possible way throughout pop culture — from Arthur to Zaphod Beeblebrox and beyond. So for today’s Daily List, Topless Robot will be looking at different characters from the annals of nerddom whose shared love of booze is an essential part of their personalities. From comic characters who use cold gold to keep their demons at bay to elves whose lack of feature film screen time further serves to fuel their hard-drinking ways, consider this list your overview of seven individuals who at point or another have found solace in tossing their responsibilities aside in order to get blind, stinking drunk.
Before we begin, just a quick note: obviously alcoholism is an extremely sensitive issue. So if you find yourself offended by jokes about drinking you should probably sit this list out. Even though it is only pointing out fictional characters and therefore you should probably just lighten the hell up and have a cold one before you ruin today like you ruin everything. Hear me. EVERYTHING! Ahh, I didn’t mean it, come over here and gimme a hug. Burp.
Sorry, that was the Guinness talking. Anyway, let’s begin.
7) Barney Gumble Whenever The Simpsons is mentioned these days, an argument inevitably breaks out about whether of not the show should finally be put out of its misery. Regardless of whatever side you take on this issue, one thing everybody should be able to agree upon is that Barney Gumble can still elicit laughs with every slurred sentence and comedically placed burp he utters. That may not seem like too much, but at 24 seasons it you take the funny where you can get it.
6) Morn For those unfamiliar with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Morn is the resident barfly at Quark’s whose name is an obvious anagram for a certain character on Cheers. (Hint: It’s not Rebecca). A recurring gag on the series about Morn is that his verbosity is a regular topic of conversation amongst DS9’s senior staff…even though he never actually utters a sound on screen. Intergalactic lumbering oaf that he may be, he gave audiences a glimpse at a rarely discussed aspect of Gene Roddenberry’s view of a utopian future — namely that alcoholics are going to be so lovable one day that attractive space babes like Jadzia Dax will consider getting it on with them. Cue that awful Timbuk 3 song about the future being bright.
5) Winky the House Elf
Butterbeer addiction. Don’t let it happen to you. This message has been brought to you by the Hogwart’s division of Alcoholics Anonymous.
4) Tony Stark
It seems unlikely that Tony Stark’s battles with the devil’s brew will ever reach the big screen due to how family-friendly the Marvel cinematic universe is, so your best opportunity to see Iron Man get completely pissed remains issues 120 to 128 of The Invincible Iron Man. Coming eight years after Marvel made headlines (and defied the Comics Code Authority) with their arc in The Amazing Spider-Man that explored Harry Osborn’s drug problems, the legendary “Demon in a Bottle” storylinefurther analyzed the paralyzing effects of addiction. This time around, it was Stark who was doing the suffering by drinking non-stop. His crisis of faith, descent into alcoholism and subsequent redemption earned the House of M additional respect for their ongoing commitment to exploring real-life issues in their comics. It remains Iron Man’s most well-known comics run, but I’ll leave those of you who find this saga to be overwrought to name your picks for his greatest storyline in the comments.
3) Saul Tigh Real talk folks: If you were constantly put through the ringer like Tigh here was, you’d drink like a fish too. Besides, it’s important for Cylons to keep themselves nicely oiled in order to prevent rusting. Oh, um, spoiler alert!
2) Zaphod Beeblebrox It was a toss-up between Zaphod Beeblebrox and his semi-cousin Ford Prefect for this slot, as they both hold getting absolutely blotto in the highest regard. But even though Ford’s enjoyment of that Ol’ Janx Spirit is well documented in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Zaphod has an advantage because his love of alcohol was so unprecedented that he went and invented a drink of his own–and not just any libation either, but the most potent beverage in the history of history itself. So for his creation of the notorious Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (whose “effects are similar to having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick”) the two-headed, three-armed ex-President of the Galaxy gets the dubious honor of being the second greatest drunk in nerddom. Why not first place? Because he lacked a shiny metal ass of course.
1) Bender With the possible exception of Box from Logan’s Run, there’s no robot that I’d rather go on a, um, bender with than Bender. Sure, the next morning I’d probably wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidney stolen so that the hard-drinking robot could sell it on the black market for a case of Olde Fortran Malt Liquor or a ticket to an All My Circuits fan cruise, but at least I’d have the precious memories of getting loaded with the best.
Chris Cummins is a pop culture writer and Archie comics historian who has contributed to The Robot's Voice, Den of Geek US, Philebrity, Geekadelphia, Uproxx, and Unicorn Booty. He is the co-producer and co-host of Nerd Nite Philadelphia, and is regularly involved in producing and hosting New York Super Week events. In 2014, Chris began Sci-Fi Explosion, a mix of live performance, trivia and funny clips celebrating the weirdest in science fiction that regularly travels around the United States. He wrote the introductions to the compilations Archie's Favorite Comics From The Vault and (with Paul Castiglia) Archie's Favorite High School Stories. You can find Chris on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot and @scifiexplosion.