11 Sidekicks Who Shined on Center Stage

While some sidekicks are doomed to failure when they take the spotlight, others seize the moment and shine. Here are eleven supporting players who proved more than worthy of center stage.


VALERIE HARPER Quintessential gal-pal on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Harper's star kept rising as the star of Rhoda. All told, she took home four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for the role. 52 million Americans tuned in when she married Joe, the most popular sitcom episode of



STEPHEN COLBERT Colbert logged eight years as Jon Stewart's Daily Show cohort before ascending to top dog at the Colbert Report. His adventures with Truthiness led to Letterman's late night spot on CBS. Colbert is the American Dream - and SO can you!



REGIS CRACKED.COM America was introduced to Reeg as Joey Bishop's late-night sidekick. Who knew he'd go on to host several talk shows, lord over Millionaire, and become one of Dave Letterman's most beloved guests?



MELISSA MCCARTHY CRACKED.COM Always a Bridesmaid? Not McCarthy, who parlayed that supporting turn (and Oscar nom) into lead roles in some of the biggest box-office comedies of the decade. Spy, Heat, and Identity Thief all topped $100 million.

Box Office Mojo


KELSEY GRAMMER CRACKED COM Frasier Crane, orginally slated to appear in just a few Cheers episodes, wasn't the obvious choice for a spinoff. Grammer went on to play Crane for twenty years, becoming the first actor to score Emmy noms for playing the same character on three different shows.

Mental Floss


JOE ROGAN ROGAN JOe HE FREREEY CRACKED.COM NewsRadio fans didn't see this one coming. Rogan parlayed his role as handyman Joe into hosting Fear Factor and then his own podcast. Spotify just inked Rogan to a $100 million deal that ain't sidekick money, sister.



JEFFREY TAMBOR Hey now! Sidekicks don't get more iconic than The Larry Sanders Show's Hank Kingsley. So it wasn't a surpise when Tambor killed it with lead roles on Arrested Development and Transparent. CAlleged on-set ugliness, however, is pushing him back out of the spotlight.)

Hollywood Reporter


JEFF GARLIN CRACKED COM Garlin is the George to Larry David's Jerry on Curb Your Enthusiasm (or is it the other way around?) but don't be a moron! The guy also held court for 8 seasons and counting as patriarch Murray on The Goldbergs.

Entertainment Weekly


CHRIS PRATT Pratt made the leap from pudgy 5th lead on Parks and Rec to chiseled leading guy in multiple Guardians and Jurassic Park flicks. One key to his success: He brought a dollop of dopey Andy Dwyer to his big-screen starring roles.



BRUCE LEE Textbook example of the student becoming the master. Lee evolved from second fiddle Kato into one of the world's biggest movie stars before his untimely death in 1973. Maybe all sidekicks should practice 500 punches a day.

Bruce Lee Training


BOB ODENKIRK CRACKED.COM The idea of Saul landing his own TV show started as a joke in the Breaking Bad writers room. Then Better Call Saul was pitched as a half-hour sitcom. Four Emmy nominations later, Odenkirk has turned Saul into a leading man for the ages.