Back by popular demand, we present some of the craziest, funniest, and most memorable dentists to ever have graced the silver (or small) screen. Enjoy!
Jerry Helper, The Dick Van Dyke Show
For those of you old enough to remember 60’s TV (or are currently Hulu fans), you may recall actor and frequent show director, Jerry Paris as the affable neighborhood dentist, Dr. Jerry Helper, on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Jerry often played straight man to Dick Van Dyke’s character, script writer and ideal husband, Rob Petrie, making for some quality comedy. Here’s an entire episode mostly about Rob’s teeth, featuring Dr. Jerry.
Barry Farber, Friends
Portrayed by actor Mitchell Whitfield, Dr. Barry Farber popped up several times over the course of the show’s run. Once engaged to Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), the orthodontist left her for maid-of-honor, Mindy, only to cheat on Mindy with Rachel, setting up a frequent cycle of spousal betrayal.
Mike Reynolds, Me and the Chimp
In this universally panned and incredibly ridiculous sitcom, a dentist adopts a chimp named Buttons. His “hilarious” hijinks kept viewers riveted from January 13th, 1972 all the way to April 27th, 1972, a sterling 13-episode run. Ted Bassell, of That Girl fame, starred as Mike Reynolds, who took care of a simian named Buttons.
Dr. Walter Waldowski, M.A.S.H. (movie)
Dr. Waldowski, nicknamed “Painless Pole”, was played by actor John Schuck in Robert Altman’s breakthrough film, M.A.S.H (1970).
A classic neurotic, Painless experienced a “lack of performance” while on a date with a visiting nurse he adored. So great was his upset that he convinced himself to commit suicide. As both a gag, and a wake-up call, the MASH unit convinced Painless to take “the black capsule” and end his sorry life.
Dr. Goodwin, The Middle
Funnyman Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) portrayed The Middle’s Dr. Goodwin, Frankie’s (Patricia Heaton) frequently clueless boss. The long-running ABC sitcom, which lasted for nine seasons, introduced McBrayer at the beginning of Season Two. As Dr. Goodwin, McBrayer’s signature country-bumpkin persona really shined when contrasted with the rest of the cast, making for one incredibly goofy and lovable dentist.
Jeremy Jamm, Parks and Rec
Orthodontist and councilman, Jeremy Jamm, is a constant thorn in the side of Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec, stubbornly voting down any bill she proposes. Always looking out for himself, Jamm is also keen on using his signature line “You just got Jamm-ed” whenever he thinks he’s one-upped an opponent. Portrayed by Jon Glaser, Jamm was introduced to the show at the start of Season 5, and lasted through Season 7.
Bertram Pincus, Ghost Town
In Ricky Gervais’s first leading film role, he plays narcissistic and unfriendly jerk, Bertram Pincus, a Manhattan dentist who finds just about everyone around him to be irritating and a hindrance. After a brush with death, Bertram befriends a friendly ghost (Greg Kinnear), and an assortment of other dearly departeds, that go on to help him become a better person.
Gervais’s signature British sneer cultivates some great laughs, and the movie helped launch the comedian’s career in the States.
Dr. Frank Sangster, Novocaine
In the comedy-film noir Novocaine (2001), Steve Martin plays a dentist who gets mixed up in a murder. While most viewers will probably remember Martin as the evil dentist, Orin Scivello, in Little Shop of Horrors, he also does a great job here as Dr. Sangster, a classic wrongly-accused man tangled in a web of lies, violence and deceit. Martin’s typical straight-man dentist is surrounded by a top-flight cast, making this a memorable film.
Well, that’s our second installment of “I’m Not A Dentist, But I Play One On TV (Or In The Movies)”. Keep a lookout for Part III in the coming months.
In the meantime, please visit your REAL dentist soon!
Contributed by: Bryan Armetta